Memorial Day Weekend Barbecue and Picnic Foods

I’ve put togteher a list of recipes from my site and the sites of other awesome food bloggers to enjoy over Memorial Day weekend. Some are a little indulgent, but most are flavorful and healthy. You’ll find salads, main dishes, drinks and desserts. Just click on the image and it will take you directly to the recipe. Enjoy and have a fun safe holiday weekend!

xoxo

Fifi

 Cucumber Melon MedleyIMG_3447 Faux Ahi Poke Salad (Vegan)DSC_4958  Mediterranean Potato SaladIMG_0014
 Baked Garlic Buffalo WingsBaked-Garlic-Buffalo-Chicken-Wings10  Grilled ShrimpGT0102_shrimp-two-ways_s4x3_lg  BBQ CornGrilledCornCob_lg
 Mint Berry Sparklermint berry yt thumb  Grapefruit MojitoOriginal_Mocktails-Virgin-Grapefruit-Mojito_s4x3_lg  Sparkling Lemonade6507668623_6061393116_z
 Fruit Kebabslainey2  Spicy Red Velvet CupcakesIMG_0015 Peach-and-Toasted Pecan Ice Creampeach

Butternut Squash & Sweet Potato Roast

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You will need:

  • 2 cups of butternut squash peeled and cubed
  • 2 cups of sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • Sea salt
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Add cubes to a large mixing bowl and zest half the peel of one lemon. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of olive oil or until all veggies are evenly coated. Add a few shakes of cayenne pepper, depending on desired spiciness. Add sea salt to taste ( I added 1 tsp).
  3. Spread out on a baking sheet and bake for 30 to 45 minutes until veggies are tender and slightly crisp.Enjoy!

Don’t forget to use #divinehostess on instagram when you use my tips and recipes!

Faux Ahi Poke Salad (Vegan)

faux ahi salad with grapefruit

It has taken some time, but I am  finally to the point where I miss seafood at times. Although nothing will be changing in the near future about my diet, I have gotten creative. For many reasons people are unable to to eat ahi salad, whether it be a fear or uncooked  meat, or a seafood allergy.  I made this recipe as a refreshing snack, but also it’s fun that it is reminiscent of the decadent salad I once enjoyed.

*Makes 2 servings

  • 1 well-peeled (supremed) grapefruit, cubed

Salad Dressing:

  • 1 tsp white miso paste
  • 1 tsp minced ginger
  • 1 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sesame oil
  • Red pepper flakes to taste, depending on spice tolerance
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1/2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp agave nectar

Topping

  • 2 tbsp chopped seaweed (nori)
  • 1 to 2 tsp sesame seeds
  • Crispy dried jalapenos (optional)
 Whisk together dressing, but do not top until ready to serve. It is not as good if it sits for more than 30 minutes or so, I find.Top with seaweed and sesame seeds and serve.

 Don’t forget to use #divinehostess on Twitter and Instagram when you try my recipes!

xo

Fifi

Quinoa Lentil Pilaf | Thanksgiving Side Dishes

by Sasha

http://www.sashamaggio.com

Sasha was gracious enough to share one of her delicious recipes and I think this is a fantastic dish for Thanksgiving. Vegetarians and vegans are often looking for main and side dishes that can go along with a traditional holiday meal, while non-vegetarians are often looking for a new dish that is a little out of the box. I love this dish because many of the side dishes on holidays are vegetarian, but not vegan. This dish is also a great source of fiber and protein!

1 TBSP olive or grapeseed oil
1 sweet onion, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled & diced
2 large celery stalks, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 TBSP parsley (dry) or 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2-1 tsp turmeric
1 cup tricolor quinoa
2 cups of lentils cooked, drained
2 cups water
1 TBSP bouillon
2 pkt True Lemon or 2 tsp lemon zest

Sauté onion, celery, carrot in oil. Cook 10 minutes or till tender. Add rinsed quinoa, drained lentils, and the bell pepper. Add all seasoning and stir. Add water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cover for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat and let sit 5-10 minutes before serving.

Cucumber Melon Medley

I have always found the combination of cucumber and melon to be a nice clean scent. I was curious about how they might taste together. Both cucumbers and melons are so refreshing on a hot day– lots of flavor from the melon, and a nice light flavor from the cucumber. Desiring to keep this recipe simple, I used few ingredients. This medley is in a category of it’s own for it’s combination of sweet, salty and tart flavors. I hope you and enjoy it as much as I did!

  • 4 cups of melon, cut into 1 to 1.5″ cubes
  • 2 cups of cucumber, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 cup plain feta crumbled
  • 1/4 fresh mint leaves
  • Grapeseed oil
  • Sea salt (himalayan)
  • Lemon
 Combine melon, cucumber, mint (roughly chopped) and feta tossing well. Mix in 1 to 2 tablespoons of grapeseed oil, and the juice of 1/2 lemon. Mix in 1/2 tablespoon of sea salt. Refrigerate and serve chilled. Garnish with additional mint leaves.
 

