10 Recipes Perfect for Memorial Day

Memorial Day weekend is upon us, which means that we’re officially about to start moving into summer. For many people, the celebrations include BBQs, friends, family, and lots of food and drinks. If you re looking for some tasty – buy also healthy! – Memorial Day recipes, you’ve come to the right place!

This time of year is often one where diets and restrictions go out the window – but it doesn’t need to be. The truth is that today many people aren’t following “diets” simply to lose weight. Instead, they’re choosing eating styles based on foods that make them feel good. If you fit into this category, then “cheating” at a party doesn’t hold the same risky-business thrill that it used to. Instead, you just feel kind of crappy after. 

Whether you’re hosting a Memorial Day gathering or bringing a dish to a potluck with some friends, an excellent go-to strategy is to come prepared with at least one healthy option. Sure, you want to be able to kick back and enjoy yourself over the holiday, but you’ll never regret having a little extra veggie or bringing along an appetizer that doesn’t make you feel bloated and heavy. 

10 Modern Paleo Memorial Day Recipes for Appetizers and Side Dishes

#1 Prosciutto Wrapped Dates with Goat Cheese

With prosciutto and goat cheese, these wrapped dates are the perfect mix of protein and fat. Add to that the sweetness of the dates, and this recipe could second as a dessert. 

Double the recipe for a larger crowd, or cut it in half if it’s only going to be a couple of people. 

Ingredients:

  • 12 Medjool dates
  • 4 slices of prosciutto 
  • ¼ cup Goat’s cheese

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 375F.
  • Slice the dates on one side to open them up, and remove the stones and any hard stems.
  • Slice each piece of the prosciutto into 2 or 3 long strips. Fill the cavity of each date with around 1 tsp of cheese, then wrap around them with a strip of prosciutto.
  • Place the dates on a lined baking sheet and bake for around 15 minutes until the prosciutto starts to crisp slightly. Let cool slightly before serving. 

#2 Grass-Fed Meatballs with Marinara

One of the biggest downfalls of most BBQs is the quality of the meat. Expecting that your host will fire up 100% grass-fed organic meat for an entire party is likely too much to ask – but that doesn’t mean you can’t bring your own dish to cover your bases. 

Everyone loves meatballs, and these guys can be served as a main dish or sit perfectly alongside the rest of your meal. 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 1 large egg
  • 3 Tablespoons almond flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder 
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning blend
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh basil 
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil for frying
  • 24-32 oz marinara sauce 

Instructions:

  • Add the beef along with the egg, almond flour, and seasonings to a large mixing bowl. Mix well with your hands, careful not to overwork the meat.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, and once hot add the avocado oil. 
  • Begin rolling the mixture into meatballs about 1.5 inches in diameter, and place each one in the pan. Continue until the mixture is used up.
  • Once the bottoms are nicely browned after about 2-3 minutes, flip each meatball over to brown the other side, and carefully turn to brown on all sides.
  • Once browned, add the sauce to the skillet and bring to a boil. Cover and lower the heat to a simmer. Allow meatballs to simmer in the sauce until cooked through – about 5-8 minutes.

#3 Sweet Potato Salad

Add a bit more nutrients to the standard potato salad with one tasty swap out – sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are not only a bit higher in fiber, but they also come packed with vitamin A[1].

Ingredients:

  • 3 large Sweet potatoes (5 cups peeled and cubed)
  • 4 medium green onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs (diced)
  • ¼ cup Avocado 
  • ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Optional: walnuts and pumpkin seeds to garnish

Instructions:

  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil; once boiling, add the cubed potatoes and cook for about 7 minutes until tender. Drain and rinse with cool water, and drain again.
  • Mix together the avocado, mustard, vinegar, and paprika in a large bowl. Throw in the potatoes, green onions, and hard-boiled egg, and toss to coat. 
  • Add in salt and pepper to your taste.
  • Finish with parsley, walnuts, and pumpkin seeds (optional)
  • Chill until ready to serve. 

#4 Garlic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Surprisingly, brussels sprouts are really having their moment these days. In the past, brussels sprouts would have been escorted to the back of the line when it came to popular veggies, but today people are coming up with endless ways to turn these green veggies into a delicious dish. 

This makes it really easy to sneak dishes like garlic-roasted Brussels into a BBQ lineup.

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs brussels sprouts halved
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic minced finely
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Trim brussels sprouts, cutting off the bottom stem and then chop lengthwise. 
  • Add trimmed brussels sprouts to a bowl and toss with avocado oil, garlic, pepper, and salt. Toss halved brussels sprouts until evenly coated.
  • Lay brussels sprouts face down on a lined baking sheet.
  • Bake at 400 degrees F for 15 minutes, flip brussels sprouts and return to the oven for an additional 5-10 minutes until browned.

#5 Spicy Guacamole

While chips and salsa make a fun appetizer, add a little guacamole, and you’ve got yourself a meal. Guacamole is rich in healthy monounsaturated fats, which you can guiltlessly fill up on while you avoid options that would otherwise throw you off track, like potato chips and french fries. 

Serve this guacamole with veggies or paleo-friendly tortilla chips. I love the Siete brand. 

Ingredients:

  • ​​3 avocados
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 white onion (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup of cilantro
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  • ½ tsp ground cumin

Instructions:

  • Cut avocados in half, remove the pit and scrape them out into a bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork.
  • Chop onion and add it to the bowl.
  • Remove seeds from jalapeños and chop finely, adding to the bowl. 
  • Cut the tomato in half, parallel with the top, and remove the seeds. Dice your tomatoes and add them to your bowl
  • Press garlic and finely chop your cilantro and add them both to the bowl.
  • Add 1/2 tsp dry cumin powder, 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper, 1/2 tsp sea salt, and 32 Tbsp of lime juice.
  • Mix all the ingredients together, allowing for the avocado to remain somewhat chunky, and serve. 

