The Fourth of July is definitely a favorite holiday throughout America especially for those who enjoy barbeques, beer, boating and the beach! This is a great opportunity to get creative in the galley. Here’s to a healthy and enjoyable Independence Day – go Red, White and Blue!
RED, WHITE AND BLUE – GRANOLA
Prep time: 2 minutes. Cooling time: 4 – 8 hours. Serves: 4 – 6
1/3 cup rolled oats
2 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
Place the oats, raisins, goji berries, and coconut in a serving bowl. Add the hot water and mix well. Top the mixture with blueberries, cover with a saucer or small plate, and refrigerate 4 to 8 hours or overnight. Serve as is or topped with soy or plain yogurt. For a change, when not Independence Day, add some green to the colorful mix by substituting pumpkin seeds for the coconut. Instead of adding frozen blueberries, add fresh berries, just before serving. And you can substitute ground wheat berries for the rolled oats.
RED, WHITE AND BLUE – POTATO SALAD
Prep time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes
Cooling time: 20 minutes. Serves: 4 – 6
2 lb baby potatoes, a mix of white and blue (or purple)
1/4 cup lemon juice
3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers, rinsed
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
Place potatoes in a large saucepan or Dutch oven and cover with lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Transfer to a cutting board. Let cool for 20 minutes. Whisk lemon juice, oil, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Cut the potatoes in half, add to the bowl and toss to coat. Just before serving, add peppers, scallions and mint to the salad and toss gently.
Tip: Make ahead. After cutting the potatoes in half and tossing to coat, cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days. Remove from fridge; just before serving add peppers, scallions and mint. Add more lemon juice and oil, to taste.
RED, WHITE AND BLUE – HAMBURGERS
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Serves: 4
2 slices whole-wheat country bread, crusts removed, torn into pieces
1/3 cup fresh or frozen and thawed blueberries
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 sea salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper, to taste
12 oz of the best (90%-lean) ground beef
Standard Fixings: Ketchup, salsa, tomatoes, and *onions
Place bread in a food processor and pulse into fine crumbs. Transfer to a large bowl. (No need to wash the work-bowl.) Add blueberries, vinegar, mustard, Worcestershire, garlic, salt and pepper to the food processor; process until pureed. Scrape into the bowl with the breadcrumbs. Add ground beef and mix well with a potato masher. Divide the mixture into four equal portions; form into 1/2-inch-thick patties, about 4 inches in diameter.
Meanwhile, preheat broiler or heat an indoor or outdoor grill to medium-high. If using the broiler, coat a broiler pan with cooking spray. If using a grill, oil the grill rack by rubbing it with an oil-soaked paper towel. Cook patties until browned and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side. An instant-read thermometer inserted in the center should register 160°F. Serve immediately, with or without rolls and toppings.
Note: Make your burgers more nutritious by adding dark greens, such as watercress and/or spinach.
Hint: *If time, I like to caramelize my red onions