By: Kristen Darkow
Can you believe the 4th is just around the corner? If I had to guess, I’d say it’s May 15. And yet here we are with less than a week until July. Honestly though, July 4th is one of my very favorite holidays! I love summer, I love cookouts, I love fireworks, and I love the US of A. While grilling is on most people’s agenda for the holiday, I’ve got a few unique recipes to add to the day’s menu. So get out your recipe cards and jot these down!
For me, it’s always a challenge to stay on-plan with healthy eating on holidays when I’m surrounded by pasta salads and yummy desserts, so having a lighter option is always appreciated. A little red, white and blue fruit should do the trick!
Just thread 4 blueberries, 2 mini-marshmallows and 2 raspberries on five 10-inch wooden sticks. On the remaining seven sticks, thread 4 raspberries and 3 marshmallows and voila – an American flag!
Fruit just makes the 4th of July so easy! Again, this is an easy way to enjoy cheesecake without indulging in an entire cheesecake. 🙂 Here’s what you’ll need:
-1 lb. fresh strawberries
-3/4 cup (6 oz.) white chocolate chips
-5 tablespoons cream cheese (room temperature)
-2 tablespoons milk (room temperature)
-3/4 cup powdered sugar
-1/4 cup blueberries
First, melt the white chocolate. Then, beat it together with the milk and cream cheese until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat in until fully incorporated.
Move the cream cheese mixture to a Ziploc bag and cut off a corner. Put into refrigerator to thicken if needed.
Cut the strawberries twice perpendicularly almost all the way through. Squeeze the filling into the strawberries, and garnish with a blueberry on top. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Okay, so this one isn’t red, white and blue. But you’re going to need a tasty side dish to go with all those goodies coming off the grill. Doesn’t this look delicious? And once you read the ingredients list, you’ll see that it doesn’t get much more American. You’ll need:
-6 ears of corn, shucked
-3 tablespoons maple syrup
-1 tablespoon Jack Daniels whiskey
-12 ounces of thick cut bacon, diced
-2 yellow onions, diced
-2 teaspoons fresh sage, diced
-salt and pepper, to taste
First step is to remove all of the kernels of corn using a sharp knife. Add the corn kernels to a skillet over medium heat. Add syrup and whiskey and stir to coat corn. Cook for 5-7 minutes until corn is tender and syrup has caramelized. Remove to a bowl and set aside.
In the same skillet, cook the bacon over medium heat for 7-10 minutes. Add the onion and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes or until onions are slightly caramelized. Stir in the corn and cook for 2 more minutes.
Remove from heat and add sage, salt and pepper. Serve warm.
Amanda has previously blogged about this recipe, and she has since made it for me. It is delicious. And would make the perfect main or side dish for your 4th of July! Just take cooked, shredded chicken breast and stir in some Basil Pesto from Costco and put that on a baked sweet potato. So easy, and so good!
Take this unique approach to your classic 4th of July grilled hot dog! You will need:
-1/4 cup reduced fat cream cheese
-2 tbsp. plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
-1/2 jalapeno, seeded (plus extra for topping!)
-1 clove garlic
-2 lowfat beef hot dogs (or turkey hot dogs)
-2 slices center cut bacon
-2 hot dog buns
-2 tbsp. shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Place the cream cheese, greek yogurt, 1/2 jalapeno and garlic in a food processor. Pulse until well-combined.
Wrap a bacon slice around each hot dog and grill over medium heat until hot dog is warmed and bacon is fully-cooked.
To serve, place cooked hot dog inside of bun and top with cream cheese mixture, cheddar cheese and a few jalapeno slices.
There you go – a couple of mains, a couple of sides…you’re all set for the 4th of July! What are your plans for the big day? Share with us in the comments below!