4th of July Eats & Treats

Happy [almost] 4th of July, y’all! I’m sure everyone is excited and ready to spend some time in the sun, watch some fireworks, and most importantly, eat some delicious food! I know I am. 🙂 For those of you who are still working towards that bikini bod, I spent some time sifting through many, many foodie blogs to find some yummy recipes that I thought were perfect for the occasion! (Thank God for Pinterest.) A few of these recipes are my own that I’ve made several times before, but many of them are new to me as well. With that being said, I haven’t tried some of them, so I can’t guarantee the results! But they all look and sound delish, so I’m confident they’ll turn out great! : )

Let’s be honest. At any type of cookout or potluck party, everyone gravitates towards dips. They are simple, delicious, and super addicting. BUT unfortunately, dips are usually loaded with sour cream and/or mayo, and all kinds of other fattening junk. But not these! (Just some reduced-fat cream cheese) You will see a major Greek yogurt theme throughout this post. Greek yogurt is SO incredibly versatile and such a great healthy substitute in recipes like these – and they turn out JUST as tasty! Amazing. I also included multiple Mexican-ish recipes but… who doesn’t love Mexican? You’ll even find some Italian and Asian inspired recipes (I tried to cover all my bases). You’ll be the most popular person at your 4th of July party if you make any of these delicious options!


Recipes for… {the main event}

Salmon burgers are an awesome alternative to the same ol’ boring hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Not only are they packed with heart healthy omega-3 fatty acids and countless other beneficial nutrients, they are freakin delicious. Bonus.

Salmon Burgers

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds salmon fillet, skin removed
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tbsp honey mustard
  • ½ cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp dill weed
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 whole wheat buns, toasted
  • Condiments for serving

IMG_0884

Instructions:

  1. Heat grill or stovetop to medium.
  2. Finely chop the salmon. Place in a large Ziploc bag and use a meat pounder to mash it. (If I recall, Ethan and I used our fists haha)
  3. Place all the salmon in a large bowl. Combine thoroughly with egg whites, mustard, breadcrumbs, salt, and dill weed. Form 4-5 patties.
  4. Place the patties on the grill. Cook 5-7 min per side (or to 165 F).
  5. Serve the salmon patties on the buns, with the toppings of your choice!
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Not the best picture, but we enjoyed our salmon burgers with baked sweet potatoes (topped with spray butter & cinnamon) and grilled tomatoes topped with parmesan cheese! And some beer, as I’m sure we all will on the 4th. 😉

Serve salmon burgers alongside corn on the cob // mixed grilled veggies // baked sweet potato fries // side salad // or whatever your heart desires!


This delicious bruschetta recipe is another great way to switch things up and try something new out on the grill. Chicken is a leaner source of protein than hamburgers, and when it’s covered in fresh tomatoes & basil?! How could you say no?

Bruschetta Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 4 small boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • ½ cup Kraft sun-dried tomato dressing, divided
  • 2 tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ½ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil or 1 tsp dried basil leaves

Instructions:

  1. Place a large sheet of heavy-duty foil over half of grill grate; heat grill to medium heat. Meanwhile, place chicken in Ziploc plastic bag. Add ¼ cup dressing and seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with dressing. Refrigerate 10 minutes. (Marinate all day if you have time.) Remove chicken from bag; discard bag and dressing.
  2. Grill chicken on uncovered side of grill for about 6 minutes. Meanwhile, combine remaining ¼ cup dressing, tomatoes, cheese and basil.
  3. Turn the chicken over and place cooked side up, on foil on the grill. Top with tomato mixture. Close lid. Grill 8 minutes or until chicken is done. (165 F)
  4. Add a splash of balsamic vinegar to give it a bit more zip if you wish.
  5. Enjoy!

grilled-chicken-bruschetta

Other tasty options for the main course (found on my recipe page):

  • Margarita Pizza

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  • At-Home Chipotle Burrito Bowl

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  • Pretzel Crusted Chicken Tenders

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Recipes for… {snacks & dips}

