We know that 4th of July barbecues are all about the burgers and dogs - It would be positively unpatriotic not to have them! But more and more as people embrace healthier lifestyles they do seem to gravitate to the more healthful choices whether due to dietary preferences or limitations. Gone are the days, for me, where my plate is piled high with potato and macaroni salad and gone are the days where I plant myself near the chips and dips and salsas. The choice is a cognizant one as I approach a new decade, I strive to be my very best, personally, professionally and physically. Aging is no excuse. There are no excuses! So this summer as we embrace the season barbecues and outdoor parties, let's do so in a healthy and mindful manner. From some of my favorite food sites, I've created a selection of delicious and healthful recipes to serve alongside traditional fare. I promise you your guests will thank and praise you! (For recipes, click on the Website links below.)
Add some excitement to an ordinary cruditee platter.... Items fresh from the garden or farmer's market are best. Look for unique, heirloom items - rainbow colored carrots, purple potatoes, red radishes, etc... Add a variety of dips and spreads to make the veggies even more enticing. Leave the stems on. Make your platter as visually appealing as the vegetables themselves
Summer stone fruits are a wonderful way to change up your bruschetta. Peaches, nectarines and plums add a colorful and sweet twist. Use a soft goat cheese, ricotta or marscapone and drizzle with lemon and honey. Add another element of surprise by grilling the fruit ahead of time!
Fresh Mozzarella and Burratta with assorted heirloom tomatoes - You can't get more simple and yet have something so beautiful.
A guacamole salsa is a lower calorie alternative to traditional guac, and super healthy. Try Swapping grilled or toasted pita toasts instead of the tortilla chips. This also makes a perfect accompaniment to grilled fish and chicken.
I'm a huge fan of grilled shrimp - It's an easy to make, decadent low-cal treat Served on a cucumber "cracker" makes for an elegant presentation.
Summer's bounty. Let's take advantage while we can. A smidge of olive oil and vinegar and we don't need to worry about mayo-laden salads and keeping them cool.
Nothing embraces the flavors of summer in a healthier way than grilled vegetables. Toss them together in a salad for a healthy and crowd-pleasing treat!
Watermelon and feta. I was a skeptic for a long time. But this refreshing salad is as thirst quenching as it is delicious!
Quick, easy, fun and portion controlled. Who doesn't love a good skewer - and shish-kabob is such fun to say!
For those wanting a little sweet without misbehaving. Beets and citrus are incredibly refreshing on a hot summer's day.
I hope this inspires you to make some healthy summer dishes on the 4th of July and beyond! For even more ideas visit From the Garden to the Plate :: 15 Mouthwatering Recipes