I hope you all have plans to be with family and friends for the 4th of July. We are in the summer swing for sure! Today we will look at healthy picnic recipes, so you can have fun without compromising your health. These recipes will keep you cool as you have fun celebrating the holiday.
Here are some crazy numbers association with the 4th of July.
Americans will spend 167.5 million on watermelon
107.7 million on Popsicles
92 million on chips
193 million on hamburger
CITRUS POMEGRANATE SALAD
Start off your day with this refreshing salad. You'll love the flavor combo.
2 ruby red grapefruits
1/4 pomegranate seeds
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp rose water (like this) OR orange blossom water (like this)
2 tbsp pistachios chopped
Using a sharp knife, slice off the ends of the citrus fruit and carefully cut off all the peel and bitter white pith. Then slice into thin slices and arrange onto a pretty platter. Scatter the pomegranate seeds over the top.
Whisk together honey and rose water (or orange blossom water) in a small bowl. Drizzle over citrus and pomegranate seeds.
Sprinkle on pistachios and mint leaves. Serve and enjoy!
CAULIFLOWER "POTATO" SALAD
You won't even miss the potatoes in this 4th of July staple. This is so good!
1 large head Cauliflower (cut into small florets)
2/3 cup Mayonnaise
1 tbsp Apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp Garlic powder
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Sea salt
1/4 tsp Black pepper
1/3 cup Onion (finely diced)
1/3 cup Celery (finely diced)
2 large Egg (hard boiled, chopped)
Chives (for garnish - optional)
Cook the cauliflower on the stove or in the microwave.
Stove method: Boil a pot of water with a tablespoon of salt. Add the cauliflower, and simmer until very tender (about 5 minutes). Drain well.
Microwave method: Place the cauliflower florets in a large bowl with 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave on high for 10 minutes, stirring halfway through. Drain well.
Meanwhile, whisk together the mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, paprika, sea salt, and black pepper, until smooth.
Stir the cauliflower, onion, celery, and egg together with the dressing. If desired, garnish with chives and additional paprika.
AVOCADO STUFFED CHEESEBURGER
If this doesn't make your mouth water nothing will. Jazz up your burgers this year.
2 pounds grass-fed ground beef from the awesome Butcher Box
2 avocados, ripe
1 cup sun-dried tomatoes chopped NO OIL
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon black pepper
2 teaspoons sea salt (makes it salty depending on your sun-dried tomatoes)
Bacon fat (Optional)
Preheat your grill to medium-medium high heat
Put your ground beef in a large mixing bowl and add black pepper, 1 teaspoon of sea salt, and the zest of one lemon
Mix well and then using your hands form into thin patties all the same size (you need them thin because you will be using two of them to make one patty)
In another mixing bowl combine avocados, sun dried tomatoes, lemon juice, and the remaining teaspoon of sea salt.
Mash the avocado and mix ingredients well to get as smooth as you like
Place your avocado mixture on top of the bottom of half of the burgers, ensuring you leave room to seal the burgers without it leaking out
Put your other patty over the top of your mixture and pinch the edges of your burgers together to seal all the way around
Now go out and grill to your liking. I normally do about 6-8 Minutes per side on my grill but yours may be different. Ensure you cook evenly on both sides of the burger or you will end up with an undercooked and an overcooked side
While grilling, I drizzle my burgers with bacon grease and it adds an amazing flavor
When done grilling, allow your burgers to rest for 10 minutes and then serve. You can use the rest of your avocado mixture to top your burgers with and go to town
STUFFED PORTABELLO BURGER
Here is an alternative for those who don't want meat. This stuffed mushroom will be a great addition to your table.
4 portobello mushroom caps
2 cups fresh spinach leaves
1/4 cup shredded aged Cheddar cheese
1% cottage cheese
1/8 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F or get grill good and hot.
Rub rounded ends of mushroom caps with coconut oil and place oiled side down on baking sheet or grill.
Wilt spinach in microwave-safe bowl or in a med-heat pan, sprinkle with a few drops of water, and microwave on high for one minute or heat for the same time.
Chop cooked spinach; mix with Cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, garlic powder, and salt. Spread spinach mixture onto prepared mushroom caps.
Bake in preheated oven or grill until the mushrooms are tender, about 12 minutes.
GRILLED CHILE LIME CHICKEN
I hope you have room on your grill for one more option. This chicken recipe will round off the day.
2 lbs Skinless chicken thighs (about 8 pieces)
¼ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 ½ tbsp olive oil, or avocado oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp sweetener of choice: coconut sugar for paleo, or erythritol for low carb
½ tsp sea salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lime juice
1 clove garlic minced
1 ½ cups cilantro, or flat leaf parsley
2 tbsp sour cream, or can use coconut cream for paleo
1 tbsp seeded minced jalapeno peppers, or mild green chili peppers *can use mild canned green
Add all the marinade ingredients to a large zipper top bag and mix.
