Holidays are always a great opportunity to get the family and friends together and have some fun. But it can sometimes be frustrating – and time consuming – having to cook for all your guests. And just because it’s Labor day, it does not mean you have to toil away in the kitchen. So I have put together a list of quick and easy (and healthy!) recipes for Labor Day weekend that will allow you to spend more time where it really matters – with your loved ones .

Healthy Labor Day Drinks

Sparkling Watermelon cooler (http://holisticallyengineered.com/2013/08/paleo-sparkling-watermelon-drink.html)

Ingredients

8 oz cold watermelon, cut into 1″ pieces
Juice of half of lemon
Sweetener to taste (honey, coconut sugar, stevia)
Ice Cubes
Seltzer water (cold)

Instructions
Method one: Add the watermelon, lemon juice, and sweetener to a blender and blend until smooth. Divide the watermelon mixture evenly into two 16oz glasses and fill the rest of the glass with a couple of ice cubes (optional) and seltzer water.

Method Two: Blend the watermelon, lemon juice, sweetener, and ice cubes to create a slushie. Divide evenly among the glasses and top with seltzer water.
You could also add 1 oz. of rum for an adult beverage.

Lemon Mynt Iced Tea (http://paleoleap.com/lemon-mint-iced-tea/)

Ingredients

3 cups of good quality tea, chilled;
8 fresh mint leaves;
1 lemon, sliced;
1 lime, sliced;
Ice cubes;

Instructions

1. In a jar, place the lemon and lime slices as well as the mint.
2. Fill the jar with ice cubes and the cold tea, and stir gently.
3. Chill in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours before serving.

Healthy labor Day Salads & Appetizers

Paleo Brocoli Salad with Bacon (http://cookeatpaleo.com/broccoli-salad-with-bacon/)

Ingredients

¼ cup red onion, diced
2 tablespoons organic apple cider vinegar
½ cup mayonnaise
1 head broccoli, cut into bite size florets
8 slices bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
½ cup golden raisins
¼ cup chopped walnuts
sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Instructions

Combine onions, vinegar and a good pinch of salt in bottom of large bowl. Stir in mayonnaise.
Add remaining ingredients and toss. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Tuna Salad Endive Boats (http://autoimmune-paleo.com/tuna-salad-endive-boats/)
Ingredients
2 5oz BPA-free cans of tuna, drained (I like this brand)
1 small green apple, cored and finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
2 ribs celery, finely chopped
½ cucumber, finely chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh dill
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup olive oil
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
½ lemon, juiced
½ teaspoon sea salt
2 endive heads

Instructions
1. Place the tuna, apple, carrot, celery, onion, dill, and garlic in a large bowl and stir to combine, breaking up the clumps of tuna.
2. Add the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, lemon, and sea salt and stir well to combine, until the tuna has absorbed all of the oil.
3. Trim the ends off the endive, and separate the leaves. Serve each leaf with a scoop of tuna salad.

Easy Guacamole Recipe (http://cookeatpaleo.com/simple-guacamole-recipe/)
Ingredients
2 Haas avocados
2 tablespoons minced onion
2 tablespoons lime juice, or more to taste
¼ teaspoon sea salt, or more to taste
diced jalepeno to taste, optional

Instructions

1. Peel and pit the avocados and add to medium bowl or molcajete.
2. Add onion, lime juice, salt, and jalepeno if using. Mash until ingredients are combined and guacamole is desired consistency.
3. Taste and add more lime juice and salt if needed.
4. Serve it with your favorite chips!

Bacon Deviled Eggs (http://civilizedcavemancooking.com/recipes/sides/bacon-deviled-eggs/)

Ingredients

6 eggs
1/2 large avocado, diced
3 tablespoons bacon fat, liquified
1-2 tablespoons franks red hot sauce (sub any hot sauce or amount for your taste)
3 strips bacon, cooked crispy and diced
1 teaspoon sea salt
paprika to garnish

Instructions

1. Once your eggs are cooled, evenly cut them in half the long way and using a spoon gently remove the yolks to a large mixing bowl
2. Set your eggs aside on a plate
3. Add your diced avocado, bacon fat, franks red hot sauce, about 2/3’s of your bacon and sea salt to the egg yolks in the bowl
4. Mix well by hand or use a hand mixer if your lazy like me
5. Once well blended, using a spoon, gently fill your eggs with your egg yolk avocado mixture
6. Move to a serving plate and sprinkle with the remainder of your bacon bits and garnish with paprika
7. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve and enjoy

Healthy Labor Day Entrees

Grilled peach Burgers with Balsamic Reduction (http://nourishedny.com/Grilled-Peach-Burgers-with-Balsamic-Reduction)

Ingredients

2lbs ground beef
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 peaches
1 ½ cups balsamic vinegar

Instructions

1. Pour vinegar into a small pot over low heat and let simmer, stirring every few minutes until it reaches your desired thickness (about 35-40 minutes). *Keep in mind that the reduction will also slightly thicken as it cools.
2. While the vinegar is cooking, core your peaches and slice them into rounds for the grill. I find it is easiest to cut in half horizontally and treat it like an avocado (twist the two halves apart and twist out the nut inside), then slice. Mix ground cardamom well into ground beef and form four evenly sized patties.
3. Grill peaches over high heat for about a minute on each side (or until you have visible grill marks). Grill burgers to your liking.
4. Top each burger with 2-3 peach slices and drizzle some balsamic reduction on top, serve hot and enjoy!

