16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes

Kicking off summer with a food-filled celebration? It’s easy to give in to tradition and indulge in calorie-laden barbecue favorites like cheeseburgers, heavy pasta salads or sugary desserts. But there are plenty of ways to lighten up your menu without sacrificing flavor. Whether you’re hosting your own feast or contributing to a potluck party, we’ve got a few ideas that will slim down the festivities while still making your tummy and taste buds happy. From lean shrimp skewers to a smarter sangria, check out these 16 tasty Memorial Day recipes. Fire up that grill, it’s about to be your healthiest summer yet!

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16 Healthy Memorial Day Recipes That Taste Totally Indulgent

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Vegetarian Black Bean Burger Recipe

1. Vegetarian Black Bean Burgers

No meat? No problem! These black bean patties are a tasty alternative to beef for your vegetarian (or flexitarian) guests. They’ve got only one gram of fat, but still pack 12 grams of protein apiece. Make sure to moisten your hands when creating the burgers so the mixture doesn’t become too sticky. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Roasted Asparagus Recipe

2. Roasted Asparagus

The quintessential spring vegetable, asparagus is an excellent source of fiber, folate and vitamins A, C and K. Use a spice-infused olive oil as a marinade, then roast your vegetables the oven with feta and pistachios for a decadent finish. Your dish will be ready for serving in 20 minutes. Photo and recipe: Emily Miller / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Tequila-Lime Shrimp Recipe

3. Tequila-Glazed Grilled Shrimp

Take your BBQ south of the border with some scrumptious shrimp. Orange juice, tequila, jalapeno and garlic combine for a magnificent marinade. Serve this dish as an appetizer or grill up some veggies with your shrimp for a refreshing dinner. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

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16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: White Sangria With Strawberries Recipe

4. White Sangria With Strawberries

This fruit-filled booze has just five grams of sugar per serving, which is way less than the average sweet cocktail. So raise a glass of homemade sangria instead! Your immune system will thank you for the healthy dose of vitamin C. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Chimichurri Steak Recipe

5. Steak with Chimichurri Sauce

Red meat can still be part of a healthy diet so long as you choose lean, high-quality cuts, and Memorial Day is the perfect time to grill up some steak! Plus, our tangy chimichurri sauce has extra arugula for extra phytochemicals. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Pork Lettuce Wraps Recipe

6. Pork Lettuce Wraps

A crisp lettuce crunch is a wonderful replacement if bread is a no-go. You’ll be a party superhero if you serve up umami-filled pork wraps with plum sauce and fresh limes. Bonus: Pork cooks quickly so you can whip these up easily if an impromptu get-together occurs. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Pasta Primavera with Pesto Recipe

7. Pasta Primavera with Pesto

Forget the mayo-laden pasta salads that are standard at summer parties. This gluten-free and vegan entrée lightens things up while also sneaking some veggies onto everyone’s plate. Make this the day before your fiesta and serve it up cold as a side dish. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Oven-Fried Chicken Recipe

8. Crispy Oven “Fried” Chicken

Love the texture of fried foods? This inventive recipe mimics the crunchy skin of regular fried chicken by swapping in a spicy crushed cornflake coating. You save yourself over 150 calories and 10 grams of fat per drumstick. Photo and recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Mini Fro-Yo Sandwiches Recipe

9. Chocolate Chip Fro-Yo Sandwiches

Do you scream for ice cream? These 52-calorie frozen yogurt sammies opt for fat-free frozen yogurt and low-fat wafer cookies, so go ahead and have three! Let them set in the freezer for at least 30 minutes before serving so they can harden properly. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

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16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Gazpacho Shrimp Salad Recipe

10. Gazpacho Shrimp Salad

Light and spicy, this bowl of greens mimics the flavors of the famous Spanish soup. But don’t be fooled: With 27 grams of protein, the dish will keep you full and satisfied for a day of summer revelry. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Matcha Cucumber Lemonade Recipe

11. Matcha-Cucumber Lemonade

Upgrade your poolside drink to a beverage with benefits. One cup of matcha packs as many antioxidants as 10 cups of regular tea, so we added the finely milled Japanese tea to this cucumber and lemonade concoction. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Mojito Popsicles Recipe

12. Mojito Popsicles

At only 30 calories a pop, these minty treats won’t derail your diet. Freeze up the mixture at least 12 hours before your shindig. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Beetroot and Quinoa Veggie Burgers Recipe

13. Beetroot and Quinoa Veggie Burgers

There isn’t any shame in enjoying a beef patty every now and then, but the average burger can run over 200 calories. These veggie burgers make a flavorful meat-free alternative. Quinoa packs plant-based protein and fiber, while beetroot provides vitamin C and other health-boosting antioxidants. Paprika and cumin add a nice, smoky taste to the patties, so you’ll get that real barbecue flavor.  Photo and recipe: Carmen Sturdy / Life by Daily Burn

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16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Grilled Cherry Goat Cheese Pizza Recipe

14. Grilled Cherry, Goat Cheese and Arugula Pizza

Cherries are a sign that summer’s on its way! These ruby gems add a subtle sweet flavor, and when grilled, their rich juices really shine through. Creamy goat cheese and peppery-flavored arugula balance out the textures and give a little kick. Add a drizzle of honey balsamic vinegar over the pizza, and you’ve got yourself a mouthwatering meal. Photo and recipe: Dannae Halliday / Recipe Runner

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Raspberry Mint Seltzer Spritzer Recipe

15. Raspberry Mint Seltzer Spritzer

At 100 calories a glass, this gorgeous spritzer is perfect for pairing with an al fresco meal. Muddling raspberries and mint with fresh lemon juice enhances the simplicity of hard sparkling water. Add a few rosé raspberry ice cubes to chill the cocktails, while adding more color and texture. Photo and recipe: Erin Fairchild / Her Heart and Soul

16 Secretly Healthy Memorial Day Recipes: Brie Sirloin Sliders Recipe

16. Brie Sirloin Sliders

Straight from The Ketogenic Bible, these tasty sliders are made with ground sirloin — a lean cut of beef — that’s seasoned with flavorful basil, garlic and onion powder. The creamy avocado spread and brie give you a dose of healthy, filling fats, so you won’t go binging on sugary foods.  Photo and recipe: Dr. Jacob Wilson and Ryan Lowery / The Ketogenic Bible

Originally published May 23, 2014. Updated May 2017. 

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