What does the 4th of July mean to you? Fireworks? Freedom? Fried food? All of the above? Most definitely! Moderation isn’t exactly a word that comes to mind during the 4th, or most holiday weekends. But I’m here to tell you, friends of the 50 Million Pound Challenge, you can enjoy the 4th to the max and still maintain your fitness momentum.
If you’re hosting a 4th of July jamboree, that puts you in the driver’s seat to provide a delicious, healthy spread. Nobody’s going to miss played out potato chips and greasy pre-packaged snacks if you provide a lush raw veggie tray for starters. Slice up red, yellow, and orange peppers, add some baby carrots, cucumber spears, and sugar snap peas — serve with low fat ranch, black bean dip, and hummus et voila! Easy, fresh, bright, delicious. And you can do the same with a fruit platter — apple slices drizzled with lemon and honey, fresh canteloupe, honeydew and watermelon, and lots and lots of berries. Skip the caramel dip, save the calories for more fun fare.
One of my favorite crowd pleasing recipes is a version of this vegetable pizza, made with Pillsbury crust, cream cheese, powdered ranch dressing, and lots and lots of fresh chopped veggies. I swear to you, people who don’t like veggies LOVE this pizza. And I don’t usually include the olives because I married someone who thinks they are gross.
The recipe thread at Prevention.com has some delicious suggestions as well — grilled veggies are SO summertime perfect and are a great idea instead of just ripping open a bag of tater tots. Most outdoor cookfests involve lots of grilled meat, and Cooking Light’s corn and summer veggie saute makes a delicious side to go with BBQ steak, chicken, or fish.
For dessert, the Barefoot Contessa’s flag cake is an instant win, but the recipe can be made even lighter by using cool whip as frosting, and a low-calorie box cake instead of this butter and sugar heavy recipe.
Bon appetite, bellas! Have a fabulous fourth!