14 Healthy, Festive Recipes for your 4th of July Cookout

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Salads with Reds, Whites, and Blues

Pick and choose from a variety of things to add to a bed of spinach or mixed greens:

Reds: Strawberries, raspberries, watermelon, apples, cranberries, pomegranate seeds, cherries, goji berries, grapefruit slices, figs, tomatoes, peppers, beets

Whites: Goat cheese, feta, blue cheese, mozzarella, pears, nuts, seeds, mushrooms, onion, hard boiled eggs, cabbage, cauliflower

Blues: Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, olives, blue cheese

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Healthier Potato Salad

Because everyone has a relative with a potato salad recipe that’s mostly mayo..

So many healthier options to choose from!

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Caprese Skewers

Just take a cherry tomato, basil leaf, and mozzarella ball and skewer them with a tooth pick.

neha-deshmukh-9593.jpgWatermelon Juice Cocktail (Virgin..or not..)

Ok so let’s be real, juice and alcohol aren’t the healthiest of things. But at least we’re cutting it with sparkling water, right? right??

Ingredients (yields ~8 cups):

  • 1 small seedless watermelon (~7 lbs), refrigerated
  • 2 cans sparkling water (flavored: watermelon, lime, etc.)
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Optional: mint garnish
  • Optional: tequila or rum


  1. Spoon out the meat of the watermelon (being sure to remove any seeds) and put it into a blender.
  2. Blend the watermelon until completely smooth. Add lime juice and pulse for a few more seconds.
  3. Transfer to pitcher and pour in the sparkling water; mix.
  4. Optional: add the liquor and top with mint

Nutrition facts (per cup, not including alcohol): calories: 120, protein: 3g, fat: .5g, carbs: 30g

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Salmon Burgers

Ingredients (makes 4 burgers):

  • 1.5 lbs boneless, skinless salmon (can also use canned salmon, but if using canned, add an egg)
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Buns
  • Optional toppings: greens, lemon juice, tartar sauce, Tabasco sauce, etc.


  1. Chop the salmon into chunks and put a couple handfuls of it, along with the mustard into a food processor. Pulse until the mixture starts to become like a paste. If you have the time you can hand chop the salmon for a chunkier texture.
  2. Scrape down the sides and continue adding the salmon, bit by bit, until pureed. Be sure to not pulse it too fine.
  3. Transfer mixture to bowl, and add in the bread crumbs, salt, and pepper.
  4. Divide the mixture into fourths and form 4 patties.
  5. Grill on medium-high heat for about 4 minutes on one side, flip, and cook the other side for a couple minutes. Serve on buns and use toppings of choice.

Nutrition facts (per salmon burger- no toppings included): calories: 342, protein: 40g, fat: 10g, carbs: 22g

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Sliced Watermelon & Blueberries

(Popsicle sticks for more flare). Just slice up some watermelon and bring a bowl of blueberries to sprinkle on top. It ads the perfect amount of freshness, sweetness, and nutrients that cookies and other deserts lack. Plus, you can’t beat that red, white & blue.

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Shish Kabobs

Mix and match. (Side note: if you’ve never added garlic cloves to your kabob…do it)

Veggies: Tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, onions, zucchini, garlic cloves, squash, eggplant

Proteins: Chicken, beef, pork, lamb, shrimp, fish, tofu, sausage, bacon, paneer, seitan, tempeh

Fruit (grilled or raw): pineapple, watermelon, kiwi, banana, peaches, nectarines, cherries, cantaloupe, lemons, limes


Turkey Burgers

The hamburger is a classic, but turkey burgers shouldn’t be forgotten. We love this recipe:

Ingredients (makes 4, ~4oz burgers):

  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • .5 onion, grated
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • .75 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • Buns, toppings, condiments


  1. In a bowl, mix the turkey, onion, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, salt, and pepper. Mix thoroughly.
  2. Shape into 4 patties and press them into 1/2 inch thick rounds.
  3. Put on grill and cook for 18-20 minutes, flipping once. Internal temperature should reach 165 F (75 C).
  4. Put in between bun, add toppings and condiments.

