I have two birthdays to celebrate this weekend, Canada Day (July 1st) and Independence Day (July 4th). Now we all know that most birthdays are synonymous with cake, but these birthdays are normally served with a hearty helping of white buns, chips and loads of meat. Hopefully, we can look forward to barbecues and picnics over this long weekend. I’m the first to RSVP to any party, but how do we keep it together when the hamburgers and hot dogs are shouting, “Eat me, eat me,” over and over again from the barbecue grill?
It’s not going to be easy, but the past has taught me to prepare a healthy dish to bring with me. Then I can count on including nutrient dense vegetables over weekends like these. Focusing on my dish helps me to make better choices all round. So, I’ve put together a few ideas and recipes that are easy to prepare. Take these veggies, quinoa salad or egg salad sandwiches with you barbecues or picnics this weekend. They will help take the edge off of the less healthy celebratory alternatives.
- Set oven to 400°F or fire up the BBQ grill
- Rub asparagus in olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt
- Place on a baking sheet and cook in over for about 20 minutes or grill on BBQ (to desired softness)
- Add cracked pepper if desired
Roasted Vegetable, Goat Cheese and Quinoa Salad: Serves 6-8 — (You can substitute quinoa for any other grain of your choice)
- You can roast the following vegetables in the oven at 400°F or grill on the BBQ until desired tenderness.
- (If using the BBQ – cut the vegetables a little larger so they don’t fall through the grill).
- (If using oven, roast sweet potato for about 20-25 minutes and other veggies for about 15-20 minutes).
- Sweet potato (at least 2 large) – chopped into smaller pieces if using oven
- Broccoli florets (½ head or more)
- Red Peppers (2 peppers) – red chopped into medium pieces
- Asparagus (1 bunch) – chopped into medium pieces
- Toss all veggies in olive oil and place directly on grill or on baking sheet in the oven
- Prepare quinoa – (2 cups). Rinse well before cooking, 2 cups quinoa to 4 cups water, bring to a boil and then simmer 15-20 minutes.
- Mix all ingredients together.
- Add ¼ cup of sesame oil or olive oil.
- Add juice from one lemon.
- Add sea salt and cracked pepper to taste.
- Add pieces (clumps) of soft goat cheese (one “log”) and mix salad together again.
- Peel beets and cut into medium-sized pieces
- Boil, covered in water, on stove top until tender
- Drain and place beets to cool in bowl
- Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar mixed in a ratio of ½ and ½.
- Sprinkle with sea salt and cracked pepper
Egg Salad Sandwiches: Makes 4-5 sandwiches
- 8 hardboiled eggs (peeled and mashed)
- 2 stalks celery or 1 small zucchini (finely chopped)
- 2 sprigs of chives (finely chopped)
- 3 tbsp Vegenaise (or alternate mayo)
- ¼ – ½ tsp curry powder (to taste)
- Pinch cayenne, sea salt and pepper
- Mix all ingredients together and sandwich in whole grain bread with tomato slices and lettuce
Happy long weekend, Healthy Junkies!!!