Healthy Memorial Day Weekend Menu

This Memorial Day Weekend we will honor those who have fought and sacrificed for our country.  It is a weekend that is traditionally spent with family and friends and what Memorial Day Weekend would be complete without food and festivities?  If you are looking for healthy, summer recipes, here are a few suggestions from The Center for Diabetes Management at Hillcrest Medical Center.

Start the day off right with a Blueberry-Banana Smoothie, low on calories and big on taste.  For lunch, change up the hamburger and hot dog routine with these simple and portable options for a day on the lake or picnic in the park: Red Pepper Hummus, Honey Mustard Salmon Salad, Avocado Hummus, and Creamy Chicken Salad.  Invite everyone over for an outdoor party with Teriyaki Turkey Burgers, Grilled Chicken and Fresh Herbs, and Chinese Coleslaw.  Top off your Memorial Day Weekend menu with a few tasty treats of summer: Fluffy Key Lime Pie and Carrot Walnut Cookies.

Recipes follow.


Blueberry-Banana Smoothie

Serves 2

1 fresh or frozen banana, peeled and cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
6 ounces plain, or vanilla, nonfat yogurt
3/4 cup unsweetened soymilk, ricemilk or almondmilk (more or less to taste)
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
1 teaspoon agave nectar, or honey, to taste
1/2 cup ice cubes (optional)

Put all ingredients into a blender and purée until smooth. Pour into glasses and serve.

Recipe from Whole Foods Market.


Red Pepper Hummus

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained
1 cup sautéed red peppers
1/4 cup tahini (sesame paste)
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and ground black pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves

Rinse and drain 1 can of the chickpeas. Place drained chickpeas in a blender and add red peppers, tahini, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin. Process until smooth. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with parsley.

Serve hummus with toasted pita chips or raw vegetables.


Honey Mustard Salmon Salad

Rich salmon, slightly sweet honey mustard and crunchy vegetables make this fresh take more flavorful than tuna salad. Kids and adults alike will enjoy it on whole wheat crackers, multigrain sandwich bread or lettuce leaves.

2 TB Honey Mustard
2 tablespoons plain nonfat yogurt
1 (6-oz) can Salmon, drained
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 rib celery, thinly sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion

In a large bowl, whisk together honey mustard and yogurt. Add salmon, pepper, celery and red onion and stir gently until combined.

Recipe from Whole Foods Market.

Avocado Hummus

2 avocados
½ jalapeno pepper
7 oz. tub of regular hummus
Pinch of salt
Lemon juice

Puree 2 avocados and 1/2 jalapeno pepper in a food processor. Stir in a 7-ounce tub of hummus, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve with celery sticks or vegetable of choice.

Recipe from Food Network.


Chinese Coleslaw

1 lb. shredded coleslaw
1 pkg. Ramen Beef Noodles
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
½ cup slivered or sliced almonds
½ cup sunflower seeds
½ cup salad oil
¼ cup vinegar
¼ cup sugar substitute
Salt and Pepper to taste

Mix the coleslaw, onions, almonds, and sunflower seeds in large bowl. Mix salad oil, vinegar, sugar substitute, and ½ packet of dry seasoning mix from Ramen Noodles in small mixing bowl. Crush noodles and add to the slaw. Mix slaw mixture with dressing right before serving. Serve chilled.


Grilled Chicken with Fresh Herbs

This same method works well with bite-size chunks of boneless, skinless chicken threaded onto skewers for grilling; simply brush the kabobs with the lemon juice mixture after grilling.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 ½ tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
½ teaspoon fine sea salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano or marjoram
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1 tablespoon finely chopped thyme

Preheat a grill to medium heat. Put chicken into a large bowl, add oil, salt and pepper and toss to coat. Arrange chicken on grill grates and cook, turning occasionally, until deep golden brown and cooked through, 20 to 25 minutes.

While still hot, toss chicken in a large bowl with lemon juice, mustard, chives, oregano, rosemary and thyme. Transfer to a platter and serve.

Recipe from Whole Foods Market.


Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

1 pound lean ground turkey
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 egg (can substitute 2 egg whites)
1 cup bread crumbs
Pinch Kosher salt
1/2 cup chucky teriyaki sauce (see recipe below)
4 slices pineapple
Green leaf lettuce
4 whole wheat hamburger buns

Preheat the grill to medium heat. In a mixing bowl, gently combine the ground turkey, ginger, egg, bread crumbs, and a pinch of salt. Once the ingredients are combined (don’t over mix!), shape into 4 patties.

Cook the burgers and the pineapple slices on the grill. The burgers will need to cook for about 5 minutes on each side. In the last few minutes of cooking, baste the burgers on both sides with the teriyaki sauce. Cook the pineapple for the same amount of time, flipping to cook on both sides.

Chunky Teriyaki Sauce

8 ounce can of crushed pineapple in juice
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon fresh ginger, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup mirin
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 teaspoon corn starch

Combine the pineapple, brown sugar, ginger, and garlic in a small saucepan.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the mirin, soy sauce, and corn starch to remove any lumps.  Add to the pineapple mixture in the sauce pan.  Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer until the sauce is thick.

Creamy Chicken Salad with Yogurt and Apples

Serves 4 to 6

Prepare this salad ahead of time and serve chilled, if you like. Spoon into avocado halves and serve with whole wheat crackers for a refreshing lunch or dinner.

1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
2 tablespoons nonfat milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound cooked skinless, boneless chicken breast, chopped
3/4 cup finely chopped celery
2 green onions, thinly sliced
1 granny smith apple, cored, peeled and chopped

Put cottage cheese, lemon juice, mustard, honey, yogurt, milk, salt and pepper into the blender and purée until smooth; set aside.

Put chicken, celery, onions and apples into a large bowl. Pour over cottage cheese mixture and stir gently to coat. Serve immediately or cover and chill until ready to serve.

Recipe from Whole Foods Market


Carrot-Walnut Cookies

Makes about 24

1 cup raw unsalted walnuts
1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup raisins
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 carrots, grated
1 apple, grated
1 very ripe banana, peeled and mashed
1/4 cup apple juice

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Combine walnuts, oats and raisins in a food processor and pulse until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon and ginger. Add carrots, apples, banana and apple juice and stir until combined. Drop by rounded tablespoons an inch apart on the prepared baking sheets, making about 24 cookies. Press down on each cookie with the back of a fork to flatten them slightly. Bake until tops and bottoms are lightly browned, 20 to 25 minutes.


Fluffy Key Lime Pie

Serves 8

1 package (0.3 oz) sugar-free lime gelatin
¼ cup boiling water
2 cartons (6 oz each) key lime yogurt
1 carton (8 oz) frozen fat-free whipped topping, thawed
1 reduced-fat graham crackers crust (8 in)

In a large bowl, dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Whisk in yogurt. Fold in whipped topping. Pour into crust. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or until set.