No matter where you’re headed this weekend – heck, even if you’re staying home – there will be holiday food involved in your festivities. But it’s time to declare our independence from the usual, unhealthy summer celebratory foods. And let’s be honest, George Washington probably wasn’t eating a foot-long hot dog and potato salad when he was fighting the British.
It’s time to strike a blow to the tyranny of oppressive 4th of July food, and I’ve got just the recipes to help you do it, no matter where you’ll be this weekend!
Neighborhood Barbeque: No need to miss out on all the fun, just because much of the food is unhealthy. Bring a healthy salad to share such as my Grilled Corn and Black Bean Salad. Potlucks are the perfect opportunity to make sure that you’ve got something delicious to eat and share. I just developed this recipe for Edamame Succotash that will surprise and please a crowd! And of course, something sweet is always welcome, so bring along Chocolate (almond + avocado) Brownies to share.
On the Beach: Bring along a cooler full of “clean eating” snacks, beverages and grab-n-go treats for quick eating. Zip-top baggies full of ready-to-eat veggies will go perfectly with Classic Hummus whipped up ahead of time. Buy some whole grain baguettes, hollow out the bread’s fluffy insides (saving yourself a bunch of calories) and scoop in some delicious Skinny Chicken Salad. Or better yet, take a disposable container full of greens and plop the Chicken Salad on top when it’s mealtime. It gets hot out on the beach, so cool off and hydrate at the same time with a Stars-n-Stripes Berry Cooler (pictured). Simply pack frozen berries in mason jars and add chilled coconut water for a refreshing drink. Yum!
Camping: If you’re in the habit of packing chips and hot dogs for camping trips, it’s really time to think outside of the processed food box. Prepare and marinade chicken breasts or tenderloins ahead of time so that you can roast Chili Chicken Kabobs over the fire. Instead of highly processed protein bars for afternoon snack time, bring Vegan Thumbprint Cookies. They’re hearty, filling and so yummy! And of course you’ll want something sweet to eat while you’re telling ghost stories around the campfire, so pack some Dark Chocolate Chunky Brownies with Goat Cheese Swirl. If you wrap them in foil, you can warm them over the fire for an ooey gooey late night treat!
Family Reunion Potluck: Uh oh, grandma made her famous mile-high lemon meringue pie! Yikes, how will you resist?!? Well, the best offense is a good defense, so bring things that are healthy and support your goals. I love, love, love these easy and Healthy(ish) Ice Cream Sandwiches made with reduced-fat graham crackers and fruit sorbet (pictured). Put them in pretty cupcake liners and bring them out just as grandma’s cutting into her pie. But before dessert distracts you, bring out your 50 Shades of Greens salad or Tomato Salad Antipasti. Either one would be a welcome addition to any buffet, and you could easily bring a small salmon fillet to grill to add to it. So much easier to forego the greasy burger if you’ve got a tasty alternative at the ready.
No matter what you’ll be doing on the 4th, you’ll be able to stick to your healthy eating goals when bring along your favorite foods to share.
Happy 4th of July!