Healthy Cookout Ideas - Main Courses & Sides


Smoky Shrimp (Serves 4)

  • 1 lb. large shrimp, tail on and deveined
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red chili flakes (optional)
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 lime (for juice)
  • Fresh cilantro
  • Skewers

Slide the shrimp on to the skewers. Brush the shrimp with olive oil and season with garlic powder, cumin, red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper. Grill the shrimp for about 2-3 minutes per side until cooked through. Sprinkle with fresh cilantro and squeeze lime juice over the top.

Balsamic Chicken Wings (Serves 1-2)

  • 1 pound chicken wings
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced finely
  • 2 Tbsp. Coconut Aminos
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger

In a bowl, combine the vinegar, garlic, ginger, honey, and aminos to make the sauce. Rinse and dry chicken wings. Place in a plastic Ziploc bag. Pour sauce over wings making sure everything is covered. Seal the bag and refrigerate for 2-4 hours. Remove wings from the bag and place in a foil packet. Save the marinade for later. Grill at medium heat for 30 minutes. Check the temperature of the chicken periodically! Brush additional marinade over wings after 15 minutes and finish cooking.

Avocado and Veggie Chicken Salad (Serves 2)

  • 2 skinless chicken breasts, baked or poached and chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped red, yellow or orange bell pepper
  • 1 stalk chopped celery
  • 2 chopped carrots
  • ¼ of an onion, chopped
  • 1 – 2 cloves chopped fresh garlic
  • 1-2 very ripe avocados, cubed
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 1 Tbsp. yellow mustard (optional)
  • 1½ tsp. chipotle or chili powder
  • Pinch of black pepper

Chop cooled chicken into small, bite-sized pieces and place in a large bowl. Add all the chopped vegetables (not the avocado — yet) and mix well with a large fork. Add the cubed avocado; mash the avocado into the chicken and vegetable mixture, stirring and mashing until you have a slightly smooth consistency. Add the lime juice, the yellow mustard if using, and the chipotle or chili powder. Mix well. Sprinkle with fresh ground black pepper just before serving.

Herbed Salmon Burgers (Serves 4)

  • 1 14-oz can wild salmon, drained and flaked
  • 1 large egg, whole and beaten
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and minced
  • ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley and/or chives, chopped
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 tsp. sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix salmon gently with egg, bread crumbs, garlic, herbs, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Shape salmon mixture into 4 equal sized patties – carefully not to make them too thick in the middle. Grill salmon patties on each side till crisp and lightly browned, 4-5 minutes per side.


Kale Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette (Serves 2-3)

  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 6 oz cooked chicken
  • ½ cup cooked Brussels sprouts
  • ½ cup cooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1/8 cup chopped pecans For the Lemon Vinaigrette
  • 1/8 cup apple salad vinegar
  • 1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
  • Zest of 1 Meyer lemon

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together apple cider vinegar, lemon juice and lemon zest in a small bowl. Set aside. To assemble the rest of the salad, place kale in a large bowl, top with sprouts, quinoa, pomegranate seeds, chicken, and pecans. Pour dressing on top of the salad and gently toss to combine, and serve immediately.

Mediterranean Bean Salad (Serves 4-6)

  • 2 15-oz cans of beans, drained and rinsed (use your favorite beans, like black beans, cannellini beans, kidney beans, or chickpeas/garbanzo beans)
  • 1 English cucumber, chopped with skin on
  • ½ green bell pepper, diced
  • ½ orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • ¼ cup virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 whole cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano or 2 tsp. fresh herb
  • salt and pepper to taste

Combine beans, cucumber, pepper, onion, tomatoes, and olives in a large bowl. In a small bowl or sealed jar with a lid, whisk or shake together olive oil, vinegar, garlic, oregano, and salt and pepper. Toss salad with dressing and enjoy at room temperature.

Orange, Beet, and Arugula Salad (Serves 4-6)

  • 4 small uncooked beets, red, and/or golden, leaves and stems cut off, beets scrubbed
  • 6 cup(s) arugula, baby leaves
  • 2 medium oranges, navel, peel and pith removed, sliced
  • 1/4 cup(s) fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup(s) uncooked shallots, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1/2 cup walnuts

Preheat the oven to 400°F. Place beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. Fold foil to form a tightly sealed packet. Place the packet on a baking sheet and roast until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork, about 1 hour. Cool beets slightly. When cool enough to handle, rub off skins with your fingers or a small knife; thinly slice. In a large bowl, whisk together orange juice, shallots, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Add arugula to bowl; toss to coat. Top arugula with oranges and beets. Gently toss to coat. Top with walnuts.

Spinach-Strawberry Salad with Berry Vinaigrette (Serves 4)

  • 8 cups baby spinach leaves
  • 4 cups strawberries, fresh sliced
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta
  • ½ cup walnuts, chopped (or other favorite nut or seed) For the Berry Vinaigrette
  • ½ virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic (or raspberry-infused wine vinegar for a lighter, less sweet option)
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • Pinch smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste

In a large bowl, gently toss all salad ingredients. Pour dressing over top and toss gently to just combine. Sprinkle feta over the top of salad or just on individual plates as it can get “mashed into” the salad very easily.

Papaya Avocado Berry Salad (Serves 2)

Combine the following in a medium bowl:

  • 1 medium papaya, diced
  • 1 medium avocado, diced
  • ¾ cup jicama, diced
  • ⅓ cup fresh berries, sliced or whole
  • 2 Tbsp. or 4 halves walnuts, chopped and toasted Then make the dressing:
  • 2 cups mixed fresh berries, frozen thawed okay (like blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries)
  • ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh citrus juice (like lemon, lime, or orange juice)
  • 2 tsp. honey, unpasteurized
  • 1 tsp. Dijon or spicy mustard
  • 1/8 tsp. Himalayan Pink or sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

In a blender or mini food processor, puree berries. Place a small strainer over a bowl. Pour pureed berries into a strainer, pressing with the back of a spoon to remove the seeds. Return pureed berries to the blender or food processor. Add all remaining ingredients except oil; process until smooth. Add the oil slowly (by teaspoons) and process again until smooth. Taste, then add more honey, salt, and pepper if desired. Gently toss the salad with 2-3 Tbsp. of the dressing.

Grilled Peaches (Serves 6)

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • 3 peaches, pitted and each cut into 6 wedges
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Dash of kosher salt
  • 3 cups arugula
  • 2 Tbsp. crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Bring vinegar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat, and simmer until vinegar is reduced to 2 tablespoons (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat; stir in honey. Cool to room temperature. Prepare the grill to high heat. Place peach wedges on a grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30 seconds on each side or until grill marks appear but peaches are still firm. Remove from grill; set aside. Combine oil and sea salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Add arugula, tossing gently to coat. Arrange arugula mixture on a platter. Top with peach wedges. Drizzle with balsamic syrup; sprinkle with goat cheese.