Holiday weekends are a time of family gatherings, road trips, and best of all, great food. Try these five easy, healthy recipes to please all your guests this Labor Day weekend.
Five Healthy Recipes
1. Greek Orzo Pasta Salad
- 1 cup dried orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
- 2 cups cherry tomates, halved
- 1 small block of feta cheese, crumbled (the measurement here is up to you)
- 1 cucumber, halved and spiralized into half moons or little worms
- A cup each parsley and mint leaves
- 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
- Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to broil. Place the halved cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet (cut sides up) and drizzle with a tiny bit of oil. Sprinkle with a small pinch of salt, and broil until the tomatoes begin to blister and wilt, 3-4 minutes. Let cool on the rack.
Boil the orzo until it reaches al dente. Drain and cool under cold water.
In a small bowl, combine the olive oil and lemon juice. Whisk until it becomes emulsified. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper and give it one more whisk.
In a large bowl, combine the cooked and cooled orzo, the broiled cherry tomatoes, the spiralized cucumber (I started with about half and kept adding as I ate. It’s a problem.), the olives, feta and herbs. Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and toss toss toss. Divide up and dive in.
Makes about 4 servings.
2. Grilled Chicken Breasts with Spicy Peach Glaze
• 2 cups peach preserves or jam
• 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
• 2 tablespoons soy sauce
• 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
• 1 small jalapeno, finely chopped
• Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
• 8 frenched chicken breasts
• 4 ripe peaches, cut in half and pitted
Combine the peach preserves, olive oil, soy sauce, mustard, garlic and jalapeno in a medium bowl and season with salt and pepper. Reserve 1/2 cup.
Preheat the grill. Brush the chicken with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the chicken skin-side down and cook until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes. Turn over and continue cooking for 5 to 6 minutes. Brush both sides with the peach glaze and continue cooking until done, an additional 4 to 5 minutes.
Place the peach halves cut side down on the grill and grill for 2 minutes. Turn over, brush with the reserved 1/2 cup of peach glaze and grill until the peaches are soft, 3 to 4 more minutes.
• 1 1/2 pounds vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped
• Tomato juice
• 1 cup cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
• 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
• 1/2 cup chopped red onion
• 1 small jalapeno, seeded and minced
• 1 medium garlic clove, minced
• 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 lime, juiced
• 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar
• 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
• 1/2 teaspoon toasted, ground cumin
• 1 teaspoon kosher salt
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
Fill a 6-quart pot halfway full of water, set over high heat and bring to a boil.
Make an X with a paring knife on the bottom of the tomatoes. Drop the tomatoes into the boiling water for 15 seconds, remove and transfer to an ice bath and allow to cool until able to handle, approximately 1 minute. Remove and pat dry. Peel, core and seed the tomatoes. When seeding the tomatoes, place the seeds and pulp into a fine mesh strainer set over a bowl in order to catch the juice. Press as much of the juice through as possible and then add enough bottled tomato juice to bring the total to 1 cup.
Place the tomatoes and juice into a large mixing bowl. Add the cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, jalapeno, garlic clove, olive oil, lime juice, balsamic vinegar, Worcestershire, cumin, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer 1 1/2 cups of the mixture to a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Return the pureed mixture to the bowl and stir to combine. Cover and chill for 2 hours and up to overnight. Serve with chiffonade of basil.
4. Fish Tacos With Watermelon Salsa
Make the watermelon salsa: Combine the watermelon, red onion, cilantro, lime juice and jalapeno in a bowl. Toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt and set aside.
Preheat a grill to high. Sprinkle the fish on both sides with the chile powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt; drizzle both sides with the remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil. Brush the grill with olive oil, then add the fish and grill until marked and cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a plate and break into bite-size pieces.
Meanwhile, toss the lettuce with 2 tablespoons of the juices from the watermelon salsa and a pinch of salt. Warm the tortillas on the grill and fill with the fish, watermelon salsa, avocado and lettuce. Serve with lime wedges.
5. Feta-Herb Edamame Succotash
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
- 2 cups frozen shelled edamame, thawed
- 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved lengthwise
- 1 ounce feta cheese, crumbled (about 1/4 cup)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 4 minutes.
Add edamame; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Add corn; cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Transfer to a bowl; cool 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, feta, dill, parsley, vinegar, salt, and pepper.