Labor Day Weekend BBQ Foods

Who doesn’t love a good 3-day weekend? I know I do. I am looking forward to a little extra rest, and some time to catch up with family and friends. Many will be hosting or attending events throughout the weekend. I am providing you with some simple recipes that will help keep you from being the guest who brings the store-bought potato salad. 🙂

Here’s my top 10 list of things to make for your cookouts and barbecues.

1. Loaded Baked Potato Salad. Need I say more? And yes, a vegetarian just recommended that you eat bacon.

2. Deviled eggs. Deviled eggs are a great appetizer and for most– you cannot go wrong with eggs.

3. Easy Turkey Rollups. These are healthy, kid-friendly, full of protein, and they make a fantastic starter food.

4. White cake with lemon frosting. What’s a BBQ without a delicious dessert? Whether it is made as a cake or as cupcakes, this is a great treat to conclude festivities.

5. Barbecued Corn. An absolutely delicious and new way to eat barbecued corn. A must read!

6. Cucumber Melon Medley. Fruit salad is always a hit, but it’s nice to do something a little more unique. This will balance out all of the high protein barbecue foods, and keep you cool and hydrated.

7. Summer Sangria. You will need to make this about 4 hours in advance, but the recipe is surprisingly easy!

8. Quinoa & Seafood Greek Salad. This has been a huge hit at parties for me. It’s a nice refreshing salad, that is surprisingly hearty. Something about the lemon flavor is nice and light for hot weather.

9. Fresh Mex Salad. Here’s a salad that is Mexican-inspired. This will pair well with grilled shrimp or carne asada.

10. Carnitas. Do something different for the holiday! This recipe for slow cooked pork could pair well with any of the salads mentioned and may be something a little out of the box for your guests.

Guide to grilling beef and pork found here.

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Fresh Mex Salad

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Fresh Mex Salad

Beans are a great source of healthy fat and provide a great serving of fiber and protein. They are found in many types of  cuisines and one of my favorites is the role they play in Mexican cuisines. Usually pinto beans are used for refried beans, but the are also fantastic cooked and drained. Beans in the canned form can shave significant time off your cooking preparation. I used organic canned beans for this recipe, but that should not deter you from cooking your own if you have the time. This cool salad is an antioxidant-packed blend of the flavors most of us have come to know and love when it comes to Mexican cuisine.  The great thing about this salad is that it can  also work as a dip. The colors and flavors are bright, explosive and fresh.

You will need:

  • 1 15oz can of Pinto beans
  • 2 tbsp Cotija Cheese
  • 2 tbsp yellow onion diced
  • 2 medium sized heirloom tomatoes, diced
  • 4 oz Sliced black olives
  • 1 medium jalapeno finely minced (Use bell pepper if you do not like spicy food)
  • 1 tbsp Mexican green onions finely minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro roughly chopped
  1. In  a medium-sized bowl, start with pinto beans and mix in diced tomatoes, yellow onion, black olives, and jalapeno.

Dressing ingredients:

  • 1/2 avocado
  • the juice of 1/2 lime
  • Sea salt & black pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro
  • 2 tbsp diced onion
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • Small splash of water to help liquify if needed

  1. Add all the ingredients into a blender or food processor and set to “liquify”. Alternately, leave out avocado, and just whisk together ingredients.
  2. Toss individual salad servings with 1 tsp of dressing, top with cotija cheese and then  with finely diced green onions.

* The more avocado you use, the creamier the dressing will be. You will only need a very small dab for each serving of salad. This dressing can also be used to top tacos. We used this to top shrimp & soy chicken tacos.