Memorial Day is almost here…

And whether you’re hosting your own BBQ to kick off summer…or contributing to a friend’s party, here are some festive (but easy) menu ideas that will please your pals and your pants!



For any party, you want lots of easy-to-nibble appetizers…

And, especially if people are going to be imbibing, it’s always nice to serve appetizers that offer some protein to counteract the sugars in wine or alcohol..

Instead of a cream cheese or sour cream based dip, try serving crudite with a protein rich Skinny Sun Dried Tomato Dip...Your friends will never know they’re eating non-fat cottage cheese instead of cream cheese!

And next to your basket of tortilla chips, consider serving a filling and festive skinny bean dip… Texas Caviar or Magic Black Beans have spice, texture and protein but half the calories of a store bought bean dip!

Or, you could whirl together Skinny and Healthy Hummus...Made with pureed cauliflower and garbanzo beans, and spiked with garlic and lemon, it’s a skinny dip with less than half the calories of the store bought brands! (How-To video here)

And, along with regular salsa, you could serve Magic Green Elixir! (Trust me, click on that link to the recipe, you’ll love it!)

A big green salad is also good…but consider serving Watermelon, Cuke and Feta salad for something that’s truly festive and fun, even for the kids at your table!

If you’re grilling chicken, consider making it extra special by marinating in buttermilk and spices…

If you’re doing a Southwestern BBQ, you might prefer Chipotle Grilled Chicken

Or, if feeling more exotic, try Amazing Indian Grilled Chicken… both are delicious and juicy and so much more interesting than standard grilled chicken.

If burgers are part of your game plan, try Skinny and Smart Bison Burgers to reduce calories and cholesterol…(How-To video here)

Or, if you’re throwing a big party and bison is too pricey, just substitute ground turkey… and, if doing that Southwestern theme, add some minced jalapenos, fresh or jarred, to your cooked mushrooms and onions before you make your patties.

Sides? Well, always, always, remember your Grill Friends!

Before you cook your meat, make platters of any combination you like–grilled asparagus, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, eggplant, corn or bell peppers–and let them stand at room temperature until serving. They’re not only delicious, they’re beautiful. Your buffet table, loaded with those gorgeous veggies, will look nothing less than abundant… And the more delicious and (almost) calorie free sides you offer, the more you and your guests can enjoy yourselves as the night goes on without feeling guilty!

Going super traditional and super skinny? Try Church Lady Geraldine’s Born Again Potato Salad…. With all the extra spices and ingredients, your Sunday School friends won’t even suspect you’ve subbed cauliflower for half the spuds and removed thousands of calories and dozens of fat grams by trading out full fat mayo for heart-healthy non-fat yogurt and fat free sour cream! (The very cool website,  The Daily Meal, featured that recipe today!)

Or, if you’re serving a hip crowd that shops at Whole Foods, you might try Skinny Quinoa and Cauliflower Rice with Asparagus, Peas and Herbs...

Or, go Napa Style, and try my skinny-fied version of Michael Chiarello’s Insalata di Riso… Always delish and so pretty!


And, for dessert, and for taste and ease, there is only one that I make every time the theme is patriotic… A Berry Skinny Trifle…

For a party on Monday, you can start soaking your fruit Saturday, build it on Sunday, and let it soak and sit to perfection to serve Monday so you can enjoy the holiday knowing your big and beautiful dessert is DONE! (How-To video, here)

So enjoy your Memorial Day! And know that, if you’re clever about your menu, it will be just delicious as any in the past…but you won’t gain an ounce!! That’s worth remembering!

Happy Memorial Day!! xoxo lisamc

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