The best way to celebrate Labor Day is to have a cookout with family, friends and fun activities. Foodies can wow guests with grill-friendly takes on the freshest fruits and vegetables in season now such as summer squash, tomatoes, corn, melons and peaches — or keep things traditional with hot dogs and hamburgers. Whatever you choose, most people want to get one last hurrah in before the (observed) end of summer, and have and extra day to do so before they return to work.
Experts agree that small, incremental New Year’s resolutions are easier to keep and may turn into healthy, lifelong habits. For example, Good Housekeeping suggests keeping the kitchen clutter-free by putting all recipe cards, small appliances and incoming groceries in their place immediately. One study found that women who were surrounded by kitchen clutter tended to eat more cookies, the magazine says; so, this resolution can contribute to other common goals such as losing weight and eating right.
Be true to the red, white and blue when you’re assembling dishes for your Fourth of July cookout or potluck, says The Gracious Wife blog. Simple recipes for “red, white and blueberry” popsicles, Rice Krispie treats, Jello cookies, cupcakes and a refreshing patriotic punch all find ways for foods to sport the colors of the flag in commemoration of the nation’s birth. Looking for something a bit healthier to serve in celebration? Loaded with superfoods, a strawberry/blueberry spinach salad might be the ultimate healthy-yet-patriotic dish to pass.
Vegetables can be difficult to get right on the grill. But if done correctly, they will bring healthy and delicious dishes to your cookout. According to Cook’s Illustrated, asparagus should be grilled five to seven minutes with a single turn. Corn can be grilled for eight to 10 minutes with one layer of husk on, and eggplant and zucchini take about the same time when sliced into rounds or planks. Portobello mushrooms should be brushed with oil and grilled eight to ten minutes; skewered onions, 10 to 12 minutes. Pretreat your grates by brushing them with olive oil for the best results, and enjoy!