Five Recipes for Your Memorial Day Menu
Memorial Day marks the start of summer here in Wisconsin. (Yay!) If your family is anything like mine, you probably celebrate Memorial Day weekend with time outside, tasty food and delicious drinks. As a foodie, I love trying super easy recipes that taste great and feature fresh, seasonal ingredients. Here are five dishes that always make my Memorial Day menu.

1. Salsa. Great as a snack or appetizer, salsa can be made sweet, savory, spicy or a combination of all three! Salsa is also an easy way to showcase fresh fruits, veggies and herbs. Make a patriotic Red, White and Blue Salsa using strawberries, jicama and blueberries. And, if you want to get fancy, make your own star-shaped chips by using a star-shaped cookie cutter to cut corn tortillas. Spread the tortilla stars out onto a baking sheet and bake at 400°F for 8-12 minutes.

2. Grilled Salad. I know what you’re thinking – grilled salad? Yes, it’s a thing! Grilled romaine hearts stand up well to the heat of the grill. Cut romaine hearts in half lengthwise leaving ends intact and brush both sides with oil. Place them cut side down onto the hot grill and cook for 4-5 minutes, turning the halves occasionally until lightly charred. I like to serve grilled romaine with Caesar dressing and shaved Parmesan cheese.

3. Pasta Salad. A staple at every warm weather gathering, pasta salad is guaranteed to feed a crowd. Lighten up a traditional mayo-based pasta salad with pesto sauce, balsamic vinaigrette or a Greek yogurt-based dressing. Use a whole grain pasta salad and serve over a bed of greens for an extra boost of fiber. One of my favorite summery recipes is Strawberry Avocado Pasta Salad.

4. Kabobs. I love that kabobs are customizable, making them an easy main dish for entertaining. Choose a few protein options, like beef, chicken shrimp or salmon, along with a few fruit or veggie options, like pineapple, peppers, mushrooms, red onion, zucchini or cherry tomatoes, and thread them onto skewers. Brush with oil and season with your favorite seasonings. Grill until the protein reaches a safe internal temperature and the fruits and veggies are tender crisp.

5. Grilled Fruit. Since the grill is already fired up, why not use it to make dessert?! After the main meal is served, reduce the heat to medium-high, oil the grate and place pineapple slices, peach halves, watermelon slices or skewered fruit directly on the grill. Close the lid and allow the heat to both bake and sear the fruit. Flip after a few minutes. Serve with a drizzle of honey, a dusting of brown sugar or a scoop of ice cream.