Everyone loves a good old-fashioned 4th of July party–spending time with friends, enjoying the outdoors and a traditional BBQ. Revive the old menu of hot dogs & hamburgers with these 3 delicious and nutritious modern BBQ recipes. These recipes are simple, festive, and flavorful, a sure hit for the whole family. See highlights from my latest segment on Let’s Talk Live DC below for these homemade foods that are guaranteed to stand out at the party!
Starters & Appetizers
Start your 4th of July BBQ off right with everyone’s favorite way to cook in the summertime, grilling! Grilled honey lime chicken skewers are the perfect appetizers to begin your Independence Day feast. The secret- honey. Honey locks in moisture to prevent the meat from becoming dry. It also acts as an emulsifier in sauces and glazes, while enriching the flavor in marinades to complement both sweet and savory dishes. With only 64 calories per tablespoon, honey is the perfect addition of natural sweetness to any recipe this summer.
For this honey lime chicken recipe and more visit www.honey.com with over 1,500 recipes featuring my favorite cooking secret, honey!
Salads & Side-dishes
Add flavor, crunch and nutrition to any snack, meal or side dish with Georgia pecans. Pecans, referred to as the AntioxiNUT, contain the highest amount of antioxidants of any tree nut and may reduce your risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association (AHA) has recently certified pecans with the Heart-Check mark & supports pecans as part of a healthy diet.
These versatile nuts can be used in almost any recipe. Mix them into a green salad, trail mix, or a vegetable side-dish. For example, Georgia Pecan Confetti Quinoa, with whole-grain quinoa, carrots, squash, and zucchini, the addition of Georgia Pecans to this recipe adds flavor, protein, and omega-6 fatty acids (the heart healthy fats!).
To try this recipe and more like it, visit www.antioxiNUT.org.
Spreads & Toppers
Whether you need a dip, spread, or topper to your favorite dish, avocados are the just the thing you need to complete your meal. In 3 slices, or 1/5 of a medium avocado, there are nearly 20 different vitamins & minerals and only 50 calories, making avocados a super nutrient dense fruit!
Need another way to enhance or liven up the original BBQ menu? Transform your avocado into a green goddess dip made with Avocados from Mexico, Greek yogurt, buttermilk, and several herbs and spices. The avocado adds a nutty flavor and creamy texture making this dip a delicious spread to add on top of your burger or to eat plain with carrots, celery, and other veggies. The green goddess dip recipe can be found at www.theamazingavocado.com in addition to recipes for avocado ice cream, spicy guacamole, and avocado chicken salad.
The best part? Your avocado party doesn’t have to stop at the end of summer avocados from Mexico are available all year round! You can also check out their Facebook page for more facts and recipes ideas.
Main Dishes & Entrees
Ready for the main course? Renovate your textbook hamburger with my recipe for a flavorful and nutritious black bean veggie burger this 4th of July. No one said veggie burgers were strictly for vegetarians only! Trust me- these black bean veggie burgers are sure to become the new BBQ staple! Prepared with black beans, sweet potatoes, breadcrumbs, onions, garlic and seasonings, this is the perfect twist on an old-fashioned hamburger. Plus, the black beans add fiber, protein, and antioxidants to your diet.
But we’ve all heard the saying “beans, beans, the musical fruit…” Aside from their nutritional benefits, beans are infamous for causing gas. A quick solution? Prevent gas before it starts with Beano. Beano contains natural enzymes that work with your body during digestion to break down the complex carbohydrates found in many wholesome but ‘gassy foods’. You can choose which Beano product fits best with your lifestyle from Beano’s three varieties: Beano Tablets, Beano Meltaways and Beano To Go.
So eat your beans, but take Beano before you do. Check out www.beanogas.com for more information.
What will you be making this 4th of July? Leave a comment below and share your favorite Independence Day recipes!
Disclosure: I worked with The National Honey Board, Georgia Pecans, Avocados From Mexico, and Beano for the TV segment, but did not receive compensation for writing this blog post.