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Healthier Red, White & Blue Recipes For 4th of July


Fire up the grill, gather your friends and family, and prepare to let sparks fly. Fourth of July is here, and I'm excited to give you fun, festive, and flavorful reasons to celebrate! And while this holiday is known for indulgent treats and savory BBQs, I've got you covered with healthy twists on classic favorites.

 

But, if you’re worried about derailing your health efforts, I've got some great news: You can enjoy all the summer fun and tasty treats without compromising your health goals!

 

It’s all about balance and smart choices. I truly believe that food is medicine, but also that it is meant to be enjoyed. 

 

We really have to stop looking at things as "good" or "bad". There's food that supports you and gives you the nutrients you need...and there's food that doesn't.

 

Following an 80/20 approach means 80% of the time you stick to nourishing choices, and 20% of the time you allow yourself some flexibility. 

 

One evening of indulgence won’t ruin everything you’ve worked for, so let’s focus on making it enjoyable, but also being mindful


This year, celebrate without compromising your health and fitness goals. From vibrant salads bursting with flavor to healthy desserts that will keep you cool and hydrated under the summer sun, these recipes will satisfy your taste buds and nourish your body.


How to Make Healthier Fourth of July Recipes 


Making healthy Fourth of July recipes can be as simple as finding good-for-you swaps for not-so-healthy ingredients. Instead of serving (or enjoying) processed foods or foods high in sugar or fat, consider making recipes that are more nutrient-dense and made with real ingredients. Here are some ideas:


  1. Swap white burger buns for lettuce wraps or whole grain buns to reduce refined carbs and increase fiber.

  2. Use lean protein options like turkey or chicken burgers instead of beef to lower saturated fat content.

  3. Opt for homemade marinades and dressings instead of store-bought versions to avoid added sugars and fillers.

  4. Replace mayo-based dressings with lighter options like Greek yogurt or avocado.

  5. Grill fresh summer fruits like peaches, pineapples, or plums for a sweet and healthier dessert option instead of sugary treats.

  6. Make homemade veggie burgers using ingredients like black beans, lentils, or quinoa for a nutrient-packed patty alternative.

  7. Swap sugary beverages or cocktails for unsweetened iced tea, sparkling water, or mocktails.


No matter your diet plan or eating goals, making healthier Fourth of July recipes can be simple and fun. Here are some healthier red, white, and blue recipes with options!


#1 Red, White, and Blue Fruit Skewers


This simple recipe can be enjoyed by kids and adults alike! Fruit skewers are fun, require little prep or clean-up, and are a healthy way to satisfy your sweet tooth!


To make these festive fruit kabobs, simply thread your patriotic-colored fruit onto a wood skewer. Start with a red fruit (think: raspberries, strawberries, cherries, or watermelon), add sliced banana for a white fruit, and finish with blue (such as grapes, blueberries, or blackberries). 


#2 Watermelon, Black Olive, Mint & Feta Salad


With hints of sweet, savory, and refreshing, these summer ingredients pair perfectly together to create a light and healthy Fourth of July recipe! Serving as the star ingredient, watermelon is also super hydrating!

Want to make this dish dairy-free? Replace the feta cheese for a dairy-free cheese alternative, or swap it out with hard-boiled eggs!


Ingredients:

  1. 1 small red onion, diced 

  2. 8 cups watermelon, cubed and chilled

  3. ⅓  pound feta cheese (or dairy-free alternative), crumbled

  4. 1 cup black olives, pitted 

  5. 1 bunch fresh Italian parsley, chopped 

  6. 2-3 tbsp fresh mint, chopped 

  7. 3-4 limes, juiced 

  8. ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

  9. ½ tsp black pepper


Directions:

Step #1: In a large bowl, add the watermelon, feta, olives, and onion. Toss until well combined.

Step #2: In a separate bowl, stir the olive oil, lime juice, and black pepper, then pour onto the salad until well coated. Toss gently. 

Step #3: Option to garnish with extra mint. Serve and enjoy! Best if enjoyed the same day 



#3 Red, White, & Blue Spinach Salad


This colorful summer salad can be whipped up in minutes, and easily customized to fit any dietary plan. Want an extra boost of protein? Toss in grilled salmon, tofu, or chicken. Looking to increase satiety? Add in healthy fats like avocado or a sprinkle of nuts and seeds to keep you feeling full! 


To maintain the healthy Fourth of July recipe theme, add in strawberries, blueberries, and hard-boiled egg to this dish! 


To prepare the salad, mix fresh spinach, strawberries, blueberries, red onion, and pre-prepped hard-boiled eggs in a large bowl. Toss with a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar or any dressing of choice. Plate and serve!



#4 Patriotic Yogurt Parfait 


Yogurt parfaits are one of the best snacks to munch on when you want something healthy that "feels" like a treat. Enjoy this as your breakfast, dessert, or as a snack at your Fourth of July gathering! 


To make this patriotic yogurt parfait, layer your yogurt of choice (Greek or dairy-free) into a cup, topping with layers of red and blue berries of choice. Customize it to your dietary needs by adding granola, cacao nibs, or even mixing protein powder into your yogurt!


Speaking of protein, for a high-protein version, choose a Greek-style yogurt base. If you want to keep it dairy-free, opt for a coconut or almond milk variety. Regardless of the yogurt you choose, keep it low-sugar by choosing an unsweetened version.


#5 Patriotic Potato Salad 


This red, white, and blue side dish is a fun and festive BBQ necessity! Made without dairy and mayo, serve this yummy dish as a healthier alternative to traditional potato salad.


