One of the year’s best cookout holidays (if not the best) is this coming weekend, and if you’re hosting, you may have already started planning what you’ll be serving your guests to impress. Although the usual favorites––pulled pork and burgers with sides of chips and dip––are always welcome, I’m here to tell you to change it up this year. There’s no reason why you can’t serve all your guests with delicious and nutritious meals that won’t disappoint. This is what I mean.
Here’s some low-hanging fruit because nutritionist Danielle Omar’s already done the work for you (you should thank her). She did a roundup of healthy snack options that’ll serve quite well as alternatives to the usual greasy and salty ones.
For example, you can use jicama chips instead of regular tortilla chips. Accompany them with this amazing homemade salsa (what makes it special is the roasted part), and your guests will be drooling at the table.
This simple grilled corn recipe is an easy one. There isn’t any butter or cheese in this recipe; you only need to “marinate” the corn in lightly salted water before grilling.
Sesame snap peas, carrots, and peppers are great companions for grilled meats, along with a healthified version of mom’s potato salad (just add more celery, take out the yolks, and use low-fat mayo instead).
Let’s be real. No true 4th of July BBQ would ever skimp out on serving burgers. It’s just unholy. However, you can be a culinary show-off and dazzle your guests with a changeup in the usual patty offering.
Take for instance, this popular grilled turkey burger recipe (just look at the ratings!). The fresh herbs give it some delicious flavor that’s brought out on the grill. You could also consider making a tempeh burger. Now, now. Don’t run away yet. I think this is one veggie burger option you can take seriously.
Of course, it’ll be hot and sunny, and your guests will need to wash down all this great food somehow. It might be a lot to ask to not offer any sodas or beer (gasp!) but consider these options to lay alongside the table:
- Jalapeno-watermelon margaritas––salty rim included. Yum!
- Kombucha––this fermented tea will give your guests the carbonated feel of a soda while doing some good for their gut.
- Low Sugar Strawberry Lemonade––great for the kids, too!
- Cucumber Water––if you’re serving water anyway, add cukes for a healthy and refreshing touch!
I know I’d be stuffed after eating everything else that dessert might not be an option. But if you want to offer some great desserts to top off that food coma, I’ve got a few recipes here to satisfy the sweet tooth. These no-bake coconut blueberry energy balls (did I mention they are no-bake?) along with these cocoa almond balls are both great to plop on a tray and have people grab and go.
My work here is done. I’ve rounded up some of the top healthiest and most delicious 4th of July BBQ recipes for you, so all you need to do is head to the grocery store for supplies. Let me know how it goes!