Packing Your Memorial Day Picnic

“Grilling, broiling, barbecuing — whatever you want to call it — is an art, not just a matter of building a fire and throwing on a piece of meat as a sacrifice to the gods of the stomach.”
~ James Beard~

Memorial Day is right aound the corner, which is the traditional kick-off to summer! It’s time to dust off the grill, put on your “kiss the cook” apron, and enjoy the warmer weather. A great Memorial Day picnic or cook-out requires a few simple ingredients- sunshine, good company, and your favorite healthy foods!

The following are a few healthy recipe ideas that I enjoy making for company to celebrate the summer season! Many of these ingredients can be found in your CSA boxes.

Homemade cole slaw

Grilled corn on the cob

Potato salad

Quick pickled beets

Smothered turnips and greens

Roasted Eggplant

Strawberry spinach salad

Here are some food safety and nutrition tips in order to have a relaxing Memorial Day weekend!

1. When preparing cole slaw and other cold salads, try to incorporate more vinegar or lemon juice into the recipe instead of overdosing on mayonaise.

2. Cut out a lot of fat in your recipes by grilling your meats instead of frying them!

3. Always include a green leafy salad on your menu, and skip the full-fat dressings. Serve your salads with a flavorful balsamic vinaigrette.

4. You don’t always have to grill meats, you can cook a variety of fruits and vegetables on the grill! Chop up some onions, peppers, tomatoes, squash, an zucchini and place on a skewer to grill. Or, try some grilled pineapple or peaches for dessert!

5. Reduce the amount of oil and butter you use by trying different spices and rubs! My favorite place to explore different no-salt spices, sauces, dressings, and rubs is Penzey’s Spices in Raleigh.

6. Be sure to purchase a meat thermometer and make sure that your meat is cooked to the appropriate temperature before serving.

7. Make sure to keep your cream or mayo-based side items in the refrigerator until ready to be served. Do not leave any foods out in the sun for longer than 2 hours!

Stay tuned for my Memorial Day menu, which will be posted on Monday along with plenty of recipes and pictures!

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