Memorial Day is the perfect time to bust out your grilling skills and kick-off summer. But with outdoor barbeques, beer, and high humidity comes delectable plates that aren't always crop-top friendly. Here are four healthy recipes that take a lighter twist on some outdoor dining classics, because burgers CAN be friends with bikinis.
Buttered Corn on the Cobb
Butter, corn, they are both equally delicious. If you want the same punch of flavor, use bright spices like paprika, chili powder, and lime to make for a delicious substitute.
Typically (1 ear) : 155 calories
The Hack: Blackened Chili Lime Corn, 65 calories
Recipe serves 6
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of chili powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
6 ears of corn
6 lime wedges
In a small mixing bowl, combine your paprika, chili powder, and salt setting it aside.
Remove husks from corn and once clean grill until blackened. If you do not have a grill, you can easily grill and blacken your corn on a gas stovetop.
Once fully cooked, rub each ear of corn with the wedge of lime. Sprinkle about a third of a teaspoon onto each ear of corn and rub again with the wedge of lime to distribute the spices.
Substitute some of the chicken wings you will inevitably scarf down with their healthier cousin, BBQ Shrimp.
Typically: 325 calories
The Hack: BBQ Shrimp, 75 calories
Recipe serves six (20 jumbo shrimp)
1/2 cup Franks hot sauce
1/4 cup white vinegar
4 tablespoon of paprika
2 tablespoon of freshly crushed garlic
1 tablespoon of chili powder
Mix dry and wet ingredients together in a large bowl. After cleaning your shrimp, marinate them for at least an hour in your BBQ sauce mixture.
One fully marinated, heat a skillet on medium heat with a light coating of olive oil in a large non-stick surface. Sear your shrimp on both sides (total time approximately 3 minutes), or until they curl into a c shape.
Fun fact? Straight shrimp are undercooked; shrimp that curl into an "o" are overcooked. You want that happy medium of a "c" shape.
Serve with cilantro and you're done.
While the calorie difference in this recipe isn't massive, sweet potatoes are just as hearty, have fewer calories, curb sugar cravings, and have less carbohydrates. They're the kale of the spuds world.
Typically: 211 calories
The Hack: Sweet Potato Pesto Salad 156 calories
Recipe serves 6
6 large sweet potatoes
1 cup of packed, chopped basil
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
3 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
Handful of raw almonds (approximately 30)
1 clove of garlic
1 teaspoon of salt
Start by pre-heating your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. While waiting, peel and cube your sweet potatoes into 1-inch cubes placing them on a cookie sheet. To evenly cook your sweet potato, make sure they are not piled on top of each other. If needed, use two trays. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until soft and browning on the edges.
While your sweet potato is cooking, you can start making your pesto, while you can most certainly buy some fantastic brands, almond pesto that's made from scratch will make you a Martha Stewart-Goop-entertaining goddess.
With a food processor or blender, dump your olive oil and basil and begin pulsing the mixture. Add lemon juice, raw almonds, and garlic and after pulsing this together mix in your grated Parmesan. Pulse once more and add salt to taste.
Once your sweet potatoes are fully cooked, just toss with your pesto, garnish with some basil leaves, and you're done.
Beef Burger Sliders
A particular win for your vegetarian self, replace beef patties with Portobello mushrooms and a Sriracha slaw.
Typically: 600 calories (3 sliders)
The Hack: Portobello Mushroom Sliders 360 calories (3 sliders)
Recipe serves 6 sliders
6 Portobello mushroom caps
2 tablespoons of Sriracha
3/4 tablespoon of mayonnaise
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 teaspoon of crushed garlic
1 cup of shredded kale
1/2 cup of shredded carrot
1/2 cup of shredded granny smith apples
6 mini hamburger buns
Heat up your grill or skillet and pan sear your Portobello mushroom caps until soft turning every two minutes (approximately 8 minutes on medium heat).
While these are cooking, in a mixing bowl, add your Sriracha, mayonnaise, lemon juice and crushed garlic mixing together well. Shred kale, carrot, and granny smith apples and place in your mixing bowl stirring the ingredients together until everything is fully coated.
Once your Portobello caps are done, spoon your slaw onto the bottom of the bun topping with the mushroom cap and the top of the bun.