Healthy Memorial Day Recipes

Memorial Day is a day to honor our fallen soldiers and also unofficially marks the beginning of summer. That means it’s time for barbeques and potlucks! Whether you’ll be traveling for the weekend (I’ll be on the road to Nashville as you read this!) or enjoying a stay-cation near home, it’s a given that food will be involved. Here are some healthy Memorial Day recipes that are both easy to make and delicious!

Three Bean Salad
Beans, beans the magical fruit… Beans offer a great source of nutrients and fiber. This salad is great made the night before to save you time before the potluck.

3 tablespoons cider vinegar
3 tablespoons rice vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 15-ounce can black-eyed peas, or chickpeas, rinsed
1 10-ounce package frozen baby lima beans, or shelled edamame
1 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1. Put a large saucepan of water on to boil. Fill a large bowl half full with cold water.
2. Whisk cider vinegar, rice vinegar, sugar, mustard, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl until blended. Add onion and black-eyed peas (or chickpeas); toss to coat.
3. Cook lima beans (or edamame) in the boiling water until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and refresh in the cold water. Pat dry and add to the bowl.
4. Cook green beans in the boiling water until just tender, 3 to 6 minutes. Drain and refresh in the cold water. Pat dry and add to the salad along with parsley; toss well.

*Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 2. Cook lima beans and green beans (see Steps 3-4 for timing) and refrigerate separately for up to 8 hours. Toss the salad components together just before serving.
Santa Fe Quinoa Salad

My sister-in-law gave me this recipe and I’ve made it so many times. I’ve also had friends and family tell me it was a hit at the cookouts they’ve been to this year. I’ve always served it cold but it can be warmed if you’d like.

1 ½ cups water
½ cup picante salsa (I used hot & skipped the jalapeño)
1 cup quinoa
½ teaspoon cumin
15oz can black beans, rinsed & drained (look for “no salt added” on the label)
1 ½ cups fresh, frozen, or canned corn, cooked, drained & cooled
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
4 scallions (white & green parts), thinly sliced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1. In a medium sauce pan over high heat, combine the water, picante salsa, quinoa, cumin, and black pepper to taste
2. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium, cover, and cook until the liquid is absorbed, 15-20 minutes.
3. Remove from the heat and let stand 5 minutes. Uncover and toss with a fork. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool slightly. Add remaining ingredients to the quinoa, tossing well to combine. Garnish with cilantro.
4. Serve slightly warm or let cool to room temperature. Alternatively, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days and serve chilled.

Mango Salsa
This refreshing salsa takes 5 minutes to throw together and can be serve with chips, on grilled chicken, or on a salad. Add some black beans for extra bulk.

1 mango, peeled and diced
1/2 cup peeled, diced cucumber
1 tablespoon finely chopped jalapeno
1/3 cup diced red onion
1 tablespoon lime juice
1/3 cup roughly chopped cilantro leaves
Salt and pepper

Combine the mango, cucumber, jalapeno, red onion, lime juice and cilantro leaves and mix well. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

If you don’t know how to cut a mango, I use the second method in this video:

What are your favorite healthy dishes to bring to a cookout?

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Author: budgetforhealth

Jessica is a Registered Dietitian and shares practical, useful tips on food, fitness and finance. Be sure to subscribe to her blog, Budget for Health!

2 thoughts on “Healthy Memorial Day Recipes”

  1. Mmmmm! I am TOTALLY going to try the 3-bean salad with frozen edamame (which I’d been searching for in the grocery stores for ages and finally found!), and the mango salsa looks amazing, too!

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