Sweet Potato Steak Fries

I have a confession to make: french fries are definitely a weakness of mine! Most of the time I just steer clear altogether, but I get really excited when I get the chance to eat them. Fries are unhealthy because of the high amount of oil they are cooked in, and the sodium. Also, white potatoes  aren’t as packed with nutrients as say, a sweet potato. One cup of cubed sweet potatoes has 377% the daily intake of Vitamin A, 448 mg potassium, and 4 grams of fiber. As the rule goes, the more vibrant the color, the higher the nutrients. I decided to use a sweet potato to beat my craving, and get a healthy dose of nutrients to boot!  My sweet potato steak fries are super fast and easy to make. They are great with a wrap, topped with chili, or with a burger. Below you will see that the measures for this recipe are given for an individual serving. Increase as needed.

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

 Ingredients

  • 1/2 to 1 sweet potato per person, depending on size
  • 1 tsp Curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1 TBSP 21 seasoning salute
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 tsp grapeseed oil

 

 Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel sweet potatoes. Cut them in half lengthwise, and then into large 1″ wedges.  In a large mixing bowl, toss wedges with 2 tsp oil per potato. Add curry powder, ground cumin, 21 seasoning salute, and coarse sea salt and make sure all wedges are coated evenly. Spread wedges out on a baking sheet. Bake for about 20 minutes, turning over wedges halfway through baking time.

 

*Baking time may vary depending on oven.

 

Quinoa & Seafood Greek Salad

We just celebrated my gram’s 76th birthday. It was so fun! It’s easy to go all out for someone who has spared nothing to help others accomplish their dreams. She means a lot to me, and everyone she meets has felt her generosity and beautiful spirit. This year the celebration was a late lunch. We filled the house and patio with festive hues of pink (her favorite color) and filled the tables with snacks, sweets and hearty foods. Mommie asked me to make a cool salad to go along with the array of veggies, meats and breads. She specifically asked me to make a pasta salad, but I like to color outside the lines. I knew that sautéed veggies and baked chicken would go well with a Mediterranean inspired salad, so I had that in mind with a new twist. Although quinoa has it’s roots in South America, the salad’s deliciousness was kicked up a notch with this healthful ancient grain. This dish will be a hit with many guests because it is refreshing, yet filling. It has seafood in every bite, and the quinoa is nutritious and gluten-free. I’ve designed this dish to feed 30 guests. You may make portions smaller or larger according to your needs. It can also stand alone as a one-dish meal.
Ingredients

  • Any salt-free seasoning blend (Mrs. Dash, 21 seasoning, etc)
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 large English cucumbers, washed, halved and seeded
  • 1 cup of pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1 Lemon
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Dry oregano
  • ½ cup crumbled feta (I used herb feta)
  • 1 cup fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 package of quinoa (11 servings. I used a tricolor quinoa for an extra dimension of color)
  • ½ large red onion, minced
  • Sea salt
  • 1 lb of medium shrimp
  • 1lb bag of mixed seafood (such as scallops, calamari and shrimp, I bought from Trader Joe’s)
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 lb baby spinach

 

Instructions

  1. Cook quinoa according to directions. I used the microwave directions to free up stovetop space. Allow it to cool down once cooked.
  2.  On a large cutting board, cut halved cucumbers into thinly sliced pieces. Next, roughly chop tomatoes and add all contents to a large mixing bowl along with minced onion.
  3. In a large skillet, saute seafood, if raw. You have the option of unthawing already cooked seafood as well. You may need to break it up, since it is a large quantity. On medium high, heat 1 TBSP olive oil. Once heated, add seafood and toss in 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar and a dash of sea salt. Cook for about 3-5 minutes. Shrimp should become translucent and begin to turn pink. Remove from heat, and allow to cool.
  4. Saute baby spinach in about 1 to 2 tsp oil with sea salt and salt free seasoning. Should begin to wilt after 2-3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
  5. In a large mixing bowl mix quinoa, olives, seafood,  vegetables and about half the parsley.
  6. Dressing: in a small bowl add 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, 1 TBSP balsamic vinegar, the juice of 1/2 lemon, a dash of sea salt, and 1 TBSP dry oregano. Whisk together.
  7. Toss salad with dressing and place salad in its proper serving container.
  8. Sprinkle more salt free seasoning over the salad, sprinkle feta over the top, then add 1 cup of roughly chopped parsley over the top for garnish.
  9. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving.

Salad before adding to serving container and topping with feta.

