Written by Jenn Pike, RHN
Who doesn’t live for long weekends in the summer? It’s the perfect time to get together with friends and family, soak up some sunshine and get your grill on. As a nutritionist, I am always looking for healthy barbeque recipes, both for serving at my own backyard parties and for bringing to other people’s homes as well. If you’re a fit foodie that loves to join in the fun but is mindful of her healthy lifestyle, you’ve no doubt done the same. So to help you out, I’ve put together this delicious and completely clean menu (cocktail included) so that you can enjoy social events all summer without having to stress about staying on track.
First, I’ve chosen sweet potato burgers made with American sweet potatoes. I love working with sweet potatoes for two main reasons: one, to satisfy my plant-based peeps and two, I have a serious love for them! Did you know they are rich in B6, vitamin C, iron, magnesium, potassium and carotenoids? They are the perfect base for a hearty, great-tasting, grill-friendly meat alternative.
Not to worry, I didn’t forget about our meat-eating friends. The Turkey Feta Burger I’ve included as the second main is a fan favorite around my house and with guests, and is possibly the easiest burger you will ever make.
For sides, I absolutely love fresh guacamole with a colorful vegetable platter and a big, seasonal salad. Guacamole is a delicious way to get a dose of good fats, which will satiate you much better than a creamy, processed dip (as a bonus, the guacamole can also be used as a burger topping instead of mayo or ketchup). For a salad, you have to try my rainbow crunch salad with ginger date dressing—it’s a crowd favorite!
Of course, no summer gathering is complete without a drink or two. Being the health-conscious girl that I am, I created this hydrating cocktail with coconut water (my go-to brand is Thirsty Buddha) as the base, as opposed to anything artificially sweetened. My Lovely Lavender Lemon Cocktail is the perfect refresher, with or without alcohol.
The key to creating the perfect menu for your backyard gathering is to choose foods that are colorful, nutrient dense, and filling. That way you can kick back and relax, without worrying about derailing your healthy diet. Bon appetite!