Insider’s Viewpoint: Labor Day Summer Bounty Celebration
Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer when we gather around our grills for one last barbeque. This year, rather than just flipping burgers and serving hot dogs, why not honor the holiday with a celebration of our summer bounty? With an array of produce available offering a variety of antioxidants, you can “wow” your family and friends with a scrumptious meal that honors the season … and is good for them too!
8 Tasty Fruit & Veggie Ideas for Labor Day
- Corn. If you haven’t grilled corn before, give it a try with this Grilled Corn with Chili Lime Butter. Prefer to steam? You can still use this recipe to create an easy, flavorful twist on traditional corn.
- Roasted Beet Sandwich. Beets are in season! Roast some ahead of time and pair with goat cheese and greens to create this unique Beet & Goat Cheese Sandwich.
- Vegetable Medley. Visit your local market for seasonal summer squash, zucchini, eggplant, bell pepper then marinate and grill them! Grilled Vegetable Packets
- Salsa. With tomatillos, bell peppers, tomatoes and jalapeno peppers in season you can create a fresh salsa that will complement chicken, meat, fish or a quesadilla off the grill. For a heartier salsa, add leftover corn and avocado. Or for a twist, add blueberries and try this Wild Blueberry Salsa.
- Sensational Summer Fruit Salad. Get your kids involved in the prep and put together a refreshing, colorful fresh fruit salad that celebrates summer with an array of fruits and berries. Encourage your kids to include every color of the rainbow for a salad packed with great-for-you vitamins and antioxidants!
- Garden Salad. Combine seasonal butter lettuce with spinach and black beans, cucumbers, summer squash and bell peppers topped with a southwest-inspired salad dressing such as the one for Mango Dressing below.
- Apricot Granita. A granita is a flavored, frozen dessert made from sugar and water. This Apricot Granita recipe combines fresh, in-season apricots with apricot nectar and sugar to create a refreshing icy treat your guests will surely love.
- Grilled Fruit. Grilling isn’t just meant for meat and vegetables. Nectarines and peaches will sweetly caramelize when grilled to create a delicious dessert that can stand alone or be paired with a scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt for a more decadent dessert. Simply slice fruit, remove the pit and grill on a hot grill sprayed with cooking spray. Save leftover grilled fruit and top with plain, non-fat Greek yogurt for a wholesome, protein-rich parfait.
- 1 mango
- 2 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
- 2 tsp grated orange zest
- ½ tsp smoked paprika (optional)
- ¼ tsp salt (optional)
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
Chop mango and use ¾ of it for dressing (save remainder for salad). Add mango to a food processor or blender with canola oil, vinegar, water, garlic, ginger, orange zest, paprika (if using), salt (if using) and black pepper; blend until smooth. Add additional water if needed to make a pourable sauce. Alternately, puree with an immersion blender in a medium bowl. Set aside. Use remaining mango in salad.
Recipe adapted from hannaford.com.
Allison J. Stowell MS,RD,CDN
Hannaford Brothers Company