#6 Seven-Layer Dip Paleo-Style

Kick your guacamole up a few notches with this flavorful seven-layer dip. Feel free to mix around the ingredients, subtracting anything you don’t like and adding anything you think would go well. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups guacamole 
  • 2 cups salsa or pico de gallo
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef 
  • 1 cup organic sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce 
  • 1 small can black olives (sliced)
  • 1/4 small white onion (minced)
  • handful fresh cilantro (minced)

Instructions:

In an 8X8 dish, layer the ingredients in the listed order.

#7 Dairy-Free Nacho Cheese Dip

This is one of the most versatile recipes on this list because you can enjoy it as-is or add it to other dishes (like the seven-layer dip above). I love this recipe because it’s dairy-free, so it works for almost everyone. The cashews make an excellent stand-in for the creaminess you would expect from cheese dips, and the spices blend together in the perfect way to bring out that nacho flavor. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups raw cashews (soaked for at least five hours)
  • 1 cup almond milk or water (add more 1 tablespoon at a time as needed
  • 3 small cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, or to taste
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon ground turmeric (optional for color)
  • ¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 (10 ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained well 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pickled jalapeños

Instructions:

  • Drain and rinse the cashews, then add to a high-speed blender along with all the other ingredients with the exception of the diced tomatoes and pickled jalapeños.
  • Blend on high until smooth and creamy, adding in more liquid (almond milk or water) 1 tablespoon at a time as needed, about 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the drained diced tomatoes, and jalapeños. 
  • Add extra spices to taste. 

#8 Pesto Green Beans

These green beans can be served warm or cold, making them an excellent dish to bring along if you’re headed out for your get-together. The deceivingly simple ingredients make it a cinch to pull together, but the flavor never disappoints. 

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces green beans washed and trimmed
  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons pesto sauce
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts 
  • 1 teaspoon avocado oil

Instructions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. 
  • In a large bowl, combine green beans with garlic, pesto, oil, and add salt and pepper to taste. Bake green beans in a glass casserole dish in a single layer for 12-15 minutes. 
  • Heat the pan over medium heat and add pine nuts. Cook for a few minutes until the almonds are lightly browned. Sprinkle over green beans and serve.

#9 Cauliflower Buffalo Wings

These cauliflower buffalo “wings” are always a hit. They come packed with a ton of flavor and are a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. If you’re heading to a big gathering, double the recipe – they’ll go quick. 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ¼ tsp paprika
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • ½ cup Buffalo sauce
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter 

Instructions: 

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Combine the dry ingredients (almond flour, garlic powder, paprika, and sea salt) in a mixing bowl and then place them in a large ziplock bag.
  • Whisk the egg in a large bowl and add the cauliflower, and stir to coat. Next, add the cauliflower to the bag with the almond mixture in it and shake to coat the cauliflower.
  • Once well-coated, arrange the cauliflower in a single layer on a baking sheet and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes, until browned and tender.
  • Meanwhile, heat together the butter and buffalo sauce in a small pot on the stove over medium-low heat.  
  • When the cauliflower is done, transfer it to a serving bowl. Evenly pour the buttery sauce mixture over it, and gently toss to coat. 

#10 Curry Deviled Eggs

Eggs are known as the “perfect protein” due to their amino acid profile, which also means that they’re incredibly satiating. You can stick with the curry spices, mix it up with Italian seasonings, or whatever else strikes your fancy – you really can’t go wrong.  

Ingredients:

  • 6 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • ½ teaspoon curry powder

Instructions: 

  • Hard boil the eggs by placing them in a single layer in a saucepan. Add water so that it just covers the eggs, bring to a boil; cover, remove from heat and let stand for 15 minutes.
  • Run under cold water, and then peel away the hard shell.
  • Slice eggs in half lengthwise, and carefully remove yolks. Mash yolks with mayonnaise, mustard, salt, pepper, and curry powder. Spoon yolk mixture into egg whites, and serve. 

Takeaway

Enjoying the holiday weekend doesn’t have to end in regret or feeling lousy when you get back into your week. Of course, give yourself a break and let go a bit – life is all about moderation. However, “moderation” can easily turn into a slippery slope when there is delicious food and alcohol around, which is why it’s always smart to have a plan.

What I love about these recipes is that despite the fact that they’re all modern paleo and gluten-free, they’re also delicious and are sure to be a hit. 

Along with showing up prepared with your appetizer or side, it’s also a good idea to set yourself a limit on the number of drinks you consume and bring mindfulness to whatever you decide to eat. This way, even if you are going a little rogue, you’ll get the maximum enjoyment out of every bite. 

Click Here for References+

  1. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168482/nutrients

in Articles/Diet/Modern Paleo/Recipes

Wendy Myers, FDN-P, is a detox expert, functional diagnostic nutritionist, NES Bioenergetic Practitioner, and founder of Myersdetox.com. She is the #1 bestselling author of Limitless Energy: How to Detox Toxic Metals to End Exhaustion and Chronic Fatigue . Additionally, Wendy is the host of The Heavy Metals Summit, the Myers Detox Podcast, and the Supercharged Podcast. Passionate about the importance of detox to live a long and healthy life, she created the revolutionary Myers Detox Protocol , and Mitochondria Detox kit after working with thousands of clients, as well as a range of supplements to help you detox from everyday living and maintain a healthy lifestyle!