Celebrate Labor Day with Healthy Options

So long, summer...(Cue depressing music), Hello, fall! With Labor Day this weekend, we know this means a lot of family get-togethers and delicious food. Many of us have dietary restrictions so we understand these celebrations can be a challenge to find filling and satisfying dishes that meet your dietary needs. From gluten free to vegan, we have you covered with a variety of main courses, side dishes, and desserts that everyone can enjoy!

Bunless Burger Bites

Not only are these fun to say but they’re extremely easy for anyone tight on time!

What you need:
* 1 pound of ground beef (NOTE: Swap out ground beef for turkey for a leaner option)
* Cherry tomatoes
* Pickles
* Lettuce
* Cheese (optional)
* Skewers

Directions:
1. To prepare these, roll your ground beef into small, palm size meat balls. Cook on a medium heat for 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked all the way through.
2. Place 1/4 of cheese slice on meat ball while it’s still in the pan and allow cheese to melt.
3. After meat balls are topped with cheese, it’s time to assemble the skewers. Slide a mini burger, lettuce, pickle, and cherry tomato on a skewer and place on decorative plate of your choosing and enjoy!

Marinated Greek Chicken Kabobs

This creamy chicken creation is low fat, flavorful, and easy to prepare!

What you need:
* 1 container of fat-free plain yogurt
* 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
* 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
* 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
* 2 teaspoons dried oregano
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
* 1/4 teaspoon crushed dried rosemary
* 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast
* 1 large red onion
* 1 large green pepper
* Skewers

Directions:
1. In a large mixing bowl, mix yogurt, feta cheese, lemon zest, lemon juice, oregano, salt, pepper & rosemary.
2. Cut chicken into 1-inch pieces
3. Cut red onion into wedges and green pepper into roughly 2 inch pieces
4. Place chicken into mixing bowl with yogurt marinade and mix thoroughly. Cover and marinade chicken for 3 hours in refrigerator.
5. Assemble chicken, onion wedges, and green bell peppers onto skewers, throwing out any remaining yogurt mix.
6. Grill skewers until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.

Baked Zucchini Chips

A healthy alternative to fries or chips that will leave your guests pleasantly surprised. (Exclude breadcrumbs for gluten free)

What you need:
* 3 small zucchinis
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
* 1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
* 2 teaspoons fresh oregano

Directions:
1. Cut zucchinis into 1/4 inch rounds. Place into bowl and drizzle with olive oil, coating evenly.
2. Add bread crumbs to bowl and toss to evenly coat.
3. Spread out zucchini onto baking sheet and sprinkle with parmesan cheese and oregano.
4. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes.

Simple Kale Salad With Lemon Vinaigrette

For those wanting a more leafy side dish, this salad is nutritious AND tasty.

What you need:
For the salad-
* 2 bunches of kale
* 3-4 Sun dried tomatoes
* 3 green onions
* cherry tomatoes
* Pine nuts
For the dressing-
* 1/2 cup olive oil
* 1/3 cup lemon juice
* 2 tablespoons of freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)
* Salt & pepper for taste

Directions:
1. In a medium size bowl, combine olive oil, lemon, salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Stir thoroughly and set aside.
2. Working in batches, chop kale into roughly 1/4 pieces or desired size. Place kale in large bowl. Dice 3-4 sun dried tomatoes & 3 green onions. Sprinkle chopped sun dried tomatoes, green onions, and handful of pine nuts over kale.
3. Slice cherry tomatoes in half and add to salad bowl.
4. Pour half the dressing over the salad and toss to coat thoroughly. Add dressing and salt to taste as needed. Top with parmesan cheese and voila! A healthy salad for everyone to savor.

Orange-Glazed Carrots

This bright colored side dish is not only entertaining to look at, but an excellent source of Vitamin A!

What you need:
* 1 pound of carrots
* 1 cup fresh orange juice
* 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
* 1 tablespoon fresh dill leaves
* 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt & ground black pepper

Directions:
1. Cut carrots into 4 inch chunks, making sure to cut at an angle.
2. Combine carrots and orange juice in a large saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the tops of the carrots.
3. Add butter, salt, and pepper to pan.
4. Bring mixture to a boil then reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer.
5. Cook carrots on low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes.
6. Drain & top with dill

Cinnamon-Spice Raisin Cookies

These effortless cookies are not only chewy, but vegan, gluten free, and have no added sugar. The ultimate triple (healthy) threat!

What you need:
* 2 cups California golden raisins
* 3 cups almond meal
* 2 tablespoons almond butter or cashew butter
* 1/4 cup coconut oil
* 2 tablespoons water
* 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
* 1/2 teaspoon ginger
* 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
* 1/8 teaspoon cloves
* Large pinch of salt

Directions
1. In a medium bowl, heat 3-4 cups of water in the microwave for 3 minutes. Add raisins to water and allow to plump for 5-10 minutes.
2. Drain raisins and transfer to food processor. Blend until pureed or about 2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients to processor and blend until fully combined.
3. Using a spoon, scoop a few spoonfuls of batter and form balls. Batter will be sticky, so wet hands are recommended. Place cookie balls about 2 inches apart on a well greased cookie sheet.
4. Bake cookies at 325 degrees F for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown.
5. Allow cookies to cool completely before serving.

Classic Apple Pie

An American classic that can be devoured by all! This classic delight has no artificial sugar added and will be gone before you know it.

What you need:
* 2 (9 inch) pie shells
* 3 tablespoons cornstarch
* 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
* 1 can unsweetened apple juice concentrate, thawed
* 6 cups sliced greens apples (Granny Smiths are recommended)

Directions:
1. In a small bowl, whisk cornstarch, cinnamon, and 1/3 cup of apple juice concentrate together. Set aside.
2. In a large saucepan simmer sliced apples with remaining apple juice until apples are tender for about 10 minutes. Stir in mixture from the small bowl, continue to simmer until thickened.
3. Spoon apple mixture into a pastry-lined pie plate. Cover top with top crust. Seal and flute edges (using a fork, press down on crust around edges) Cut steam vents on top of pie.
4. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for 45 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
5. Allow to cool for 30 minutes then enjoy!

Homemade Peach Ice Cream

This ice cream is low in sugar, high in flavor and will satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth without the guilt. The best part? It’s ONLY 2 ingredients!

What you need:
* 2 cups frozen peaches (Note: If you would prefer to make your own frozen peaches, simply pit, slice in halves, and flash freeze for an hour)
* 1/4 cup coconut milk
* Diced peaches and/or mint sprigs (optional for garnishes)

Directions:
1. Place 2 cups of frozen peaches in a food processor and process until peaches have broken down. This should take 4-5 minutes.
2. Add coconut milk and process together until a creamy, smooth texture forms.
3. Spoon soft served ice cream into bowls and serve immediately.
4. Garnish with freshly sliced peaches and mint (optional)

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