Healthy Labor Day Recipes

Find healthy, delicious Labor Day recipes, from the food and nutrition experts at EatingWell.

Staff Picks

Carrot Cake

Rating: Unrated
14
Carrots give carrot cake a health-halo effect--people think it's health food, but it's usually very high in fat and calories. But our version has about 40 percent less calories and 50 percent less fat than most. First, we use less oil in our batter. Then we skip the butter in the frosting (don't worry, it's still light and smooth). To ensure the cake is moist, we add nonfat buttermilk and crushed pineapple.

Greek Turkey Burgers with Spinach, Feta & Tzatziki

Rating: Unrated
12
Creamy tzatziki and crisp sliced cucumber add a refreshing twist to this easy Greek-inspired burger recipe loaded with feta, spinach and Mediterranean spices. No tzatziki? No problem! Make your own at home by combining plain Greek yogurt with a squeeze of lemon, dill and finely chopped cucumber.

Pulled Pork with Caramelized Onions

Rating: Unrated
14
Traditional pulled pork is barbecued, which gives it a smoky flavor. But the slow cooker happens to be the absolute easiest way to cook pulled pork--and you can get a hint of smoke by adding chipotle chile. Serve the pulled pork with potato salad, collard greens and grits. Or make it into a sandwich and serve it on a bun with coleslaw.

Japanese Cucumber Salad

Rating: Unrated
5
This Japanese-inspired cool, crisp salad is as elegant and well balanced as it is simple.

Bev's Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: Unrated
61
EatingWell reader Beverley Sharpe of Santa Barbara, California, contributed this healthy chocolate chip cookie recipe. She gave chocolate chip cookies a healthy update by cutting back on sugar and incorporating whole grains. To increase protein, Sharpe replaces the rolled oats with 1 cup almond meal.

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

Rating: Unrated
10
This makeover recipe was one of the favorites chosen for our 30th anniversary issue. Tahini gives this cookie a subtle sesame flavor.

Nutty Pimiento Cheese Balls

Rating: Unrated
1
These bite-size pimiento cheese balls from Jamie and Bobby Deen are a huge hit with kids (of all ages). They're the perfect appetizer to bring to a summer picnic. Jamie and Bobby share a passion for great home-cooked food with a Southern flair with their celebrity-chef mom, Paula Deen. These brothers are following in their mom's footsteps with their own TV shows, books and website. Our favorite part of what they're up to: healthy makeovers of some of Paula's recipes! Recipe adapted from The Deen Bros. Get Fired Up, by Jamie & Bobby Deen and Melissa Clark (Ballantine Books, 2011).

Vinaigrette Coleslaw

If you prefer, make this salad with broccoli slaw mix instead of the coleslaw mix.

Vegetarian Taco Salad

Rating: Unrated
23
Nobody will miss the meat in this colorful, zesty vegetarian taco salad. The rice and bean mixture can be made ahead and the salad quickly assembled at mealtime. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

Black Bean Quesadillas

Rating: Unrated
21
In a hurry? These satisfying quesadillas take just 15 minutes to make. We like them with black beans, but pinto beans work well too. If you like a little heat, be sure to use pepper Jack cheese in the filling. Serve with: A little sour cream and a mixed green salad.

Italian Vegetable Hoagies

Rating: Unrated
15
This delightfully easy, and somewhat messy, sandwich packs a punch with sweet balsamic vinegar, artichoke hearts, red onion, provolone cheese and zesty pepperoncini. We love it for dinner as well as lunch. If you're packing the hoagies to take along, keep the ingredients separate and assemble right before eating to avoid soggy bread. Serve with tomato and cucumber salad.

Lemon Thins

Rating: Unrated
5
These lemon cookies are made healthier with whole-wheat pastry flour and they get their zippy flavor from fresh lemon zest and juice rather than lemon extract. This lemon cookie recipe would be the perfect accompaniment to afternoon tea.

Inspiration and Ideas

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Healthy Pasta Salad Recipes

Find healthy, delicious pasta salad recipes including tortellini salad, Greek pasta salad and pesto pasta salad.

Peach Custard Pie

Rating: Unrated
3

We use low-fat milk along with nonfat Greek yogurt in the creamy custard for this peach pie. The yogurt gives the custard a smooth texture without using cream or too many egg yolks. A slice is just as delicious served warm from the oven as it is chilled. For an added treat, serve topped with fresh blueberries.