Can you believe it’s almost the 4th of July? Summer is flying by, I wish it would slow down one of these years! Your holiday plans are probably starting to get set in stone and the thought of what to bring or make for your party is crossing your mind. I love to find patriotic recipes that are on the healthier side. As many of you know, I follow an 80/20 diet. I eat clean 80% of the time so that I can indulge on those date nights and weekends with my family. You gotta live a little! My motto is everything in moderation is key. This is what works for me and does not feel restricting which is important to me. To help myself stay on track a little better this 4th of July, I’m choosing to bring healthier recipes. Whether you are in charge of an appetizer, side, main or dessert, I’ve got you covered with yummy options!
Appetizer: Berry Sweet & Spicy Salsa
- 1 pint fresh blueberries, divided
- 1 pint fresh strawberries, hulled and diced
- 1/2 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1 large jalapeño, finely diced
- 1/2 bunch of cilantro, chopped
- Juice of one medium lime
- Zest of one medium lime
- 1 teaspoon honey (or pure maple syrup to keep this vegan)
- 2 pinches or so coarse sea salt
Place about half of the blueberries in a small bowl. Using a potato masher, mash them up slightly. Add the remaining ingredients. Toss well and refrigerate. Use within a few hours. Serve with tortilla chips.
Side: Summer Spinach Salad
- 1 package (5 ounces) organic spinach
- 8 ounces strawberries, halved (about 2 cups)
- 1 large avocado, sliced
- ½ small red onion, thinly sliced
- ½ cup feta crumbles
- ⅓ cup raw sliced almonds
BALSAMIC STRAWBERRY VINAIGRETTE:
- 3 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, grated or finely minced
- ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1/2 tablespoon strawberry jam (or jam of choice)
- Freshly ground salt and pepper, to taste
In a mason jar or small bowl, add all of the dressing ingredients. Shake or mix well to combine. Taste and add additional salt/pepper, if necessary.
Toast the almonds on the stovetop: add the almonds to a pan and place over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 2-5 minutes until the almonds are slightly golden brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Add spinach to a large bowl, layer on the strawberries, avocado slices, red onion, feta, toasted almonds, and chopped pistachios. Feel free to add dressing now or set it out for individual servings. Top salad bowls with extra toasted almonds and drizzle each bowl with 1/4 of the dressing.
You can even make this a main dish, add some grilled chicken or your favorite protein source!
Main: Star Spinach Feta Burgers
Do you think I’m crazy telling you to get a star cookie cutter out for your burgers? Just think, it will be a crowd pleaser!
Ingredients: (Makes 4-4oz burger portions with bun)
- 1 lb.lean ground beef
- 4 oz. Fresh baby spinach, chopped
- 4 oz. Feta cheese crumbles
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, minced
- 4 whole wheat hamburger buns
1. In a medium bowl, combine beef, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper and garlic. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Next, fold in gently the spinach and feta cheese crumbles.
2. Form 4 burger patties then lightly press the center of the burger to make a “dent” in it. This will help keep the burgers from shrinking and puffing up in the center.
3. Heat a grill pan, cast iron skillet or skillet over medium-high heat. Once hot, place burgers down allowing 1” of space between them. Cook on each side 3-4 min then turn over. Do not press down on burgers. You want those delicious juices to remain intact. Once burgers are done, move to a plate and allow them to rest 2-3 minutes before serving to let the juices absorb back into the meat.
4. Place the hamburger on a bun and enjoy. If following a low carb diet, omit bun for 2-4 large romaine lettuce leaves to serve as the bun.
For the kids: Shape your cheese slices as stars on regular burgers!
Dessert: Patriotic Fruit & Yogurt Bars
- 3 cups vanilla or plain Greek Yogurt
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1 cup fresh blueberries
- In a medium bowl, combine the yogurt and honey until well combined. Using a spatula, fold in the white chocolate chips.
- Line a cookie sheet with foil or parchment paper. Pour the yogurt mixture evenly over the cookie sheet, smoothing with your spatula. Evenly distribute the raspberries and blueberries over the top of the yogurt mixture.
- Put in the freezer and chill for at least 2 hours. Break into large pieces to serve. Serve cold and keep in the freezer or on ice.
This is one I will use all summer long with the kids favorite fruits! So tasty!
Have a Happy & Safe 4th of July & Remember to wear your SPF 😉