Memorial Day Weekend comes with a lot of beginnings: the beginning of BBQs, beach days, farmer’s markets, pool openings, “unofficial” summer, and the buzz of the boardwalk. This MDW will also mark the launch of our new website where we not only intend to keep you up on the latest menu options and hours of operation, but also, and maybe more importantly, lots of fresh content and news on living an organic lifestyle through the foods you eat on a daily basis. As we officially launch our new blog on this American holiday weekend, it only makes sense to discuss the healthy options for hosting an organic BBQ- whether it be a party of 100 or a family dinner on the deck.
Fresh Fruits and Salads
Your Own Garden
Did you plant a garden this year? If not, its not too late! Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect weekend to purchase your plants and get them in the ground. Harvesting your own garden is beneficial in that you know where your food is coming from and you know it wasn’t fed dangerous pesticides or fertilizers. Beginner? Its ok! Start small with these easy to grow veggies:
- Tomatoes- its New Jersey after all! What’s a garden without tomatoes? They’re a great foundation for sauces, fresh summer salads, and tops for your burgers
- Zucchini and Squash- they tend to sprout later into the summer but grow wonderfully well and are perfect for grilling or turning into zoodles
- Cucumbers- very similar to the squash and zucchini, cucumbers are so excellent when crunching into one fresh out of your garden, not to mention, there is no waxy exterior like you so commonly find in the grocery store. A fresh cucumber from the garden is an excellent addition to your cucumber and tomato salad or to be used within a veggie platter for your guests
Looking for more tips? Martha Stewart has a great Beginner’s Guide to Organic Gardening
We are surrounded by some local Farmer’s Markets for locals to take advantage of:
- Point Pleasant Beach Farmer’s Market located across from Frankie’s on route 35 every Sunday morning in the summer. The Point Pleasant Beach Farmer’s market hosts local farmers each week who come with freshly picked fruits, vegetables, eggs, honey, and some organic baked goods.
- Brick Farmer’s Market located at Winward Beach Park in Brick town is brand new this summer. They are continuously adding new vendors and will be there every Saturday morning.
- Not from the area? That’s okay! Here is a great tool to find a farmer’s market close to you
Farmer’s markets are a great way to save a TON on produce while supporting your local farmers. Keep in mind that not everything is organic, talk to your local vendors and ask them about their processes in growing the foods. If you’re new to Farmer’s markets, here is a useful guide to nail your trip: 10 Farmer’s Market Shopping Trips
Sausage and Burgers and Dogs- oh my!
So you’ve gotten through the light salads and veggies and now it’s time to man the grill for the main course. Finding the meat that best suits your organic lifestyle can be tricky. You have to make your way through all kinds of call-outs: Organic!, no steroids, grass-fed, grass-finished (yes, there’s a difference!), natural, humanely raised... the list goes on.
It is important to understand what these mean, which are important to you and your family, and where you can find the meat that best fits your lifestyle. A great way to learn about your meat is to visit your local butcher. Ask them where they get their meat, what is added to it? Here in Point Pleasant, we have Arctic Butcher who carries organic meats and is happy to answer your questions and what, exactly, you’re feeding your family. If you’re not from the area, do a quick Google search to find a butcher near you and stop in for a chat- you’ll be happy you did.
If you are in a bind and want to grab some meats from your local grocery store, below are some brands that carry organic meats:
Keep in mind that it is still very important to read the labels to ensure that the meats meet your standards.
With these tips, you can host a delicious BBQ this weekend. Be sure to stop into LUK this weekend for a smoothie on the way to yoga, a salad on your bike ride home from the beach, or a morning brunch with your family.