Paleo Hamburguer Bun

Prep Time: 15 min | Cook Time: 20 min | Total time: 30 min | Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

1/2 cup of tapioca flour
1/2 cup of almond flour
3 eggs
2 tbps of water
salt to taste
1/2 tbsp of garlic powder
a pinch of dried thyme
a pinch of dried oregano

Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a large bowl, combine the tapioca and almond flours, garlic powder and salt. Stir until mixed.
3. Add the eggs and water and continue mixing until a soft dough is formed.
4. Add in the thyme and oregano and mix it in.
5. If you have a Burger bakeware use that by filling 3 or 4. Otherwise, on a baking sheet, scoop batter with a spoon util you form 3 large or 4 medium sized buns on the baking sheet.
6. Cook for 20 min.
7. Remove, let is cool for 5 min, then cut it in the middle.
8. Enjoy your burger!

Rosemary Lemon Chicken (https://elanaspantry.com/rosemary-lemon-chicken/)

Ingredients

1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breast
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ cup lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, pressed
¼ cup fresh rosemary, minced
½ teaspoon celtic sea salt

Instructions

1. In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, rosemary and salt
2. Rinse chicken breasts, pat dry and place in an 7 x 11 inch baking dish
3. Pour marinade over chicken, cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or up to 6 hours
4. Heat grill and cook chicken for 5-7 minutes per side until browned and cooked in the center.
5. Enjoy!

Paleo BBQ Sauce for your burgers (https://elanaspantry.com/bbq-sauce/)

Ingredients

2 tablespoons of avocado oil you can also use coconut oil)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
¼ cup shallots, minced
1 (7 ounce) bottle tomato paste
1 cup orange juice, fresh squeezed
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon dry mustard powder
½ teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon celtic sea salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

1. Warm oil in a saucepan over medium heat
2. Add garlic and shallot; cook until soft
3. Add tomato paste, orange juice, vinegar, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper
4. Simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring often
5. Baste over chicken
6. Marinate in fridge for 1-3 hours
7. Grill
8. Enjoy!

BBQ Meatballs (http://paleoleap.com/bbq-meatballs/)

Ingredients

2 lb. ground beef;
½ cup green onions, thinly sliced;
¼ cup almond flour; (optional)
1 egg;
½ tsp. chili powder;
Coconut oil;
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;

Ingredients for the BBQ sauce

1 cup homemade ketchup;
1 onion, minced;
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar;
2 tbsp. honey; (optional)
2 tbsp. coconut aminos;
½ tsp. chili powder;
½ tsp. paprika;
Dash of hot sauce; (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;

Instructions

1. Preheat your oven to 350 F.
2. In a bowl, combine the ground beef, onions, egg, almond flour, chili powder, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until everything is well-mixed.
3. Roll the beef mixture into bite-size balls and set aside.
4. Heat some coconut oil in a skillet placed over a medium heat and brown the meatballs for 4 to 5 minutes on each side; then place them in a baking dish.
5. Combine all the ingredients for the BBQ sauce in a bowl, season to taste, and stir until combined.
6. Pour the sauce over the meatballs and bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes.

Desserts

Chunky Fruit Popsicles (http://paleoleap.com/chunky-fruit-popsicles/)

Ingredients

1 lb. of your favorite fruits;
Juice of 1 lemon;
Juice from 1 orange;
½ cup of water;
¼ tsp. vanilla extract;

Instructions

1. Cut 1 cup of the fruits into small chunks and set aside.
2. Using a food processor or a blender, puree the remaining fruits, the lemon juice, the orange juice, and the water until smooth.
3. Add the mixture to the bowl containing the chunky fruits, and stir in the vanilla extract.
4. Divide the mixture equally among the Popsicle molds.
5. Freeze for 3 to 4 hours.

Paleo Strawberry Banana Sorbet (http://www.cheatsheet.com/life/6-paleo-friendly-desserts-to-enjoy-on-labor-day.html/?a=viewall)

Ingredients

2½ cups of fresh, ripe strawberries
1 ripe banana
½ cup of (canned) coconut cream
1 tablespoon agave nectar

Instructions

Combine ingredients in a food processor or a blender. Pour the mixture in a container freeze overnight.

We hope you enjoyed these quick and easy healthy recipes for Labor Day Weekend! Be safe and responsible!

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