Healthy Memorial Day Recipes

IMG_4765Hello, Memorial Day! I am so excited to be home for this holiday. This weekend is the kick off to all things Summer..sun, beach, and BBQs. I know that BBQs can often bring temptations such as booze and filling pasta salads. Over the last few months, I have started a new venture fitness coaching.  I have been working diligently on my nutrition and toning up for summer. Therefore, I do not want to derail all my hard work this weekend! So, I put together some healthy alternatives for this holiday weekend. Enjoy!

Grilled Salsa Verde Chicken


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 large cloves garlic, halved
  • 1 small onion, quartered
  • ¾ tomatillos (about 7)
  • 1 medium to large jalapeño chile, cut in half lengthwise, seeded
  • ¼ cup loosely packed fresh cilantro (10 to 15 sprigs)
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 6 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 2 1/4 lb.)


  1. In 10-inch skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat until hot. Add garlic and onion; cook about 5 minutes, stirring constantly, until onion is tender.
  2. Remove husks from tomatillos; rinse tomatillos well. Cut around stem area of each to remove core; cut tomatillos into quarters. In large food processor, place garlic and onion, tomatillos, jalapeño chile, cilantro, sugar and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Cover; process about 15 seconds or until almost smooth.
  3. Pour 1-cup tomatillo mixture into small serving bowl; cover and refrigerate to serve as salsa. To make marinade, add remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and the cumin to remaining mixture in food processor. Cover; process 10 seconds.

Place chicken breasts in glass baking dish. Spoon marinade over chicken; spread marinade over chicken to coat evenly. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate at least 4 hours but no longer than 8 hours, turning chicken at least once while marinating.

Heat gas or charcoal grill. Carefully brush additional oil on grill rack. Place chicken on grill over medium heat; discard marinade. Cover grill; cook 12 to 15 minutes, turning once, until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F). Serve each chicken breast with about 2 tablespoons salsa.

Skinny Grilled Pesto and Tomato Kabobs


  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmigianino Reggiano
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-1/4 lbs skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 24 cherry tomatoes
  • 16 wooden skewers


 In a food processor pulse basil, garlic, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until smooth. Slowly add the olive oil while pulsing.

 Combine the raw chicken with pesto and marinate a few hours in a bowl. Soak wooden skewers in water at least 30 minutes (or use metal ones to avoid this step). Beginning and ending with chicken, thread chicken and tomatoes onto 8 pairs of parallel skewers to make 8 kebabs total.

 Heat the outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium heat until hot. Be sure the grates are clean and spray lightly with oil. Place the chicken on the hot grill and cook about 3-4 minutes; turn and continue cooking until chicken is cooked through, about 2 to 3 minutes

Watermelon Feta Salad


  • (1) 7 pound (approximate) seedless watermelon, chilled
  • 1 cup fresh chopped mint leaves
  • 2 cups crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2/3 cups lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt


  1. Cut watermelon away from rind and chop into approximately 1-inch cubes. Remove any seeds, if any. Place in colander to drain while you’re preparing dressing.
  2. Whisk together honey, limejuice and sea salt for the dressing.
  3. Gently stir watermelon chunks with mint and feta cheese.

Drizzle dressing over salad; gently stir to incorporate dressing

Whole Wheat Mediterranean Pasta Salad


  • 5 oz spiral whole wheat pasta
  • 1 head of fresh broccoli
  • Sliced black olives
  • ½ red diced red onion
  • Cubed mozzarella cheese
  • ½ bottle of light zesty Italian dressing


 Boil pasta in salted water according to package directions. When done, drain and rinse under cold water.

 In a large bowl, combine the broccoli, black olives, onion, mozzarella cheese, and dressing. Toss well and chill pasta until its ready to be eaten.

Like what you see? You can find more inspiration at Jess Davis Wellness and Fitness