Back in the day, 4th of July to me was a big BBQ with hot dogs, potato salad from the supermarket, and popsicles full of artificial colors and corn syrup.
Eating this type of food – even just on a holiday – made me feel horrible. I woke up with a food hangover, my face looked puffy, and I was tired all the time.
I’ve since learned that it’s not worth it to sacrifice my health and weight with additive-filled processed foods on holidays – and now I’ve figured out how to celebrate with fun and festive food that is actually healthy.
Healthy food doesn’t need to be boring!
I put together a round-up for you of my 4th of July cookout favorites, and it features a couple new recipes from my new cookbook, Food Babe Kitchen. Look at all this fun, healthy food…
You can mix and match these recipes around any way you want. This is one way you can do it…
And, you can go vegan too…
I feel like you can’t have a 4th of July cookout without burgers, that’s why the main dish for both of these menus are burgers! The Grilled Pineapple Turkey Burgers from Food Babe Kitchen are absolutely incredible. There’s something so special about adding sliced grilled pineapple to burgers. The sweet-and-savory combination takes turkey burgers up a notch and really hits the spot.
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1⁄4 cup chopped yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and cut into 1⁄2-inch rings
- 4 romaine lettuce leaves
- 4 burger buns
- 1 avocado, peeled and mashed
- Preheat the grill to 400°F. (You can also use a cast-iron pan to cook the burgers and pineapple.)
- Mix together the turkey, onion, oil, salt, and pepper. Form into four 4-inch-round patties.
- Place the patties on the grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side, until cooked through. While the burgers are cooking, place the pineapple slices on the grill and cook until caramelized in spots, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Set aside when done.
- To serve, place romaine lettuce on each burger bun and top with some of the mashed avocado. Place a turkey burger on top along with a pineapple slice.
I’m always concocting new veggie burger recipes at home, now that I no longer buy packaged or processed veggie burgers because of the scary ingredients and additives they contain. The Quinoa Veggie Burgers from Food Babe Kitchen are FABULOUS and too EASY not to make ASAP. You can make several ahead of time and either freeze or refrigerate them to enjoy later. Just have the grill master plop them on the grill to reheat and you’ve got a delicious plant-based, protein-packed meal.
- 1 cup cooked quinoa, room temperature
- 1 baked sweet potato, skin removed, mashed, room temperature
- 1 egg or 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons filtered water
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
- 1⁄2 small yellow onion, diced
- 1-inch piece of ginger, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon garam masala
- 1⁄2 teaspoon curry powder
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground mustard seed (optional)
- 1⁄8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Melted coconut oil for brushing burgers
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Combine all the ingredients for the burgers, except the coconut oil, in a large bowl. Form into 8 patties using a generous 1⁄4 cup of mixture for each.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and brush with coconut oil. Place the patties on the oiled parchment and brush with a small amount of coconut oil. Bake for 15 minutes, or until the bottoms brown. Using a metal spatula, flip the patties over and bake 5 to 10 minutes longer.
This healthy 7 layer dip is absolutely fabulous to and perfect for the 4th – it’s fun to prepare and a good opportunity to get a load of vegetables in to get the party started! I love how I sneaked in some kale – I promise no one will notice. I like serving it with organic corn chips and celery sticks. I like to alternate between the two so I don’t eat so many chips at one sitting.
- 3 cups cooked black beans (or 2 BPA free cans)
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 cup finely chopped kale
- 2 cups finely chopped romaine lettuce
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 avocados, peeled and pitted
- 1 tomato, diced
- ½ cup diced red onion
- 1 lime, juiced
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro, more as desired
- pinch cayenne pepper
- 16 ounces hummus (homemade or organic store-bought)
- 32 ounces salsa, drained (I like Field Day brand)
- 1 cup goat cheese crumbled or shredded
- ½ cup chopped black olives
- ¼ cup chopped scallions
- sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Place the black beans in a bowl and add the cumin, chili powder and a few shakes of salt and pepper. With a masher or the back of a spoon slightly mash some of the black beans. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combine the kale, romaine, oil and garlic and massage the kale mix until it starts to soften. Set aside.
