If your plans for the upcoming July 4th holiday include hosting or contributing to a cookout, potluck, or picnic, here are some healthier alternative dishes plus a few tweaks to longtime favorites.
Dress your potato salad or coleslaw with a tasty vinaigrette. Add a punch of flavor with prepared mustard (great with potato salad), herbs, or spices. I use mustard seed or celery seed in my coleslaw. You not only lighten the calorie and fat count, but also lower the food poisoning potential if you don’t use a dressing that contains raw egg.
Bruschetta with chopped tomato and scallion and olive oil.
Other healthier menu items to consider are grilled kabobs, shrimp, chilled soups, bruschetta, ceviche, satay, cobblers, meze, poached salmon, Scandinavian open faced sandwiches, lettuce wraps, or summer rolls.
When you are invited to a potluck meal, bring something that will offer you (and any other guests being careful about what they eat) a break from the usual fare. A platter full of fruit presented on skewers is easy to transport, serve, and eat. A big jug of gazpacho with a tray of toppings can be a welcome addition to a summer menu.
If you are better at shopping then cooking, you can purchase fruit platters at most supermarkets. It can also be fun to simply have a great big bowl of something that everyone adores like fresh, in-season strawberries.
And, if you want to take shopping to another level, check out our post on our traditional Strawberry Shortcake dessert bar we've served to friends and neighbors on July 4th.
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Words: Penny & Ed Cherubino
Photos: ©2008-2015 Penny & Ed Cherubino