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Healthy Fourth of July Recipes

Happy Thursday! Last night I was frustrated with myself because I didn’t have time to work out. We ate dinner, took a family walk, and then put Maddux to bed before pulling a few weeds (fun! haha).

family walk

 

I totally forgot that I had gotten my workout over with in the AM. Anyone else ever done that? I’m sore and everything, but I guess I didn’t think much about it. I need to start getting them over with in the morning once in a while.

Yesterday, in addition to my morning workout, I also accomplished a few other things. I got the kitchen clean (miracle) and even had some time to play around in there and make a mess again (typical). I ended up working on a few simple dishes that would be great for summer barbeques, especially the one that includes a lot of stars and stripes.

Yep, you guessed it: The Fourth of July.  July 4th is rapidly approaching, so I’m sure many of you are busy making plans for it. We’ll be heading to the lake with some of our best friends. I seriously cannot wait! In honor of the impending holiday, I thought I’d share several Fourth-themed foods. These three recipes prove that you can eat healthily without sacrificing flavor. It doesn’t hurt that they are red, white, and blue either. I swear themed foods taste better. Is that just me? Oh, and clearly I wasn’t feeling very inspired, because the names all begin with “red, white, and blue”. Oops. The best part, though, is that there really isn’t any measuring involved. It’s all adjustable to your tastes. :)


red, white, and blue chips and dip

Red, White, and Blue Chips and Dip

  • 2 large, firm tomatoes
  • 1 small onion
  • 1 large jalapeno (seeds removed for less spice)
  • handful of cilantro
  • 1 garlic clove
  • juice from 1/2 a lime
  • 1/2 a can of no salt added petite diced tomatoes
  • salt and sugar to taste

For this “recipe” I just wrote down the things I threw into the food processor this time. I never really make it the same. When it’s just for Ryne and myself, I use a ton of jalapeno and cilantro. Seriously, a ton. You could add more or less of any of the ingredients until it tastes just right to you, Goldilocks style. The key here is the canned tomatoes. It’s the part that makes it more “salsa-ish”.


red, white, and blue potato salad


Red, White, and Blue Potato Salad

  • 3 pounds baby potatoes (I just bought a mixed bag, and yes, the “blue” is actually purple this time!)
  • 3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup mixed herbs (I used parsley and chives)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Again, this really isn’t a brain buster. You could toss the potatoes in your favorite vinaigrette, but I chose Dijon for the extra tang. You start by filling a pot with your potatoes, add water until it’s just above them, bring to a boil, and then lightly simmer for about 5-10 minutes (until they are fork tender). While they are simmering, prepare your dressing. Whisk together the Dijon and vinegar, and then whisk in the olive oil until it’s emulsified. Cut the potatoes into bite size chunks and toss with the dressing, herbs, and salt and pepper. This dish is best served warm, in my opinion, but it’s perfectly fine to serve it cold. The dressing recipe actually yields a little more than you need to coat the potatoes, so you could reserve some for right before you are going to serve the potato salad. Easy peasy. It’s so much better for you than the mayo version! It also does better out in the heat. Win, win.

 

red, white, and blueberries with coconut whipped cream

Red, White, and Blueberries with Coconut Whipped Cream

  • Berries
  • 1 chilled can of full fat coconut milk
  • teaspoon vanilla
  • sweetener of choice

This might be the simplest dessert on the planet. Prepare your coconut whipped cream and serve over strawberries and blueberries. To make the “whipped cream”, pour out the liquid from a chilled can of coconut milk. All that will remain is a “lump” of goodness. Toss the hardened coconut cream into a blender or mixer with your vanilla and sweetener. Whip it real good (ha!)and then top the berries before serving. Here is a great photo tutorial on how to make coconut whipped cream. I think this would be heavenly over some angel food cake, too! Of course, you could make homemade dairy whipped cream as well. I do not have any objections to either one. :)

I love that each of these recipes is quick, cost efficient, and better than their “store bought” counterparts. Speaking of store bought, the Steve Harvey show threw me for a loop yesterday. He had a guest on that prides herself on saving thousands of dollars a year by extreme couponing.

extreme couponing

First and foremost, let me say that I have nothing against coupons. That would be ridiculous. I’m against the notion that all bargains are worthwhile. They just aren’t. You can kind of see the products they “scored” for cheap in the above picture. Potato chips, bleached flour pasta, pickles, cookies, breakfast tarts, sports drinks, and sodas. I see a ton of processed, dyed, over-salted food in there. Even during the segment of them shopping, they passed up actual food to save on these things.