Ingredients:

  1. 1 ½ lb. Red, purple, and yellow baby potatoes, washed and loosely chopped 

  2. 4 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and finely chopped 

  3. 2-3 cloves garlic, smashed 

  4. ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil 

  5. ¼ cup red onion, finely chopped 

  6. ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

  7. ¼ cup scallions, finely chopped

  8. 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped

  9. ¼ cup red wine vinegar

  10. 2 tsp dijon mustard 

  11. 1 tsp paprika (optional)

  12. ½ tsp turmeric (optional)

  13. Fresh ground pepper, to taste 

  14. Sea salt, to taste


Directions:


Step #1: Bring a large pot of water to a boil then add the potatoes and a dash of salt. Reduce heat and cook for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and set aside.

Step #2: While the potatoes are cooking, add eggs, garlic, onion, and fresh herbs into a large mixing bowl. Toss until combined. Then, add all of the remaining ingredients. Stir until well combined. 

Step #3: Once mixed, add the boiled potatoes to the bowl. Using a fork, slightly mash the potatoes and toss until well coated. Taste test and adjust ingredients as needed. Option to add an additional tbsp of olive oil if needed. Option to garnish with fresh spices. Chill for 1-2 hours before serving.


#6 Loaded Mediterranean Quinoa Salad


This healthy appetizer or side dish features quinoa, a staple for anyone looking for plant-based protein in their life! Fill it with your favorite mix-ins, such as olives, cucumber, or even blueberries!


Ingredients:

  1. 2 cups water or low-sodium vegetable broth

  2. 1 cup quinoa

  3. 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

  4. 1 cucumber, diced

  5. ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

  6. ½ cup red onion, finely chopped

  7. ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped

  8. ¼ cup fresh mint, chopped

  9. ½ cup crumbled feta, optional 

  10. 3-4 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

  11. 2 tbsp lemon juice

  12. 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

  13. 1 garlic clove, minced

  14. Sea salt and black pepper, to taste


Directions:


Step #1: Cook the quinoa according to packaged directions. Meanwhile, wash and chop the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, olives, red onion, parsley, and mint. Set aside.

Step #2: Next, prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.

Step #3: Assemble the salad by combining all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, including the cooled quinoa, prepped veggies, and optional feta. Pour the dressing over the top, and toss until well mixed. Serve and enjoy!



#7 Grilled Cherry Salad with Goat Cheese & Balsamic Vinaigrette


Instructions:

  1. 2 Tbsp Balsamic Vinegar

  2. 1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

  3. 1/4 tsp Sea Salt

  4. 1/4 tsp Black Pepper

  5. 2 cups Cherries (pitted and halved)

  6. 4 cups Baby Spinach

  7. 1 cup Blueberries

  8. 1/3 cup Goat Cheese (crumbled)

  9. 1 cup Green Lentils (cooked, drained and rinsed)

  10. 1/2 cup Pecans (toasted)


Instructions:


  1. Create your balsamic vinaigrette by combining balsamic vinegar, olive oil, sea salt and black pepper in a jar. Shake well and set aside.

  2. Preheat grill with medium heat. Place your pitted and halved cherries in a bowl and add 2 tablespoons of the balsamic vinaigrette and toss well. Transfer cherries to a grill pan and grill until slightly charred (about 5 minutes).

  3. Place baby spinach in a large salad bowl. Top with grilled cherries, blueberries, goat cheese, lentils and toasted pecans. Drizzle with desired amount of balsamic dressing and serve. Enjoy!


Options:

Grill up some chicken breast or grass-fed steak with your cherries to serve alongside the salad.

Add the cherries to the salad raw and skip step 2.

Skip the goat cheese.


#8 Buffalo Zucchini Chicken Burgers


Ingredients

  1. 1 pound 93% lean ground chicken (or sub ground turkey) -- do not use 99%

  2. 1/2 cup shredded zucchini, squeezed of excess moisture with a paper towel (from ½ of a medium zucchini)

  3. 2 tablespoons hot or medium buffalo sauce

  4. 1/4 cup very finely diced yellow onion

  5. ½ teaspoon garlic powder

  6. 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  7. 1/2 teaspoon salt

  8. Freshly ground black pepper

  9. 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese For assembly:

  10. 4 hamburger buns of choice, toasted if desired

  11. 4 tablespoons buffalo sauce, for topping

  12. 1 large avocado, sliced

  13. Butterhead lettuce

  14. Sliced red onion


Instructions

  1. Preheat grill to medium high heat (about 400 degrees F). Brush the grates with olive oil to prevent sticking.

  2. Make the chicken burgers by adding the ground chicken/turkey, shredded zucchini, buffalo sauce, onion, garlic, cumin, salt and pepper to a large bowl. Mix with your hands until evenly combined. Divide into 4 equal portions and shape into 1/2 inch patties.

  3. Grill over medium-high heat (around 400 degrees F) for 6-8 minutes per side or until burgers are cooked through and a meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F. During the last few minutes of cooking the chicken burgers, add a slice of cheddar cheese on top of each burger patty; cover the grill for about 1 minute while the cheese melts.

  4. Place the onion on the bottom of the bun, then the burgers, top with a little bit of extra buffalo sauce, avocado and lettuce. Serve immediately. Great with sweet potato fries or fresh fruit!


Notes

To keep these burgers dairy free: use your favorite dairy free cheese slices or simply omit the cheese.

To keep them paleo: omit the cheese and use a lettuce wrap instead of a whole grain bun.

To store: store any leftover buffalo zucchini chicken burgers in the fridge in an airtight container for 3-4 days. Simply reheat in the microwave.



Head into the holiday feeling confident in your summer skin. Maintain your health and fitness goals by staying on track with your healthy eating plan! With simple swaps for any dish, you’ll never feel deprived of your favorite foods. These recipes may be festive, but they can be made and enjoyed all season long.  


 









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