July 6, 2024

Looking for simple ways to elevate your summer picnic or barbeque? Transform your summer picnic or barbecue into a feast of nutrient-rich delights with simple tips from your Hy-Vee dietitian. Barbeques often center around meat, with fruits and veggies as an afterthought. After building your plate, you can find yourself staring at a mountain of beef, chicken and pork with a half ear of corn on the cob. A far cry from the balanced plate you want: a palm-size serving of meat and half your plate overflowing with fruits and vegetables.

You can provide balance when gathering with friends or family by bringing a veggie dish. It can be as simple as a vegetable tray or an exciting plant-based recipe from Hy-Vee.com, like a zesty marinated vegetable pasta salad. Swap the regular pasta for a chickpea-based pasta for a protein boost. Plant protein is a heart-healthy option that brings balance to your summer gathering. Fruits and vegetables provide a valuable fiber that helps us feel full longer and keeps us from grazing during the picnic.

Another opportunity to make positive choices for health this summer is through how you decide to hydrate. If plain water is a struggle for you, get more out of your drink by selecting a functional beverage – any drink that provides additional benefits outside of quenching your thirst:

• Liquid IV delivers hydration and other vital nutrients rapidly into the bloodstream.
• Remedy Kombucha is a fermented tea that promotes gut health.
• Fairlife Core Power delivers 26 grams of high-quality protein to build muscle.

These are just a few delicious functional beverages to supplement your perfect portable picnic. Pour into your insulated hydro flask or pack right into your Igloo 12-quart cooler. And speaking of hydration, join our Hy-Vee Healthy You Functional Beverage Hydration Challenge at Hy-Vee.com/Health and get rewarded for your healthy summer hydration choices.

Zesty Marinated Vegetable Pasta Salad

All You Need:
(12-ounce) bottle lemon-pepper marinade with lemon juice (1½ cup), divided
1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp chili oil, divided
3 clove(s) garlic, minced
¼ tsp. Hy-Vee salt
1 medium summer squash, cut into ½-in.-thick slices 1 medium zucchini, cut into ½-in.-thick slices
1 lb. asparagus, trimmed
2 cups sliced Basket & Bushel mini sweet peppers
½ medium red onion, thinly sliced
1 (16-ounce) package Hy-Vee mostaccioli pasta
¼ cup finely shredded Soirèe Romano cheese chunk
Fresh basil (for garnish)

All you do:

  1. Whisk together 1 cup marinade, 1 Tbsp. chili oil, garlic and salt in a large bowl; add summer squash, zucchini, asparagus, sweet peppers and onion. Toss to coat; marinate in refrigerate for 30 minutes or up to 2 hours.
  2. Cook pasta in boiling salted water according to pkg. directions. Drain; set aside to cool.
  3. Meanwhile, preheat a charcoal or gas grill for direct cooking over medium heat (350 degrees). Spray the grill basket with nonstick spray; set aside.
  4. Transfer vegetables from bowl to prepared grilling basket, using tongs to shake off excess marinade. Reserving marinade mixture in bowl. Grill vegetables for 12 to 16 minutes or until slightly charred and crisp-tender, stirring frequently. Remove from grill and cool slightly.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the reserved marinade mixture in a bowl; add the remaining ½ cup of marinade and 1 tsp. chili oil; toss the pasta to coat. Transfer pasta to a large serving platter. Top with grilled vegetables and cheese. Garnish with basil, if desired.

Recipe source: Hy-Vee.com. Shop all of these ingredients at Hy-Vee Aisles Online. The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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