- In another bowl, place the avocado and mash with the back of a spoon. Add the tomato, onion, lime juice, cilantro and cayenne pepper. Mix and season with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- To assemble the dip, take a medium size bowl (try to find one with straight sides) and spread the black beans on the bottom. Top with the kale mix and then the guacamole. Next, carefully spread the hummus on top, followed by the salsa. Sprinkle the goat cheese, olives and scallions over the salsa. Serve with corn chips, crackers or veggie sticks. Enjoy!
Other appetizers to try:
- Slow Cooker Southwest Black Bean Dip With Homemade Chips
- Creamy Kale and Artichoke Dip With Homemade Chips
My family goes bonkers for homemade ginger ale. When I realized that store-bought ginger ale is usually made with no real ginger, I was so disgusted. Manufacturers use “natural flavors” instead, because it is cheaper than using real ginger. That’s why I came up with this recipe. It’s sweet, spicy, and sooooo refreshing on a hot day.
- 2-inch piece of ginger, juiced
- 12 ounces sparkling water
- 1 squeeze of fresh lemon
- 2 tablespoons raw honey or maple syrup
- Combine all the ingredients. Serve over ice.
**Please choose all organic ingredients if possible**
Other drinks to try:
- Homemade Ice Tea (green or herbal)
- Raw Coconut Water
- Homemade Fruit Flavored Water (flat or sparkling)
Sides & Salads
The star salad here is my Grapefruit Goddess Salad from Food Babe Kitchen . This tart, sweet, crunchy, and juicy salad is such a nice departure from typical salad ingredients. The combo bursts with flavor and has an amazing ability to zap sugar cravings too, which is a great side benefit!
- 4 cups baby arugula
- 1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
- 1 avocado, peeled and sliced
- 1 grapefruit, peeled and segmented
- 1⁄4 small red onion, thinly sliced
- 1⁄4 cup toasted pine nuts or walnuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill
- 3 tablespoons grapefruit juice
- 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Sea salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Place all the salad ingredients in a bowl and toss to combine.
- To make the vinaigrette, whisk all the ingredients together. Pour over the salad and serve.
Other sides to try:
- Scrumptious Summer Squash Casserole
- Zucchini Noodles with Arugula Pesto
- Marinated Cannellini Bean Salad
These Blueberry “Cheesecake” Bars are fun and festive. You can garnish with sliced strawberries to give them a red, white, and blue look for the 4th. The best part is that they are no-bake and served cold from the freezer, so they are super refreshing and won’t weigh you down.
- 2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight
- ⅓ cup raw honey or maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut oil, melted
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 cup blueberries
- 2 cups walnuts
- 10-12 medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- Pinch sea salt
- To make the filling, place the cashews, honey, coconut oil, cinnamon, lemon juice and blueberries in a blender and blend until smooth.
- To make the crust, place the walnuts in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Add the dates and salt and pulse until well combined. Add coconut oil and pulse once more.
- To assemble, line a 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper. Firmly press the crust into the pan to create an even layer. Add the filling and spread evenly over the crust. Place in the freezer for at least 3 hours or overnight.
- To serve, cut the “cheesecake” into squares and serve with fresh berries, if desired. Enjoy!
Other desserts to try:
I hope this gives you tons of ideas and inspiration to create the perfect 4th of July cookout!
If you’d love more recipes like this, you’ve got to check out Food Babe Kitchen. It includes all of the recipes that my family and I love to eat on regular basis – including snacks, desserts, salads, drinks, and everything you need to eat healthful delicious food without spending a ton of time cooking or relying on processed foods.
Please hit “share” on this post and spread the word about these healthy and organic 4th of July recipes! Which ones do you plan on making? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
P.S. If you pre-order my cookbook today, I’ll send you a list of EVERYTHING that is in my kitchen (including brand names!) This includes all of the condiments, snacks, drinks, desserts, and every ingredient that I buy to cook with at home. Here’s where to claim your copy and get this list.