Savory Sides For Your Labor Day BBQ

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Labor Day Weekend is here! I always look forward to a good BBQ, fun in the sun, and spending quality time with family and friends. During holiday weekends, however, it can be difficult to find a healthy alternative to traditional BBQ foods, which are almost too delicious to resist! That’s why this year, instead of putting my self control to the test, I introduced to our BBQ menu some healthy and delicious sides as substitutes.  Both of the recipes below adequately fed a party of three, and probably could have been plenty for four.  If you are looking to feed more than four, I suggest you increase each of the ingredients for the recipe to make sure there is enough.

Kale and Quinoa Salad

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For this recipe, you’ll need:

  1. 1 bundle of any type of kale
  2. 1/4 cup quinoa
  3. 1/2 bullion cube (optional)
  4. 3 cloves of garlic
  5. Olive oil
  6. 1 lemon

Boil the quinoa according to the instructions on the box or bag.  Add the half of a bullion cube to the water, if you choose to include this ingredient.  While you wait for the quinoa to cook, wash the kale really well and cut it into bite-size pieces.  Put it in a large pan or wok and drizzle some olive oil over it.  Sauté the kale until you are happy with its consistency (I like my kale a little crunchy, so I cooked it for about ten minutes).  While you are doing this (or you could do this first, as a preparatory step), mince the garlic and sauté it in olive oil until soft (approximately five minutes. This could take longer or shorter depending on how finely the garlic is minced).  When the garlic is soft, squeeze the lemon into the pan.  I saved two slivers of lemon for garnish.  Once the lemon is heated up, pour the garlic/lemon mixture over the kale.  Once the kale is cooked, take it out of the pan, or take the pan off the hot burner to prevent it from burning. Once the quinoa is cooked, drain excess water through a strainer if there is any, and combine the kale and quinoa into one bowl or container. You can garnish with lemon slices, and you can serve this delicious plate hot or cold.  Enjoy!

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Cucumber Salad

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  1. 3 cucumbers
  2. 1/2 vidalia onion
  3. 4 compari tomatoes (you can use whatever kind of tomatoes you like. The compari tomatoes are small, so that’s why I used four of them.)
  4. Olive oil
  5. Rice wine vinegar

This one is really easy! Peel the cucumbers (optional) and slice them into 1/4 inch slices, cut the1/2 Vidalia onion into strips, and cut the tomatoes into chunks.  Put all three into a large bowl, drizzle olive oil and rice wine vinegar to taste, toss, and enjoy!

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I hope you all enjoy your Labor Day Weekend! Stay fit and in the work force, all!

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