I’m not saying that buying those things is wrong. I eat creme filled cookies, potato chips, and pickles from time to time, too. I’m saying that I think the show was promoting living on these products. They were clearly the bulk of what this woman buys. I’m sorry, but if you can get two grocery carts worth of food for 35 dollars, you probably aren’t buying much lean protein and fresh vegetables. You just aren’t. That makes me really sad for the viewers who want to adopt this lifestyle. I have a lot more to say about this, but I should probably draft up an entire post on it before I ramble too much today. ;)

Anyway, Maddux is napping so I better make the most of it and get off the darn computer. See y’all later!

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22 Responses to Healthy Fourth of July Recipes

  1. Great recipes!

    And YES, I couldn’t agree more with you about the couponing thing! There’s this lady that goes to our church that brags all the time that she gets all of this food for an amazing price because of her couponing. In the list of food, it’s all chips, cookies, candy, etc. Hmmm, if you didn’t buy all that crap in the first place, then you’d save even MORE money to buy healthier stuff.
    Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries recently posted..Stephanie’s StoryMy Profile

  2. That drives me nuts about coupons too! I’m actually allergic to gluten, so pretty much any of those “bargains” are things I can’t have…and I wouldn’t want them if I wasn’t allergic. All the processed food is really gross!

    • Yeah, I mean I definitely tear up some store bought “junk” from time to time, but it’s not something we live on at all. I bet that having an allergy really helps you take a closer look at all the things people typically eat!

  3. Yep, if you watch that show about extreme couponin, they NEVER buy fresh meat or produce and if they do, they feel “guilty” because it’s increasing the cost of their groceries. I’m glad you brought attention to this because it’s so misleading and makes people think this is a good way to live.

  4. Grrr that’s frustrating! I understand fresh veggies don’t have coupons, but still buy them!! Great recipes!
    Nikki recently posted..Only In My Life Part 2My Profile

  5. I would LOVE to hear your thoughts on extreme couponing + the health problems it could influence. On Extreme Couponers this woman was all “I used a coupon and now I have FIVE YEARS’ WORTH OF HALLOWEEN CANDY TO GIVE OUT.” Think about that for a minute. She has candy right now that she plans on handing kids in five years from now. So gross.

    It’s worth noting that there was also a woman who did couponing for all VEGAN and I think organic foods. Insane. But she totally did it, and had more yellow baggies of rice than I could even fathom.

    • OMG. Five years of candy? So in five years she could be giving it to my child? YUCK. That makes me want to never take Maddux trick-or-treating!

      That is amazing about the vegan/organic couponing. I’d love for her to do my shopping, haha.

  6. Ohhhh man, the coupon thing bothers me too. I always check for coupons when I’m getting household stuff like laundry/dish deterg, but I never even touch the food listings anymore. Packaged food mania!
    Kim @ healthy nest recently posted..Blog happenings and fitness dealsMy Profile

  7. I couldn’t agree with you more about couponing! I do go to our grocery stores website and download coupons to the card but that’s the extent. Most of the stuff is junk that I wouldn’t serve my family. It’s easy I get spaghetti coupons, sometimes eggs and milk and bread, occasional staples. I think the best way to save money is to meal plan.

    • Meal planning works wonders! I need to find some coupons for milk/bread/eggs, because we go through that stuff like it’s going out of style!

  8. I couldn’t agree more about the couponing thing!! So what, you got 87 boxes of sugary cereal for a buck? We shouldn’t be applauding stuff like that. (And, yes, I grew up on Froot Loops and I eat chips and unhealthy things, but those items are the minority in my shopping cart.) Why can’t we have coupons for avocados, blueberries, and organic meats?! Sorry for raging.
    Colleen @ The Lunchbox Diaries recently posted..Simone France Travel Kit (Give Away!) CLOSEDMy Profile

    • Exactly. I have Cinnamon Toast Crunch, chips, and Oreos in my pantry right now. I just don’t eat them for freaking breakfast, lunch, and dinner. “Hey kids, another dinner from a box!!!” I would be so rich if I didn’t spend my entire pay check on avocados. Just saying.

  9. [...] of yesterday, I’m glad I’m not the only one a little annoyed with the somewhat recent extreme couponing trend! I have more to say about that ridiculousness, but I’ll save it for another day where [...]

  10. I am with you on the couponing…so many of the coupons I get in my newspaper are all for processed things or in general unhealthy things I don’t buy. I only get a few coupons each week out of the whole lot. I like to get a good deal and stock up on things but not to their extent. The main things I find I use coupons for tend to be toiletries/detergents which is good because they can be expensive. I wish there was coupons for fresh meat and veggies!

  11. [...] addition to getting in a killer workout, you could also try to include some of these quick and easy Healthy Fourth of July Recipes at your party. If you aren’t cooking or hosting, you could always keep these tips for How to [...]

  12. [...] Try some of these healthy Fourth of July recipes. [...]

  13. [...] be total mush, but whatever. It’s the thought that counts. Themed drinks are just as fun as themed foods, ya [...]

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