Where Local and Global Appetites Collide

Healthy Labor Day Dining

When I was a kid, I used to dread Labor Day because it meant that summer was over and school was starting.

These days I welcome Labor Day because now that I live in Arizona, I am more than ready for summer to be over (school started mid August) and for the weather to cool down.

Labor Day is a chance for people to take advantage of an extended weekend. That could include some entertaining or being entertained. September is a great month to take advantage of the end of summer harvest and eat fresh and seasonally. Your mileage may vary as to what’s in season based on your geographical area.

One of my favorite things to do is to have a buffet of salads. I know the guys might not like that idea if they don’t want to show off at the grill, make a meatloaf the day before and serve cold meatloaf sandwiches with salads.

This would be my ideal menu for a Labor Day gathering:

Gazpacho – This is like a liquid salad with a zing. Prepare a day in advance to marinate the flavors. May be served in mugs with spoons and tortilla chips

Meatloaf Sandwiches on dinner rolls or whole wheat buns – Make the meatloaf the night before and serve cold with assorted garnishes and condiments.

Summer vegetable pasta salad made with more vegetables, more often and the Cajun seasoning adds a bit of a kick.

Three bean salad – Nothing gets any easier than this

I don’t turn my oven on from May through September so there’s no baking for me. You could ask people to bring a dessert or pick up a good pie like key lime or lemon meringue or buy some good brownies and top them with vanilla ice cream or gelato. Everyone loves fresh berries and it’s a thoughtful dessert for people dieting or diabetic.

Serve with cold beer and ice tea.




  1. I’m a vegetarian, but my family is not. So, we’ll be grilling a combination of vegetables and meat, and serving them with various salads. My favorite is penne pasta with cherry tomatoes, greek olives, red onion, feta cheese, and a greek vinigerette.

  2. Hello people, it’s Labor Day! I’m enjoying my extra day off, and I am planning to make something fun that will probably involve a bike ride and seeing something new in Cottonwood I haven’t seen yet.
    You write something new on a Monday at the labor day? … haPPY bLOGgiNg!

  3. I woke up this morning to a slow, steady rain. It’s Labor Day and that means guilt-free, do-whatever-I want self-indulgence. I slept in. No phone calls. No appointments.

    I made french toast with egg whites and plan on running when it clears up. When’s the next holiday. It will not come soon enough!

  4. It rained here last night too which is good because we have not had much rain all summer. It cooled down the temps last night to 70s which is a summer first.
    Today only supposed to be 95 and hopefully more thunderstorms in the horizon.
    I am so ready for summer to be over!
    BTW the next holiday is Columbus Day.

  5. We’re doing a traditional grill having picked up some gorgeous steaks, fresh corn on the cob (will also be grilled) and baking potatoes for a mid-afternoon meal.

    Unfortunately, this is our last day-off holiday until Thanksgiving (Columbus & Veterans’ aren’t automatic days off at my office) but in another week we’ll start decorating for Halloween so it’s not so bad 🙂

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