Memorial Day Menu: No Junk, Just Real, Delicious Food

Happy Memorial Day weekend!  I love Memorial Day...it's a special time to remember those that have made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  It's a time to honor those that are putting their boots on the ground each day.  It's a time to say THANK YOU to the men, women, and families that are serving our great country.  Thank you, thank you, thank you for your service.

Memorial Day is also the start of SUMMER!  I love summer.  Yes, it's hot.  Sure, it's incredibly humid.  However, it's beach season.  It's longer days.  It's staying up late because we don't have to get ready for school.  In our home, Memorial Day is about family, friends, the grill, delicious food, and a few trips to the beach.  Check out what we have on the menu this weekend....

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Fire up the Big Green Egg!

Yep, that's Josh doing one of his favorite things...cooking yummy food.  If you don't know this about Josh, he's one heck of a cook.  He loves to prepare food, and he really loves to grill food.  We've had the Egg for about 10 years, and I think his grilling skills get better every year.

So...what do we plan on cooking over the holiday weekend?  

MEAT

I think I would be crazy if I said we weren't cooking burgers.  Burgers pretty much scream summer for me.  Burgers are one of my favorite things in the world, and since we just bought a 1/2 cow from one of our local farmers, we've got plenty of grass-fed beef.  We never just cook one thing if the grill is going.  In addition to burgers, we will smoke some sausage, and we will throw a few whole chickens on the grill as well.

SIDES

I'll be honest.  I struggle with sides.  Our kids like some stuff, our family likes other stuff, and we are still sticking pretty close to a keto diet.  So, we will have a variety of sides and plenty of appetizers so that we can please everyone.  We try to avoid chips, but we will likely have a few bags of Jackson's Honest potato chips out for anyone that can't eat a burger without chips.

Here's the menu with links to any recipes I use...

Burgers - We patty them thick with diced onions, bacon, and cheese.  If we're feeling really crazy, we will mix in a pound of pork with the meat to make them extra fatty.  With the burgers come all the fixings - caramelized onions, a variety of cheeses, lettuce, tomato, mustard, bacon, avocado, fried eggs, and mayo.  We pile everything on a huge salad and drizzle it with dump ranch.

Sausage - We like most smoked sausages, but I have been buying the variety pack of smoked sausages from Sam's Club lately.  They are really good, and you just throw them on the grill.  

Smoked Chicken - I couldn't give you the exact recipe that Josh uses because he never follows a recipe, but this one  is close.  He does brine his chickens for a full 24 hours before he smokes them to make them extra juicy.

Veggie Tray - I ALWAYS have a veggie tray on hand.  Celery, carrots, tomatoes, broccoli, peppers, and cucumbers are always in my fridge.  I simply cut them up and serve them with some  dump ranch and guacamole.

Goat Cheese Dip - I found this recipe a few months ago, and it has become a regular for get togethers.  I don't love celery, but I have been using celery as a vehicle for this dip, and I actually really love it.  My other vehicle for dipping is a pork rind.  I love the Epic brand when it comes to pork rinds.

Salami Wrapped Asparagus - These are always a winner, and they are SO easy.  Blanch your asparagus for 3-4 minutes.  Take a slice of salami (the large ones from the deli), spread a think layer of cream cheese on top, place one to two pieces of asparagus on one end, and roll it up.  Store them in the fridge.

Broccoli Salad - This broccoli salad from Wicked Stuffed is currently my favorite.

Grilled Squash and Zucchini - I cut the squash and zucchini into long, thick strips, and then I marinate them in some olive oil, salt, pepper, and garlic.  Josh throws them on the grill for a few minutes, and they're done.

Salad - It's summer, so I stick with mixed greens, arugula, sunflower seeds, and some hemp seeds.  I toss it with Primal Kitchen Foods Honey Mustard Dressing, and it's done.

Dessert - I've been struggling with this one since we went keto.  Typically, my go to dessert is the Better than Box Brownies from Clean Eating with a Dirty Mind.  I under bake them just a touch, and store them in the fridge.  They are freaking amazing, and so much better than any non-Primal brownie I've had.  I will likely make them for our guests and the kids, but I'll indulge in some fat bombs for Josh and I.  One of our Pace clients brought these cookie dough fat bombs to our Survivor event a few weeks ago.  They were delish, so I'm planning to have these on hand as well.

That's our menu.  Super easy, super yummy, and we should have plenty of leftovers.  I will use the leftovers as boat and beach food.  The chicken will tear up nicely and it tastes great cold, the veggies are easy to transport, the asparagus keeps well in the cooler, and the broccoli salad is always better the next day.  So...after a fun day of cooking and hanging with friends and family, we will be ready to throw our leftovers in the cooler and head out on the water for a fun beach day.

Enjoy your day, eat the food, and laugh with your friends!

We hope you have a great Memorial Day weekend!  We'd love to know what your favorite things to cook are.  Enjoy summer, and check back soon with more of our favorite summer foods.

Kenzie Presnell

Loving life, enjoying the ride, and trying to live life as healthy as I can.

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