Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday in May. It’s a special day because it invites us to pause and commemorate all of the servicemen and servicewomen who have died in the U.S. military.
Memorial Day weekend is also the unofficial kick-off for Summer. For many of us, it’s a weekend to celebrate the warmer weather and longer days by connecting with family and friends at picnics, parties, and cookouts.
If you’re attending or hosting a Memorial Day gathering next weekend and aren’t quite sure what to make, check out these healthy and delicious recipes. I love these recipes because you can make them ahead of time and you can serve them cold or at room-temperature – no heating required!
Here are two healthy make-ahead recipes for your Memorial Day party.
Picnic Noodle Salad
½ pound macaroni noodles
⅓ cup “Ranch” Dressing (recipe below)
1 medium cucumber, chopped
¾ cup cherry tomatoes, sliced
¾ cup shredded carrots
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 cups chopped baby spinach
1 15-ounce BPA-free can white beans, drained and rinsed
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
Omnivore Option: 8 slices nitrate-free deli ham, chopped
Optional additions: black olives, broccoli, shredded cheese, corn
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain then rinse in cold water until fully cooled. Add cooked pasta and all remaining ingredients to a large mixing bowl. Mix well and serve topped with ham if desired.
Makes about 1 cup
¼ cup tahini
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 scallion, minced
1 tsp dried dill
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp honey OR maple syrup
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
water to thin, if desired
Whisk all the ingredients well in a small mixing bowl. Add about ¼ cup of water to make the dressing thinner, if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
Cream Cheese Veggie Rolls
2 large collard green leaves, tough ends removed
½ cup organic cream cheese OR vegan cream cheese
½ cup black bean dip
1 cup shredded carrot-cabbage blend
1 large tomato, sliced
1 cup sprouts
½ cup salsa
Omnivore Option: 4 slices nitrate-free deli roast beef
Lay the collard leaves onto a flat surface. Spread the cream cheese and bean dip over the leaves. Divide remaining ingredients (except salsa) between the leaves. Top with sliced roast beef, if desired. Roll like a burrito, then slice into rounds. Serve with salsa for dipping.
Here’s another recipe for Mediterranean Broccoli Salad that would be a nice addition to your picnic table that’s loaded with healthy, wholesome ingredients.