3 Healthy Memorial Day Appetizers That Won't Ruin Your Summer Diet

Ceviche
Mexican Shrimp Ceviche is a delicious appetizer that your guests will love at your Memorial Day party. Shutterstock.com

Memorial Day barbeques are now a traditional part of the celebration, but unfortunately with summer quickly creeping up, it is not necessarily an opportune time to indulge in greasy grilled goods. However, food most certainly makes a party, and of course you want to be able to enjoy our holiday weekend. So with that in mind we have come up with healthy Memorial Day appetizers that won’t ruin your summer diet. With some easy changes, and smart alternative choices, you can have your cake, and eat it too. Well, not cake exactly, we are talking about appetizers and snacks that are as delicious as they are healthy.

 

Lemon & Jalapeno Guacamole with Radishes

Who doesn't love Guacamole on a beautiful sunny day? Lemon & Jalapeno Guacamole is a perfect appetizer for a party, especially a Memorial Day party, and it’s also guilt free. Guacamole is normally served with tortilla chips, but they are calorie and sodium laden, so instead try radishes! Thinly sliced radishes are nothing in terms of calories when compared to chips, so by swapping them, you are making this dish a true diet friendly treat. And while the chips will be missed, radishes provide a similar fresh and satisfying crunch while eliminating the guilt.

Ingredients

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 a lemon juiced
  • ½ of small red onion finely chopped
  • 1 finely chopped jalapeno, seeds removed
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic
  • ½ teaspoon of cayenne pepper
  • Radishes, sliced thin, about ½ inch in thickness.

 

Directions

Mash all ingredients together until smooth and serve with the radish slices! For those of you who are new to making homemade Guacamole, here are a few tips. A ripe avocado is soft when squeezed, obviously not too soft but when squeezed lightly you should be able to mush it under the skin a bit. When cutting an avocado begin by halving your avocado, grip the avocado gently on one side with one hand. With a large, sharp knife in the other hand, cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed. Open the two halves to expose the pit. Then use a spoon to scoop out the pit. Next coarsely chop your avocados; this step makes it easier to make a smooth Guacamole.

 

Mexican Shrimp Ceviche

Ceviche is a fast, simple recipe that will impress not only your guests but also your own taste buds. The no cook style makes it great to make in the summer and nearly maintenance free. Also do it’s fresh, raw ingredients, it is healthy and light for staying on track in the summer. Like Guacamole, this Mexican Shrimp Ceviche is normally served with a heaping bowl of tortilla chips or crackers but that is when your healthy alternative turns into a salt overload. So get creative with your alternatives, Ceviche is delicious and filling on its own.  You can go totally sans “chip” and eat it with a knife and fork or you can pile it high on thinly slice radishes, cucumbers, or even sliced bell peppers.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 1 cup of fresh lime juice
  • 10 plum tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeds removed and minced
  • 2 avocados, diced
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

 

Directions

This no cook recipe, means that the shrimp are “cooked” by marinating them in the lime juice. This is an important part to the recipe, mainly because you do not want to serve raw fish to your friends and family. To beginning the “cooking” process, remove the tails from your shrimp and give them a rough chop. Then put your shrimp pieces into a glass bowl and cover in the freshly squeezed lime juice, marinate for 4 hours, until they are pink and fully “cooked” throughout. Towards the end of the shrimp “cooking” time, chop the tomatoes, onion, jalapenos and avocado, and place in separate bowl. Drain shrimp from juice and save lime juice. Add cooked shrimp to the chopped bowl of vegetables, pour in the remaining lime juice marinade. Add cilantro and salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to mix.

 

Zesty Kale Chips

Like our pervious appetizers, these recipes are meant to be both delicious and healthy.  With that being said, while we are desperately attempting to kick the potato chip addiction, there is nothing like the salty, crispy, crunch of a chip. That’s why instead of trying to stay in shape by depriving yourself, you should try alternative chip styles. Our most recent favorite, Zesty Kale Chips. These will be perfect to munch on at your Memorial Day party, and are also set to turn non-believers into seriously Kale Chip lovers. Best part is they take less than 30 minutes to make and bake!

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches kale
  • 2 heaping Tb. almond butter
  • 1 Tb. olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. salt

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Wash the kale and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Pull the leaves off the center ribs in large pieces, and pile on a baking sheet. Discard the ribs. In a small bowl mix the nut butter, oil, spices, and salt. Pour over the kale. Use your hands to massage the kale leaves until each one is evenly coated with the spice mixture. You don't want any of the leaves to be drenched in the mixture, so take your time doing this. The more evenly the kale leaves are coated, the better they will bake. Lay the kale leaves out flat on 3-4 full sized baking sheets, do not overlap. Bake for 10-11 minutes until crisp, but still green. Cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet before moving. If some kale chips are still a little flimsy or damp, remove the crisp chips and place the damp chips back in the oven for a few more minutes.

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Donovan Longo

Donovan Longo, staff reporter, joined the Latin Times team in February 2013 and has quickly become our resident pop culture expert. As a native New Yorker and Fordham University alumni, Donovan has always had her finger on the cultural pulse and is here to get you in the know.  As a follower of Donovan’s writing you will undoubtedly win a game of thrones, survive a zombie apocalypse, fall in love with a vampire and outsmart the CIA.