Healthy Summer BBQ & One Special Lady!

Healthy & Fabulous BBQ Luncheon
Healthy & Fabulous BBQ Luncheon

Who doesn’t love a summer BBQ??

BBQ’s are a staple in the summer.  Being outside, enjoying the sunshine, and perhaps a salty breeze.  I feel like we all connect a little bit easier in the fresh air, with the “no stress” feeling that the warm air brings!

BBQ’s happen all over Cape Cod from Memorial Day to Labor Day and we had a very special one this Memorial Day weekend…

Our was to celebrate our mother’s birthday, who is affectionately known as Chris, Mom, Gram Chrissy, and Fradoodle by her extended family; three daughters, one granddaughter, and six grandsons!

Rock Star Mom
Rock Star Mom


She is a very special person to all of us, and when she is not spending all her time raising and taking care of us, she also goes to rock concerts! (Seen here rocking out to Neil Diamond)

This blog is all about her very special birthday BBQ. It included sweet potato burgers, beet, red cabbage, and cranberry slaw, and broccoli pesto dip.

Sweet potato burgers:

From My Whole Food Life.

This is the easiest recipe, with huge rewards!!


4 sweet potatoes, peeled and boiled

3 cups, all natural 5 grain cereal (oats, rye, triticale, barley, golden flax)

2 bunches scallions, chopped

1 bunch fresh parsley, cut up with kitchen scissors to the stem

Prepping the Sweet Potatoes
Prepping the Sweet Potatoes


I boiled the peeled sweet potatoes until just tender. Drained and added to the other 3 ingredients  in a large bowl.  I used my kitchen aide paddle attachment to mix, and then scooped out patty size.

Sweet Potato Burgers, ready to bake!
Sweet Potato Burgers, ready to bake!


I baked them in the oven, but I think they could be done on the grill with cooking spray.

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Ease of recipe 5, did use my kitchen aide, but could be mixed with a little effort and large metal spoon.

Taste of recipe 5, these were incredibly tasty!!  Some of our guests ate them over salad, some on nice wheat rolls, I think all used a touch of spicy mustard for a topping.  Yummy!!!!

Presentation 5, look very delicious on the plate even before dressed.

Beet, red cabbage, and cranberry slaw

From: Reluctant Entertainer

Slightly difficult recipe.  I’ve never cooked raw beets and they can make a holy mess!  However, the outcome was completely worth it!


½ Head red cabbage

3 Fresh beets

1 8oz package dried cranberries

2 shallots chopped

4 TBSP red wine vinegar

6 TBSP rice vinegar

2 apples

Zest of orange

I chopped the shallots and marinated in a bowl with the rice and red wine vinegar.

Prepped Shallots
Prepped Shallots


I boiled the fresh beets until just tender, the peeling was messy and difficult, but boiling them any longer would have made them mushy.

In my Cuisinart, with the grate blade, I sliced the beets with two pared, unpeeled apples, and half a head of red cabbage.

Combine in Cuisinart
Combine in Cuisinart


Poured the beet, cabbage, and apple mixture into a bowl.  Added the marinated shallots and zest of one orange.

Beet Cole Slaw
Beet Cole Slaw


Incredibly tasty, sweet and tart, definitely a must have at your next BBQ!!!!

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Ease of recipe 3, it was time consuming, messy and does require a Cuisinart or equivalent.

Taste of recipe 5, the tangy, sweet was very well received by our guests.  I also used the leftovers to top sandwiches, a great little extra zing to Monday’s lunch!

Presentation of recipe 5, looks pretty in the bowl, could be dressed up even more with a few sprigs of fresh parsley and a couple of slices of orange.

Broccoli pesto dip

I do love a dip!!! For a simple appetizer it is great.  Kept our guests munching while the main course was cooking, and there are so many directions that you can go with it!!

Super simple broccoli pesto dip

From: A Healthy Life For Me.


2 Broccoli crowns

3 TBSP minced garlic

2/3 Cup sliced almonds

1/3 Cup parmesan

¼ Cup olive oil

½  Cup ricotta cheese

2 TBSP lemon juice

I steamed the broccoli until tender. This is a great way to use broccoli that is yellowing in the refrigerator.  What I used was getting a few days from unusable and it worked fine in this recipe.  We all know the “crisper” in our refrigerators frequently needs to be renamed the “rotter”.  It happens, so a recipe that can use up those “on the edge” veggies is always a good thing!!

I drained and cooled the broccoli.  Combined the broccoli and all the other ingredients,  minus the ricotta cheese, in my Ninja blender, on medium speed.  Once I felt the broccoli was sufficiently pureed I added the ricotta and just pulsed until I could no longer see any large portions of unmixed ricotta.

Combine in Ninja Blender
Combine in Ninja Blender


The recipe doesn’t yield a tremendous amount of dip, so I went through the procedure a second time to have an adequate bowl full.

Broccoli Pesto Dip
Broccoli Pesto Dip


Delicious with cut vegetables, pita or sweet potato chips!!!

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Ease of recipe 5, does require a Ninja or equivalent for the blending.

Taste of recipe 3, I felt like it needed a little bit of something, maybe a pinch of kosher salt, a little more garlic or a pinch of my “go to” spice tarragon.

Presentation of recipe 4, not super pretty, but could be dressed up on a platter with colorful cut veggies and a few sprigs of parsley or mint.

All and all the recipes made a very attractive and HEALTHY BBQ plate!

Healthy & Fabulous BBQ Luncheon
Healthy & Fabulous BBQ Luncheon


Happy BBQ’s and Happy Birthday MOM!!!!!  We love you!!!!!

Next time, maybe we just need to try to satisfy that sweet tooth, we know we all have, with some healthy sweets…

Happy June!!!

Aunnie H


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