With the Fourth of July last week — fireworks, friends, family and food were really the focus. I don’t know about you, but I love a good cookout. My family was adamant about getting together on major holidays, including the Fourth of July, and you better believe we prepared and consumed lots of delicious food!

My sister and I would usually visit my grandfather on Fort Hill in Charleston, WV, to enjoy his traditional German recipe potato salad, eat red, white, and blue Good Humor popsicles with our cousins, and watch the downtown fireworks on his front lawn with the lightning bugs (fireflies) blinking in the background. It was the best and when I think these are my favorite Fourth of July childhood memories.

When it comes to food on July 4th, I am partial to traditional fare like potato salad, hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob and popsicles – they don’t have to red, white, and blue – but over the years I have been trying to open myself up to alternative holiday fixings with more plant-based ingredients with similar holiday flavors. I think it is the dietitian in me wanting to make and take foods that are healthy to consume, but still pack a flavorful punch.

With food traditions often running deep this time of year, no one wants to be that person at the cookout that comes and leaves with a full bowl or platter of food! Usually I just choose to bring fresh watermelon – a seasonal and crowd favorite – and then I feel like I contributed something healthier to the mix.

This year, my sister and I coordinated on some plant-based recipes that remind us of our favorite childhood summer holiday foods that are sure to be crowd pleasers. We hope that you will give these recipes a try either this week or for other summer events!

Low Carb CAULIFLOWER Potato Salad

Total Time: 35 minutes

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Optional: In addition to yellow mustard, consider adding 1-2 teaspoons of German mustard to the recipe. My Dad usually adds a little medium spicy German mustard to his potato salad to give it his signature family recipe taste. If you like German mustard, I am sure you will like this addition. Read more about German mustards here.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound cauliflower florets, chopped into 1/2 inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoon fresh dill
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped dill pickle
  • 1 medium celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onions
  • 1 tablespoon pickle juice
  • 6 hard-boiled eggs, sliced
  • paprika, for garnish

 Directions:

  1. Place 1 inch of water in a large pot with 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add the cauliflower and cook until tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain and set aside in a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, mustard, dill, pinch of salt and pepper. Set aside.
  3. Chop 4 of the eggs and add to the bowl with the cauliflower. Slice the remaining two eggs for topping.
  4. Add pickle, celery, 1/4 teaspoon salt, pepper, and red onion. Add the mayo mixture and pickle juice to the cauliflower and toss gently to evenly coat. Garnish with remaining sliced eggs and sprinkle with paprika.

 Nutrition Information

Yield: 6 servings, Serving Size: heaping 3/4 cup

Amount Per Serving:

Freestyle Points: 4

Points +: 6

Calories: 222 calories

Total Fat: 20g

Saturated Fat: 3.5g

Cholesterol: 206mg

Sodium: 289.5mg

Carbohydrates: 5.5g

Fiber: 2g

Sugar: 2g

Protein: 8g

potato salad pic
Photo credit: Skinny Taste

Smoky Vegan Carrot Dogs

Ingredients:

  • 6-8 Carrots peeled

Marinade

  • 1/4 cup Soy Sauce low sodium
  • 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar Braggs
  • 1/4 cup Vegetable Broth low sodium
  • 2 Tbs Maple Syrup
  • 1 Tbs Liquid Smoke
  • 1 tsp Yellow Mustard
  • 1 tsp Fresh Garlic minced
  • 1 tsp Pickled Jalapeno Juice
  • 1/2 tsp Onion Powder

Directions:

  1. Cut and peel carrots to make them “bun length’.
  2. Boil carrots in water until just fork tender.  About 10-15 minutes.
  3. Drain carrots, rinse with cold water, and drain again.  Place carrots in a Ziploc freezer bag.
  4. Whisk all marinade ingredients together and pour into bag with carrots.
  5. Marinate for 4-6 hrs.
  6. Grill carrots on open grill, basting occasionally.
  7. Grill to heat all the way through and to get some blackened grill marks on each side.

Recipe Notes:

Garnish with your favorite Hot Dog toppings! A great plant based alternative to meat hot dogs.

Lentil Burgers

Makes 12 burgers

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup dried green lentils
  • 2¼ cups water
  • 1 teaspoon dried ground parsley
  • 3 teaspoons minced garlic, divided
  • 1¼ cups finely chopped white onion, divided
  • ¾ cup finely chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • ½ cup roasted whole golden flaxseed
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 3 cups chopped white mushrooms
  • 1½ cups chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • ½ ripe avocado, sliced (optional)

Directions:

  1. In a small pot bring lentils, water, dried parsley, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and ¼ cup onion to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 35 minutes, until water is absorbed.
  2. While lentils are cooking, combine walnuts, breadcrumbs and flaxseed in a medium-size mixing bowl. Add ground cumin and stir.
  3. Over medium-low heat sauté remaining onion, garlic, mushrooms and spinach in olive oil for 8 to 10 minutes, then set aside.
  4. Remove cooked lentils from the heat, add balsamic vinegar and mustard and stir. Mash with a wooden spoon to form a thick paste.
  5. In a large mixing bowl combine mashed lentils, sautéed vegetables and breadcrumb mixture and stir well. Cool in refrigerator for approximately 15 minutes.
  6. Using clean hands, form burger patties to desired size and season with salt and pepper. Place on wax paper.
  7. Over medium heat in an oiled pan, lightly cook patty for approximately 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and crisp.
  8. Remove from heat and place inside your choice of a bun or on top of a lettuce leaf, along with avocado or your toppings of choice.
  9. Prepare to be pleasantly surprised and enjoy!

Note: Leftover patties can be placed in plastic bags or wrapped in aluminum foil and frozen.

Happy eats. Another great plant-based option for your summer holiday cookouts and hang outs!

Strawberry Watermelon Popsicles

Prep Time: 10 minutes Yield: About 10 popsicles

These are SO easy and refreshing! Plus, they’re 100% fruit! Popsicles are a perfect light summer dessert!

Ingredients:

  • 3 heaping cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 heaping cup strawberries (fresh or frozen)
  • zest and juice of 1 lime

Directions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until completely smooth. Pour into popsicle molds and freeze 3-4 hours, or until very solid.

watermelon-strawberry2-sm

Post by Lemma

 

 

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