Memorial Day Healthy Cookout Alternatives

The Memorial day weekend is the first official holiday weekend that kicks off all of the BBQ cookouts, picnics, family/class reunions, and travel plans taking place this summer.

Here are a few of my healthy alternatives to your traditional barbecue staples you can place on your grill along with preparing some nutritious and delicious side dishes that will help make your Memorial day weekend fun, healthy and stay on target toward your goals.

Don’t forget, I have my Red, White and Blue Salmon Salad recipe I’ve created that’s in this month’s Memphis Health and Fitness Magazine you can have as a healthy salad on your menu with or without the salmon.

●Here are a few healthy alternatives to ribs, beef burgers, catfish, hot dogs, circle b smoked sausage, bratwurst, pork shoulder, beef brisket, pork chops and steaks, mayo based potato, slaw, and pasta salad, sugary baked beans with beef, and spaghetti with beef

●Grilled Fish and seafood: Mahi Mahi, trout flounder, salmon, snapper, and shrimp skewers. Fish or shrimp tacos with whole wheat tortillas

●May add your own seasoning or homemade BBQ rubs to the fish. Kosher or sea salt and not seasoned or iodized salt. Powders and not other salts or seasoning blends with added salt.

●Grilled poultry and meat: Sirloin, flank, tbone or Ribeye steak (trim the fat) lamb chops or ground lamb burgers, bison burgers, chicken breasts and wings, chicken and veggie kabobs, Mediterranean lamb and veggie kabobs, turkey burgers, grilled chicken sandwich, or smoke/grill a whole chicken.

●100% whole wheat hamburger buns,100 calorie sandwich thins, or lettuce used as wraps if making burgers or a chicken sandwich.

●May add your own seasonings, homemade marinades and BBQ rubs to the meat and poultry. Kosher or sea salt and not seasoned or iodized salt. Powders and not other salts or seasoning blends with added salt. No sweet baby ray’s, kraft, kc masterpiece, or hunts BBQ sauce. They’re full of sugar. Corky’s and Rendezvous BBQ sauce has less sugar than the other store brands. It’s best to make your own or don’t use any at all.

●Garnishes for your meats/tacos: homemade mango and peach pico de gallo, homemade tzatziki sauce with cucumber, dill weed, kosher salt, minced garlic, lemon juice, and fat free sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, chimichurri

●Grilled vegetables: squash, green beans, asparagus, balsamic marinated beefsteak tomatoes, carrots, zucchini, cabbage, balsamic marinated stuffed panko and mozzarella cheese portabella mushrooms, baby bella or white button mushrooms, onions, mexican street or sweet corn w/o butter, bell peppers, sweet potato slices, romaine lettuce

●Side dishes and salads: black bean, corn, tomato and avocado salad, guacamole, cucumber, tomato and onion salad, grilled watermelon and mint salad, fresh garden salad, sweet potato salad with a dijon mustard vinaigrette, baked beans (No pork n beans. choose any type of bean and rinse. Make your own bbq sauce with onions and peppers. Brown sugar and a little honey. Make it without any meat) 3 bean salad, whole wheat or gluten free Italian pasta salad with penne or spaghetti, citrus fruit salad, hummus and bell peppers or Multigrain/blue corn tortilla chips, strawberry and spinach salad with walnuts, feta cheese, red onions, and balsamic vinaigrette, whole wheat or gluten free spaghetti with ground turkey and homemade chunky vegetable marinara sauce, crispy cauliflower slaw, broccoli slaw, broccoli cheddar salad, kale, quinoa, dried cranberries and raw almond salad with a balsamic vinaigrette

●Desserts: Grilled peaches, mangoes, or apples, honey and plain or vanilla Greek yogurt, plain or vanilla Greek red, white and blue yogurt parfait with fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries) and raw honey, sugar free jello vanilla pudding with fresh or grilled fruit, stuffed strawberries with bananas mashed and mixed in plain Greek yogurt topped with raw slivered almonds, banana and natural peanut butter bites, grilled peaches, mango or apples with frozen yogurt