Springy Kale & Cucumber Salad

Spring is my favorite season. I love the flowers that come into bloom, the delicious stone fruit that comes into maturation, and the extra sunlight. Spring is a fickle season, though. It has one foot in winter cold, and the other dangling over summer sun. As a result, my taste in food is just as inconsistent. When the day is unexpectedly warm, I usually want cooler foods that are also simple to make. This salad was created out of a need to use the rest of the Persian cucumbers I had while they were still fresh. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did! I tossed marinated sauteed tofu into my salad, so this is an option. Alternately, I’d recommend my salmon recipe to make it a complete meal.

Serves: 2 (main dish) or 4 (side dish)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup chow mein noodles, boiled
  • 2 cups of raw kale, roughly chopped, stalks removed
  • Soy sauce
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive or grape seed oil
  • Crushed red pepper (optional, for added spiciness)
  • Rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp Honey
  • ½ cup seedless cucumbers thinly sliced
  • Sesame seeds
  • 21 seasoning salute or sea salt
Instructions:

  1. In a large skillet, heat 1 TBSP oil of choice on medium high heat. Once heated, add kale, 1 tsp soy sauce, crushed red pepper, 21 seasoning, and a dash of salt. Add 1 to 2 TBSP of water to help steam the kale. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until kale is tender.
  2. Boil chow mein and rinse in cold water. Drain, and add to a large mixing bowl.
  3. Add kale, noodles and thinly sliced cucumbers into mixing bowl.
  4. In a smaller bowl, mix dressing: 1 TBSP sesame oil, 1 TBSP rice vinegar, 1 tsp honey, 1 tsp soy sauce. Mix well and toss with salad.
  5. Add TBSP sesame seeds and chill. Serve cool.

 

A Simple Dinner Salad

Here is a very simple dinner salad that can compliment a protein like grilled salmon, or stand alone with a little extra protein. When I make salads at home, I often wonder why I even spend the time eating out or purchasing pre-made salads. they are so much more delicious when you can make then yourself–with the ingredients you prefer.

Per salad you will need:

  • 2 cups of shredded butter lettuce
  • 2 roughly chopped persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 c. garbanzo beans
  • 2 T. pine nuts, raw or toasted
  • 1/4 avocado cubed
  • 1 t. Aged balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T. Apple cider vinergar
  • t. extra virgin olive oil
  • black pepper
  • 21 seasoning solute
  • 1/4 lemon

1. Place lettuce in bowl and add cucumbers and beans and toss.

2. Top tossed salad with pine nuts and cubed avocado. Drizzle with the mixture of olive oil, balsamic and apple cider vinegar. Sprinkle black pepper and 21 seasoning salt over the top.

3. Squeeze the juice of 1/4 lemon over the salad and serve.

Mediterranean Potato Salad

Our dear friend Fall has arrived and with it, chillier daytime breezes, colder nights, and sometimes the need for our umbrellas. As the weather cools down, most of us find ourselves turning to the solace of richer and warmer foods. Nothing warms the home and the heart like an oven roasting deliciousness. The smell that wafts through the house prepares the taste buds and then the tummy.

Potato salad may be an old time summer American favorite, but that’s precisely why my curiosity was peaked and I wanted to take it and do it with a twist. With one small bag of red potatoes, a medium-sized pepper and lots of spices, I was able to make the most dreamy and colorful side dish you could ask for to accompany just about anything.

This mayonnaise-free salad should be served at room temperature. The strong oregano flavors and roasted vegetables gives off a strong Mediterranean flare that can easily accompany a protein and nothing more.

You will need:

  • 1 24 oz bag of baby red potatoes
  • 1 medium-sized red bell pepper
  • Oregano
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea Salt (coarse)
  • Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp minced Garlic
  • Dijon Mustard

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

2. Wash potatoes, being careful to cut off spuds and throw away any potatoes that have been too badly bruised or rotten. Cut the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Toss potatoes in a mixing bowl and coat with about 1 tbsp of EVOO.

3. On a large cookie sheet, spread out potatoes and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Heat on the top rack of the oven for about 15 minutes, depending on the oven. While the potatoes are cooking, julienne the red bell pepper and mince the garlic. Set aside.

4. When it is time to take out the potatoes,the white flesh should become golden brow. Flip the pieces of potato over so that the may cook on the other side. Add the bell peppers and minced garlic to the cookie sheet and place back in the oven.

5. The vegetables should cook fairly fast from this point, so for the next 5 to 10 minutes, keep a close eye. Cooking too long will result in burning the garlic.

6. Remove from oven, and potatoes should be golden brown with a darker crispness at the edges. In your mixing bowl, and 1/2 tsp of dijon mustard, 1/2 tsp of dry oregano, and 2 tsp of EVOO.

7. Serve at room temperature alongside your meal.

*For slightly lower calorie count, do not add additional EVOO to the dish. You may also accent the flavoring by drizzling the dish with lemon juice.