We all know that Memorial Day is the official kick-off to summer and it calls for a celebration of grilling out! Burgers, hot dogs, and mayonnaise filled salads are typical for a Memorial Day cook-out. This year, try making over your fare with some of these easy swaps. We’ve even got some simple recipes at the bottom of the blog to help you create the most nutritious cook-out!
Burger –> Grass-fed and finished beef or Veggie Burger on a Lettuce Wrap
Burgers made with commercial beef can have added hormones and antibiotics, but when made with grass-fed and finished beef the burger can have good fat and protein. The bun is often the heaviest part of the burger, so ditch the bun and wrap your burger in lettuce. Top with all the veggies you want! You won’t even miss it!
Hot Dog –> Nitrate and Nitrite Free Wieners on a Sprouted Grain Bun
Regular hot dogs, even turkey dogs, are typically filled with many added ingredients, including nitrates and nitrites. Nitrates and nitrites have been linked to several cancers, COPD, increased heart disease risk, DNA mutations, and brain tumors in children.
Potato Salad –> Quinoa Salad
Potato salad is often laden with mayonnaise and filled with starchy potatoes all the while lacking any energizing nutrients. Our quinoa salad will provide you with protein to satisfy you throughout the day and some needed veggies!
Store Bought Brownies –> Black Bean Brownies (click for recipe)
Our black bean brownies are filled with antioxidants through the black beans and free of artificial ingredients often found in store-bought brownies. Don’t tell anyone about the black beans and see if anyone notices! J
- 1 (16 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed (choose a BPA free can)
- ½ bell pepper, cut into strips
- ½ onion, cut into quarters
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled
- 1 free range egg
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce
- ½ cup gluten-free oats or whole-grain breadcrumbs
- In a large mixing bowl, mash black beans with a fork until thick and pasty.
- In a high speed blender or food processor, finely chop bell pepper, onion, and garlic. Add this mixture to the black beans and mix well.
- In a small bowl, stir together egg, chili powder, cumin, and hot sauce. Stir the egg mixture into the mashed beans. Mix in oats until the mixture is sticky and holds together. Divide mixture and pat into patties.
- Place on grill or bake in the oven! Top with your favorite topping (I love hummus, tomato, and avocado on mine) and wrap in a lettuce wrap. Enjoy!
- 1 cup quinoa
- 2 cups water
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 limes, juiced
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes, halfed
- 2 cucumbers, diced
- 5 green onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- In a saucepan, bring quinoa and water to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until quinoa is tender and water has been absorbed (about 10 to 15 minutes). Set aside to cool.
- In a bowl, whisk olive oil, lime juice, cumin, salt, and cayenne.
- In a large bowl, combine quinoa, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green onions together in a bowl. Pour dressing over quinoa mixture and toss to coat. Stir in cilantro. Add salt and pepper to suit your taste. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.