wellness — By registered dietitian chris mohr
Memorial Day - the unofficial start to summer. And that takes on a whole new meaning, this year as COVID restrictions are being lifted and there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It all seems to be in the realm of possibilities. Maybe this year, even with friends!
If you’re planning a BBQ this Memorial Day or anytime, really, let’s plan for an epic amount of grilled goods and drinks that don’t leave you feeling like you set yourself back from all your hard work.
Suns out, guns out, and that Reign Tank has been waiting in the wings for the right weekend party.
First, the main course. Sure, burgers & dogs are the usual standby’s – old basics, if you will – but here at Rhone, we’re not basic, nor has the rest of this year been basic, so it’s time to change things up.
Rather than burgers and dogs, what about a beautiful filet of salmon or sea bass? Maybe tuna, halibut or cod is your thing and that seems to work best for you.
Here’s a favorite go to of ours – a recipe our kids legit ask for twice weekly, so it’s a crowd pleaser.
FISH TACOS (SERVES 4-6)
For the Fish:
1 tbsp avocado oil2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 lb. wild cod (or other flaky white fish, like halibut or sea bass)
1 tsp Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fish Taco Sauce
1/4 c. mayonnaise
½ cup plain, Greek yogurt
Juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro
1 – 2 tbsp chipotle peppers, chopped
Fish Taco Slaw
3 cups shredded cabbage (green and/or red)
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp avocado oil
¼ cup, chopped cilantro
1 tbsp salt
In a medium shallow bowl, mix together seasonings for the fish.
Coat fish in avocado oil
Sprinkle fish with seasonings and let sit.
Preheat the grill (or pre heat an iron skillet on the stove) on high.
Mix together ingredients for sauce (NOTE: add chipotle, to taste).
Mix together slaw ingredients and let sit.
Place fish in an iron skillet and place on preheated grill.
Cook fish for about 15ish minutes depending on thickness (aim for about 10 minutes, per inch) until it flakes off easily but don’t overcook it!
When done, remove fish from grill.
Serve fish over tortillas with sauce and slaw. Squeeze lime juice on top, if desired.
OK, so what if you aren’t a fish fan. Consider some quality brats and sauerkraut rather than the traditional dog.
Being unique is a good thing and offering unique options is too. I’m loving a company called Porter Roads, which raises uber high quality meats, from pastures right in my backyard (Kentucky- but also Tennessee and Pennsylvania) and ship nationwide. They offer beef, pork, lamb and chicken, along with the aforementioned brats, sausage, hot dogs and more. Pair those brats with quality sauerkraut, like that from Cleveland Kitchen, and voila. Your BBQ just got even better.
Alright, so now with the main dish set, whichever you may choose - what about some sides?
Consider mixed fruit skewers. Great for kids and adults alike.
Chop up some melon, pineapple, grapes – anything – and skewer them like you would any other traditional meat skewer. A piece of melon, piece of pineapple, grape, strawberry. You get the drill. And you know what, it’s also a fun activity for kids to do (and eat a ton of fruit in the process). Some friends brought this over the other day and it was the biggest hit for everyone there because it’s colorful, it’s fun to eat and then, as parents, we know it’s also great for them and whether it’s fruit skewers or chips, kids will eat what’s there.
While you’re at it, what about a veggie tray with a side of hummus and another of guacamole? Again, colorful is good and people love enjoying what’s easy.
And dip is what makes it “fun” – so the hummus and guac are a perfect complement that will keep people’s hands full, without bottomless bowls of chips that can leave you thirsty and feeling less than your best after you hit the bottom of that bowl.
Last but not least, drinks.
And, yes, Memorial Day often means beer. Awesome. If you love a great beer, me too. Pick what you love, enjoy it but then I encourage you to alternate with water. For me, that’s usually a beer, followed by a reusable bottle that I’ll fill up with water and alternate back and forth. I like to play the long game and the next day feeling after a long day of drinking alcohol in the sun isn’t fun. This is one easy way to help.
Or you can try the many non-alcoholic beer options that are available now and, admittedly, taste pretty darn good. Nice option if you want to scale back on the alcohol itself. Partake is a popular brand along with Athletic Brewing that both offer decent options.
Maybe you want side-step beer altogether and consider something like the new Health-Ade Kombucha mixers, where you add your liquor de jour. Like Rhone clothes, they’re a step up from the basic. They’re tasty and aren’t the usual mixers with a bunch of junk added to them, giving you a nice, refreshing drink that you.
And there you have the most simple Memorial Day BBQ menu ever. It’s easy, tasty and boy will it feel good to be with friends for this unofficial start to summer.