We are attending 3 barbecues this weekend! One Friday evening and two on Saturday.  I always offer to bring something to a party or gathering for two reasons: 1) If I bring something, I know there will be a healthy option available for me to eat and 2) I think it’s the height of poor manners to ever show up at someone’s door empty handed.  Even if the host says something along the lines of “Don’t worry about it – We’re all set.”

You will see from my menu this week that I am embracing the warmer weather by serving a lot of dinner style salads.  Healthy and easy – my favorite combination! 🙂

Friday: For BBQ #1 I’m making a Southwestern Black Bean Salad.  It couldn’t be easier and it has a lot of flavor.  You can serve it over greens or over chicken too.  I’m planning to bring it over baby spinach.

Saturday: To BBQ #2 I am bringing hummus (purchased from my local weekly Farmer’s Market), veggies and Food Should Taste Good brand multi-grain chips.  To BBQ #3 I am bringing a really big salad made with mixed greens, artichoke hearts, broccoli slaw, tomatoes and whatever else I see either at the Farmer’s Market or Whole Foods that would be fun to toss in.  BBQ #3 will be featuring grilled meats from Walden Local Meat which is the company I get my monthly delivery from.  I’m interested to see what types of meats they will be serving.

Sunday: My friend Debra brought this great Mixed Bean Salad to our running club pool party at my house last summer.  I think it would be great if you added some cherry tomatoes and served it with grilled chicken.  So, I’m giving that a try!

Monday: My mother-in-law will be joining us for dinner.  I am planning to make a White Bean & Roasted Chicken Salad which I’ll serve over baby spinach.  I’m hoping there may be some decent looking corn at the store this week.  It may still be too early.  If so, I’ll pick up some asparagus instead.  I’m also going to look for  a gluten free corn bread muffin recipe.

Tuesday: I’m making Teriyaki Chicken & Spinach Salad along with roasted broccoli.  I know roasting is more of a winter cooking option, but my girls seem to enjoy some vegetables roasted that they don’t care for prepared other ways.  So, whatever works!

Wednesday: Early dismissal and last day of school in Medfield!  My 12 yo is heading to Canobie Lake Park with some friends and my 9 yo is having an end of year school party at our house.  Right now the count is at 13 – oh dear… I’ve tapped some moms to stay and help me keep on eye on them all in the pool.  I’m assuming their will likely be left over pizza for the husband and definitely left overs from the last few nights dinners for me.

Thursday: Billy Joel at Fenway Park!  YAHOO!  I hope the weather cooperates.  We are going with 2 out of 3 of Dave’s brothers plus wives.  One of them lives in the South End and will be hosting a roof deck barbecue beforehand.  I’m planning to bring Roasted Beet & Brussel Sprout Citrus Salad.  (*If you skip the feta, this would be a great Phase 1 recipe for the 3 Steps Toward Optimal Health program.)


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