Slim Down Your Memorial Day Weekend BBQ!

Memorial Day Weekend kicks off the unofficial start of summer, although the food offered at many barbecues isn’t exactly light summer fare. My blue cheese burger with caramelized onions and baked sweet potato fries will give you that summertime barbecue feeling (and fullness)  – without all of the calories and fat!

Blue Cheese Burger With Caramelized Onions 

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Ingredients (serves 4):

16 oz ground sirloin (look for lean or extra lean)

1 large egg, scrambled

2 medium onions, chopped

4 oz blue cheese crumbles

4 whole wheat rolls

1 Tbsp oil (canola or olive oil work well)

Directions:

1. Warm up a grill, griddle or a pan (I like these best on the grill).

2. Combine egg, ground beef and a small handful of blue cheese crumbles (should be about 1/4 of the blue cheese). Form four patties with your hands and set aside.

3. Warm oil in pan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté until browned, stirring occasionally.

4. Place burger patties on grill and cook until cooked through (about 4-5 minutes on each side for medium doneness, although grill time may vary).

5. Add rolls to grill for 1 minute. Remove rolls and place one patty on each roll, along with blue cheese and onions. Enjoy!

The Goods: What’s Inside

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving (1 burger):

Calories 438 calories, Total Fat 21 g, Saturated Fat 9 g, Carbohydrates 26 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 37 g, Sodium 616 mg, Calcium 200 mg

Baked Cinnamon Sweet Potato Fries

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Ingredients (serves 4):

3 medium (~5″ long) sweet potatoes

2 Tbsp oil (canola oil works well)

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

3/4 tsp cinnamon

Dash salt

Nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Spray casserole dish with nonstick vegetable oil cooking spray.

3. Slice each sweet potato in half, lengthwise, then cut into fry-shaped strips

4. Transfer fries to casserole dish, toss with oil and spices and bake in oven for about 50 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Once fries are softened, broil for about 2-3 minutes, until browned. Serve and enjoy!

the Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 136 calories, Total Fat 7 g, Saturated Fat 1 g, Carbohydrates 18 g, Fiber 3 g, Protein 2 g, Sodium 69 mg, Calcium 37 mg

Grill Up A Summer Steak Salad!

Steak Salad with Roasted Broccoli and Pine Nuts

Sorry I haven’t written in awhile. My computer was out of commission but now it’s working and I have a ton of amazing recipes and food and fitness tips to share with you – starting with this amazing summer steak salad. During the summer, I like to lighten things up – but that doesn’t mean I want to eat plain lettuce for dinner. This salad has all the taste of summer – grilled steak, fresh veggies, roasted broccoli, pine nuts and a citrus-y vinaigrette – for a satisfying way to eat your veggies and use your grill! Perfect for a warm summer night, this steak dish puts veggies center stage and offers up nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin C, vitamin K, and beta-carotene.

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Ingredients (serves 2):

Salad:

8 oz lean cut of steak of your choice (I like New York Strip and I prefer to trim the fat around the edges once it’s cooked)

*Note: This salad is also an amazing use of leftover steak if you happen to have any from a previous barbeque!

4 C chopped romaine lettuce

1/2 C cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 C cucumber, sliced

2 crowns (fresh) broccoli (about 2 C broccoli flowerets)

1/8 C pine nuts, raw, unsalted

3 Tbsp olive or canola oil

dash salt

dash ground black pepper

Dressing: (*Note: Dressing serves 8. Serving size is 2 Tbsp. Store the remaining dressing in the refrigerator for later use.)

1/4 C lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best)

1/4 C extra virgin olive oil

1 Tbsp plus 1 tsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp salt

dash ground black pepper

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Roasted broccoli – good on its own or in a salad!

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash broccoli, pat dry and chop crowns into small pieces. Spread on baking sheet. Drizzle 1 Tbsp oil over broccoli and toss with a spoon to coat evenly.

2.Turn on grill to medium heat. Prepare steak with 2 Tbsp oil and salt and pepper. Transfer to grill. Cook steak as desired.

*Note: All grills cook differently, but I typically cook steak for about 5-7 minutes on each side in order to achieve medium doneness. Let steak sit covered (i.e.: do not cut into it) for about 5 minutes once you remove the steak from the grill, as the steak will continue to cook due to residual heat. The steak should reach an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Place broccoli in oven. Roast for approximately 7-10 minutes, until broccoli is slightly browned. You may need to mix broccoli occasionally to prevent sticking.

4. While broccoli is roasting, heat pine nuts (dry) in small skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Cook until browned, approximately 5-10 minutes.

5. Quarter each cucumber slice. Divide lettuce, tomatoes and cucumber among two plates.

6. Slice steak in half. Divide each half into slices and place on top of lettuce. Add roasted broccoli and pine nuts.

7. Drizzle with a lemon vinaigrette of your choice (or make your own from the recipe below – super easy and healthy!). Enjoy!

To Make The Lemon Dijon Salad Dressing: 

Now just pour into a container and store in the fridge!

Now just pour into a container and store in the fridge!

1. Add each ingredient into a large bowl or salad dressing container.

2. Whisk or shake well until all ingredients are well-combined.

3. Chill in refrigerator until cold (approximately 30 minutes or more). Shake well before using and store in refrigerator.

The Goods: What’s Inside?

Nutritional Analysis Per Serving:

Calories 497 calories, Total Fat 35 g, Saturated Fat 7 g, Cholesterol 58 mg, Carbohydrates 11 g, Fiber 4 g, Protein 38 g, Sodium 251 mg, Calcium 96 mg

*One serving is half of the salad ingredients listed above with 2 Tbsp of the lemon dijon dressing. This will vary based on dressing used (if substituted) and different steak cuts.