Add chicken to the bag, seal the top and shake chicken in the bag, then roll and turn chicken in bag until thoroughly coated in the marinade. Let stand for 20 minutes, turning occasionally.
Preheat grill, or grilling pan to medium heat.
Brush grill with a little oil to prevent sticking.
Remove chicken from bag and throw away marinade bag. Sprinkle chicken with ¼ tsp sea salt and ¼ tsp black pepper.
Add chicken to the grill and grill for 8 minutes or more per side until done.
In a small food processor or blender combine all the cream sauce ingredients and blend until creamy.
PALEO PEACH COBBLER
Another summertime favorite here. Try this grain free version.
5 peaches peeled and sliced (pears will also work)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup coconut flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup maple sugar or coconut sugar
3/4 cup coconut milk
Whipped coconut cream or organic heavy whipping cream, for topping
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Place the peaches into a greased 8 x 8 glass baking dish.
Mix dry ingredients in one bowl. Mix the wet ingredients in another bowl.
Add the dry to the wet and mix thoroughly.
Pour the mixture over the peaches and spread evenly.
Place the cobbler into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Let the cobbler cool for 5 minutes then serve onto plates and top with whipped cream, if desired.
For a lower carb version: substitute 1 teaspoon stevia extract instead of maple sugar and use 5 cups sliced strawberries instead of peaches.
Wow your family with this fun "cake."
1 round watermelon
1 lb. strawberries
1 cup blueberries
1/2 cup raspberries
1/2 cup blackberries
Small metal cookie cutters
Small metal cookie cutter
Cut off the top and bottom of the watermelon. Place on a flat surface and, using your knife, remove the remaining rind by cutting from top to bottom around the watermelon, making a cylinder shape. Once all the rind is removed, go back and even the shape out so it is flat on top and around.
Remove the top, skin and core from the pineapple. Using a small metal cookie cutter, punch out shapes in each slice. Make sure you use a metal cutter so the pineapple cuts easily. Place a blueberry on a toothpick followed by a pineapple shape. Arrange the slices in a zigzag pattern around the side of the watermelon.
Wash the strawberries. Remove the stems and cut into slices. Place a blueberry on a toothpick followed by a slice of strawberry. Arrange the slices in a zigzag pattern opposite of the pineapple pieces.
Slice the cantaloupe in half. Remove the seeds from the middle and then cut in half again. Cut the skin off of the cantaloupe. Cut the cantaloupe into thin slices. Arrange slices in a circle around the top edge of the watermelon. You may need to cut the slices so they form a circular shape and can mold to the round shape of the watermelon edge.
Pierce blackberries, raspberries and blueberries with toothpicks and insert them into the cantaloupe to secure the pieces in place. I did this in a pattern all the way around each cantaloupe slice.
With the remaining cantaloupe, use the same metal cookie cutter that you used for the pineapple and cut four of the same shapes. Place a full strawberry, with the top removed, upside down in the center of the watermelon. Secure it in place with a toothpick. Add one of the cantaloupe cut-outs on top of the strawberry and secure it with a toothpick.
Spread the remaining blueberries (and raspberries and/or blackberries, if desired) around the cop of the cake in the center of the cantaloupe slices. Place the remaining four cantaloupe cut-outs on top of toothpicks and place around the center strawberry.
Refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you are as old as I am you remember the old fashioned large popsicle with our red, white, and blue colors. Make your own with real fruit. Use a Dixie cup or a popsicle mold to beat the heat.
2 cups coconut water*
3 Tablespoons lime juice
1 Tablespoon lime zest
1 cup raspberries (about 6 oz), quartered
1 white peach peeled and chopped [hint: squeeze lemon juice on them to prevent browning]
1-1/2 cups full-fat coconut milk
2 cups coconut water
3 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup blueberries halved
12 Dixie cups (3 oz. size)
24 plastic straws or 24 popsicle sticks
Place 12 Dixie cups on a sheet tray or in a muffin tin (I used a mini muffin tray). Clear a space in the freezer that the tray will fit in.
Mix the different coconut waters (coconut water + lime juice + lime zest and coconut water + lemon juice + lemon zest) in separate containers.
Build your red layer first. Equally divide the quartered berries into the cups (about 2 raspberries per cup). Add about 2 Tablespoons of the lime coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid.
Build the white layer next. Equally divide the chopped white peach into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of coconut milk to each cup. *IMPORTANT: Only partially freeze this layer then stick the straws or popsicle sticks in! Return to the freezer until solid.
Build the blue layer last. Equally divide the halved blueberries into the cups. Add about 2 Tablespoons of lemon coconut water to each cup. Freeze until solid. Peel the paper cups away and trim the straws down to size. I like the double straw or double stick method because it makes them easier to hold.
Try to eat it before it melts!
*You’ll have a bit of extra coconut water left over…drink up and enjoy.
I wish you all a very happy 4th of July. Cherish those you love and give thanks for the freedoms we have each and every day. Here's to your health! Happy BBQ!