Today has been rainy, cool and cloudy – all I’ve wanted to do is curl up with a blanket, some warm soup and stare out at the grey clouds…but alas, I had to work. You too? Bah…
Despite the rather un-summery weather, I stuck to the plan and made tonight’s Summer Inspired Dinner Series dinner – an All American Summer Cookout!
We’ve got all the goodies you’d find at a any down-home summer cookout…lightened up a bit! On the menu:
- Turkey Burgers
- Vegetarian Baked Beans
- Mom’s Potato Salad
- Blueberry Shortcake
Lighter on calories but definitely not lighter on flavor. Check it out…
We started with Turkey Burgers:
I took 99% fat-free ground turkey breast, added a couple shakes of worchestire sauce and ~1/2 packet of garlic & herb seasoning mix. I was planning on just adding some S&P, garlic powder, onion powder, etc. – but found this packet while I was rummaging around in my spice cabinet…nice!
Here’s a tip for you – put a plastic baggie over your hand to mix up ground meats with spices, add-ins, etc. It keeps your hands clean and gets everything distributed very nicely.
So the original plan was to grill these babies, but alas, the weather had other plans for my grill:
Instead I popped them on my flat top skillet, on the stove, for about 5 minutes a side and finished them in a 450 degree oven for another 3 minutes or so.
Topped with a slice of American cheese, some ketchup, pickles and nixing the bun – well you’ve got yourself a light, yet deeelicious burger option my friends!
slaved away over a hot pan for hours opened a can of vegetarian baked beans and popped them in the microwave for 2 minutes. Seriously…who needs to make baked beans from scratch when there are such fantastic canned options at the store?!
This particular vegetarian option has 0 grams of fat, 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber per serving. Can’t beat that!
Next, Mom’s Potato Salad. We all have memories of eating certain amazing dishes made by our Mom’s, Dad’s, Grandma’s, etc., when we were growing up, right? Well, this potato salad is one of my amazing dish memories!
My Mom KILLS this potato salad – I won’t even touch another kind. For this reason, making it was actually a little bit stressful for me! It was my first time and although it was fabulous, I’ll admit, Mom makes it best
I used the recipe she uses, which comes from a 30 year old Betty Crocker Cookbook she and my Dad got when they got married I was too lazy to write down the recipe, so I took a picture of it. (click on the picture to make them bigger)
Now you know I am a mayo phobe, but this recipe is definitely NOT heavy on the mayo…in fact you really can’t even tell it’s in there. That said, I halved the amount of mayo the recipe called for. SUPER GOOD! The key is the homemade dressing that you let soak into the hot potatoes…mmmmmMMMM…
Finally, the crown jewel: Blueberry Shortcakes!
Ohhhh yes…I would eat shortcakes until the cows come home. All day, all night, all shortcakes, all the time.
I just made the recipe on the back of the Bisquick box and served the shortcakes with whip cream and blueberries. Fantastic!
Well I think, despite the rain, Day #3 of the Summer Inspired Dinner Series was a hit!
I lightened up the usual summer cookout fare by:
- Using turkey instead of beef in the burgers and no bun
- Choosing vegetarian baked beans instead of the regular kind laced with pork or bacon
- Including less mayo in an already less mayo required potato salad recipe
- Topped dessert with low-fat whip cream?? Ok, that’s a stretch, but it’s dessert…it’s not supposed to be light!
This is totally a menu I feel good about eating and if it’s my last summer cookout of the season, then I’m satisfied
I’m going to go do what I’ve been dreaming about all day – curl up on the couch and relax Have a great night!
What’s your favorite summer dessert?
I’m also a huge fan of Angel Food Cake with whipped cream and strawberries!