Nutrition facts (per burger, no toppings included): calories: 300, protein: 27g, fat: 12g, carbs: 25g

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Healthier Coleslaw

Another mayo-free recipe that tastes even better than the versions drowning in mayo.

Ingredients (serves 6):

  • 1 package coleslaw mix
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • .25 tsp cumin


  1. Create dressing by whisking together the oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cumin in a small bowl.
  2. Toss coleslaw with dressing and serve.

Nutrition facts (per serving): calories: 75, protein: .5g, fat: 7g, carbs: 3g

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Grilled Sweet Potatoes

The founder of Whole Foods, John Mackey, when asked what the healthiest food in Whole Foods was, said ” If I were to choose one, I’d choose sweet potatoes, because they have everything you need. You can live on sweet potatoes. The Okinawans, who are renowned for living among the longest in the world, something like 70% of their calories come from sweet potatoes.” A pretty glowing review for the sweet potato.

To grill fries: cook sweet potato by boiling (~15 min) or by microwaving (~7 min) until it’s cooked, but still relatively firm. Once cool, cut into thick wedges. Place on grill and cook for another 6 minutes, flipping once.

To grill in foil: For quicker cooking, use a smaller sweet potato, or you can cube the potato. Wrap in foil and place on the grill for 40 minutes (or longer depending on the size) until soft- test by squeezing with tongs. Unwrap and put on grill for a few minutes to get the skin crispier.

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Herbed Salmon Steak Packets


  • Salmon steaks/fillets
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Lemon, sliced
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs and seasonings to taste (salt, pepper, thyme, oregano, etc)


  1. Heat grill to medium-low
  2. Cut sheets of foil, large enough to wrap individual salmon steaks
  3. Brush oil over salmon, season with herbs.
  4. Put salmon in the center of the foil. Add tomatoes. Squeeze the lemon over everything, and put the squeezed lemon wedges in the packet as well.
  5. Add more seasonings to the packet
  6. Bring two sides of the foil up over the salmon and seal the edges. Be sure to leave a little room for air at the top of the salmon.
  7. Place packets on grill and cover. Cook for 12-16 minutes, or until salmon flakes easily with a fork.

Nutrition facts (per salmon steak packet): calories: 265, protein: 35g, fat: 11g, carbs: 3g


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Baked Beans- no added sugar or salt

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • 1 can Navy beans, drained
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce (pure tomato sauce- no other ingredients added)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic coves, diced
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika


  1. In a deep skillet over medium-high heat, add the oil.
  2. Add garlic and cook until aromatic.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add the paprika; stir for half a minute.
  4. Add in the tomato sauce (whole can for a thinner sauce, a little less for thicker sauce) and tomato paste. Stir to combine, and let simmer for around 20 minutes, until it’s thickened up.
  5. Add beans and cook for another 10 minutes. Serve.

Nutrition facts (per serving): calories: 170, protein: 9g, fat: 4g, carbs: 27g

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Vegetarian/Vegan Friendly Burgers

Do you have a vegan cousin? Are you the vegan cousin?? Have some options for people who don’t eat meat. There are some amazing meatless options these days. They won’t forget it.

Options for meatless burgers: portobello mushroom steaks, black bean burgers, eggplant steaks, tofu burgers, veggie burgers, quinoa burgers, tempeh burgers.

There are also some great vegan sausages out there too.

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Grilled Avocados

This might be my new favorite. Just take an avocado, cut it in half, remove the pit, brush some olive oil on insides, and put the avocados flesh-side down on a grill for about 4-5 minutes. When it comes out, it’s kind of crispy on the outside and molten on the insides.

Great as a burger topping, side dish, or for making guacamole.



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