The 4th is a time to enjoy fireworks, festivities, and yummy food served al fresco. And it’s one holiday whose dishes and delicacies are a snap to remake in a healthier image. This year we’re making simple tweaks to your favorite dishes and transforming them into delicious, wholesome fare. Unlike their more popular brethren, our menu items exclude better-to-skip-them ingredients like mayonnaise, butter and refined sugar. Get ready to enjoy the 4th to the fullest with these delectable alternatives to your favorite summer dishes:
Corn on the Cob. Nothing says "summer" like fresh corn on the cob. For a satisfyingly healthy treat, ditch the butter and kick it up a notch with this festive favorite – in a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, freshly squeezed lime juice and chili powder. Brush over grilled corn on the cob and enjoy! Simply delicious!
Pasta Salad. Say "see ya later!" to mayo and lighten up this classic summer favorite by tossing low-calorie Italian dressing with tri-color rotini pasta, halved cherry tomatoes, chopped cucumbers and diced Bermuda onion. Yum!
Burgers. For a burger with bite, opt for healthy lean ground turkey instead of ground beef (which can be high in saturated fat). Mix one pound of lean ground turkey with one packet of dry onion soup mix and ½ cup water. Form into four burger patties and grill over high heat for 5-7 minutes per side (or until well done).
Red, White & Blue Fruit Salad. What could be more patriotic than displaying the old red, white and blue? Tossed in fresh lime juice and garnished with mint, this combination of juicy strawberries, fresh blueberries and yummy bananas makes a refreshingly delicious (and healthy!) treat. In a large bowl, whisk the juice of one lime with ¼ cup of honey, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint. Add diced strawberries, blueberries and bananas; toss to combine. Let the fruit salad sit for 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Who knew patriotism could be so tasty?
Grilled Fruit. Grilled fruit is a simple, delicious and festive way to end a summer celebration. Grilling extracts fruits' natural sugar by caramelizing the surface. First, brush the grill with light vegetable oil to prevent fruit from sticking. Next, place a variety of sliced, firm fruits (think pineapple, apples, pears, sliced peaches…) around the heated grates. Keep flame on low to avoid excessive charring and watch softer fruits closely as they have a tendency to get mushy if left on for too long. Grill for 5-7 minutes per side (you’ll want to see visible grill marks). Remove and enjoy!
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