Celebrate the Fourth of July by sharing healthy and delicious food with your friends and family! Even if you don’t celebrate this holiday, you can still kick off your summer barbecues with these great recipes:
1. Watermelon Salad Flag
This fresh fruit salad mixes sweet and salty flavors, and can easily be made in advance. Combine watermelon cubes with fresh blueberries and crumbled feta cheese, and refrigerate until it’s time to serve.
2. Beet Caprese
Here is another recipe that reflects the colors of the American flag. Steam 3-4 beets for about 50-60 minutes, or until tender. Peel the beets under running, cold water, and let them cool fully before cutting into thin slices. Arrange a platter by alternating layers of beets and goat cheese, and refrigerate until it’s time to serve. Combine ½ cup of blueberries, 2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon of honey, and a pinch of salt, mixing until smooth. Drizzle the blueberry vinaigrette over the beets and goat cheese before serving.
3. Red, White, and Blue Nachos
Add a healthy twist to this classic party appetizer by using blue corn tortilla chips. Warm them in a pan over the grill for a minute, and serve with red salsa. If you want to cater to guests with dietary restrictions, make a simple cashew sour cream dip. Cover a cup of cashews with water, and soak for at least 3 hours. Drain the cashews and blend with ¼ cup of water, a pinch of salt, 2tsp of apple cider vinegar, and the juice of a small lemon, until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Refrigerate before serving with the nachos.
4. Honey Mustard Grilled Potato Salad
Make an allergy-friendly potato salad that will not spoil as easily in the summer heat. You can even get creative and use different potatoes—sweet, yucca, or even purple. Cut eight potatoes in half, then into wedges, and boil until tender. Drain the potatoes and let them dry as you make the dressing. Mix 1/3 cup of dijon mustard, 3tbsp of honey, the juice of 1/2 lemon, 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar, a pinch of salt and pepper, and 1tbsp of apricot preserves (optional). Drizzle in vegetable oil until that dressing is of your desired consistency. Finely mince 2 stalks of celery and thinly slice 1 small onion. Toss the onion and celery into the dressing, and refrigerate the mixture. Before serving, grill the potatoes until they have char marks on either side and toss them into the honey mustard mixture.
5. Marinated Grilled Tempeh Sandwiches
Tempeh is a sister of tofu but has a much firmer texture that makes it more suitable for grilling. Slice 8 oz. of tempeh into thin strips and marinate for about an hour in ¾ cup of your favorite sauce (consider traditional barbecue sauce or even Korean barbecue sauce). Grill the tempeh (flipping regularly) for about 5 minutes, or until heated through. Give your guests the freedom to assemble their own sandwiches by providing them with a spread of toppings, such as coleslaw, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, condiments, caramelized onions, and mushrooms. Alternatively, the tempeh can be served over a salad or with grilled vegetables for a grain-free option.
6. Grilled Naan Pizzas
This is a time-saving approach to grilling pizzas, and it’s also a crowd-pleaser—you can get your guests to participate and customize their own pizzas. Lightly grease either side of the naan slices of bread, and grill for about 2-3 minutes, flipping regularly until both sides are slightly charred. Allow your guests to add their favorite toppings, from the classic cheese and tomatoes to the elegant prosciutto and balsamic reduction. If necessary, grill for an additional minute or two to melt the cheese.
7. Blueberry Ginger Peach Popsicles
This is another recipe that can be made ahead of time. Combine 2oz of sliced ginger, ½ cup of water, and 3 tablespoons of sugar in a small saucepan. Allow the mixture to come to a simmer and reduce the heat to low for ten minutes. Once the syrup has cooled, strain it through a sieve (saving the ginger for future recipes) and blend with 2 ripe peaches and 1 cup of blueberries, until smooth. Pour the mixture into popsicle molds and freeze until solid.
8. Grilled Pound Cake and Peaches
Lightly brush both sides of pound cake slices with coconut oil, and grill until both sides have grill marks. At the same time, halve slightly ripe peaches and grill their cut side until they have grill marks as well. Top the grilled pound cake with the peaches and a fresh berry compote. To make the berry compote, combine 2 cups of mixed berries with a splash of water, and let the mixture simmer until the berries release most of their juices.