With the month of July comes beautiful sun and warm weather; it’s no wonder this month is observed as National Picnic and Parks month! Make sure you get off your devices and go outside. There are so many incredible parks you can explore, and don’t forget to pack a nutritious picnic lunch; you can stop and enjoy a meal in the fresh air.
Independence Day is in a few days away; did you know that 150 million hot dogs are eaten on the Fourth of July? According to the National Hot Dog and Sausage Council, that’s enough hot dogs to make a line from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles more than five times. That is a lot of processed meat! Americans consume more hot dogs on July fourth than any other day of the year.
Although traditionally, hot dogs seem to be the winner for 4th of July barbecues, I’ve got some healthier recipes that will be just as popular with any guest at your holiday gathering. Not only that, but they are ALL red, white, and blue! You can try one of these recipes alone or combine them all and your menu is covered for your patriotic themed party this year.
This burger is colorful and perfect for 4th of July. It’s better for you than hot dogs, and much more flavorful too! I would personally use “Beyond Meat” – they are vegan, yet very delicious! A great alternative for anyone pursuing a plant based diet. You can substitute this or any veggie burger of your choice for the ground sirloin in the recipe below.
Red, White, and Bleu Burger
- 1 lb lean ground sirloin
- fresh ground black pepper
- 1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and quartered
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 4 hamburger buns
- 1 large sweet white onion (Vidalia or Walla Walla)
- 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese
Dressed with a tangy lemon vinaigrette and fresh mint, this healthy red-white-and-blue potato salad makes the perfect potluck contribution. Make it the day before and stir in the peppers and herbs right before you serve it.
Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad
- 2 pounds baby potatoes, a mix of white and blue (or purple)
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, rinsed
- 4 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
You can put these in individual cups as a side dish or dessert at your barbecue or start your 4th of July out with a Red, White and Blue breakfast! It is super quick and easy and who doesn’t love a creamy, fruity treat? Better yet – with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese, it is high in animal-friendly protein.
Wild Berry Yogurt Parfait
- 3/4 cups low fat cottage cheese (or Greek Yogurt)
- 1/2 cup strawberries
- 1/2 cup blueberries
- 1 Small banana, sliced
- 1 tablespoon slivered almonds
You can’t forget the sweetest part of the meal, and these are a real treat. Freedom! Not just freedom to light fireworks and live in a free country, but freedom from fats and calories and freedom to shamelessly run around in your swimsuit! You have to try these to believe how amazing they taste!
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temp
- 1 1/3 cup cups organic coconut sugar
- 3 Large eggs
- Seeds scraped from 1 split vanilla bean or 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup reduced coconut milk, room temperature
Happy Independence Day! Enjoy the sun and the fresh air – soak in every moment; don’t take anything for granted!
“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall.” -John Dickinson