We’ve made this Mexi dip countless times and I’d be lying if I said it’s not one of the top 5 most addicting things I’ve ever eaten. You will not be able to walk away from this stuff. 🙂

[healthified] Mexican Corn Dip (also known as Cowboy Caviar apparently)

Ingredients:

  • 1 can Mexicorn, drained
  • 1 can Rotel, drained
  • 8 oz reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup plain Chobani Greek yogurt

Instructions:

  1. Drain Mexicorn and Rotel. Let cream cheese soften at room temperature.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  3. Chill in refrigerator for 2-3 hours before serving.
  4. Serve with bell pepper strips, carrots, or multigrain chips!


mexi dip


I am so stoked to try this recipe out for so many reasons. First of all, it’s packed with fresh veggies, which is always a plus in my book. Second, it’s so colorful and PRETTY! I just love it when food is attractive and delicious. : )

Best Ever Southwestern Black Bean Dip: [courtesy of Iowa Girl Eats]

Ingredients:

  • 15 oz can black beans (no sodium added)
  • 15 oz can corn, drained
  • 3 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, ribs and seeds removed then minced
  • 1 clove fresh garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup chopped cilantro (more or less depending on preference)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup Zesty Light Italian salad dressing

Instructions:

  1. Drain and rinse black beans and corn.
  2. Rinse and chop all remaining produce.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl, then mix to combine.
  4. Serve with whole grain tortilla chips.

southwestern black bean dip

Note: Can be prepared 1 day ahead of time. Store covered in refrigerator.


Tortilla Roll-Ups. Pinwheels. Whatever you wanna call them. They are my best friend but my worst enemy because I can never stop at just one. Or two. Okay, more like six. But hey – it’s a holiday AND these have been healthified with some low-fat cheeses & low-carb tortillas, plus the MVP of all recipes – GREEK YOGURT. (Protein-packed and fat-free: can I get an amen?)

Mexican Tortilla Pinwheels

Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz) package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 package dry Fiesta Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 cup chunky salsa
  • 1 ½ cups reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10 low-carb whole wheat flour tortillas

Instructions:

  1. In a medium bowl, mix the cream cheese, Greek yogurt, Fiesta Ranch mix, chunky salsa, and cheddar cheese.
  2. Spread even amounts of the mixture onto the tortillas. (Leave about ½ inch around the edges so you don’t squeeze a bunch out when you roll them up.)
  3. Roll tortillas and chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours.
  4. To serve, slice the chilled, rolled tortillas into ¾ inch slices and arrange on a serving platter.
  5. Serve with extra salsa for dipping! Yum!
IMG_7222
It appears that I used a variety of tortillas when I made these last fall for a Chiefs game tailgate! Hy-Vee has a ton of great low-carb tortillas in their health section! Look for low-carb / whole wheat options!

My family likes to call this “Crocodile Cole Slaw”. Don’t ask me why, but it is the bomb.com. It’s super simple and tasty and makes a great side dish. Remember not to add the dressing until JUST before serving time to keep it from getting soggy!

Oriental Cole Slaw

Ingredients:

  • 1 16 oz package of pre-made coleslaw
  • 4 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 package of chicken flavored ramen noodles, crushed (reserve seasoning)
  • ½ jar of sunflower seeds
  • 1 small package of slivered almonds
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • ½-3/4 cup of Wishbone Light Asian with Sesame & Ginger Vinaigrette Dressing (or any other Asian vinaigrette you may find). Note: I substituted this for the original dressing so I’m estimating on the amount needed. Add more/less as desired.

Instructions:

  1. Combine coleslaw mix, green onions, crushed ramen noodles, almonds, and sunflower seeds in a salad bowl. Chill, covered, until serving time, up to 1 hour.
  2. Before serving, shake dressing; pour over salad and toss to coat.

oriental cole slaw

The recipe actually calls for the following ingredients for the dressing, but I love Wishbone dressings, and their Asian Vinaigrette sounded like a lighter and equally delicious option. It would also require less work (but possibly a few extra bucks). BUT if you want to stick with the original recipe, here are the ingredients.

Coleslaw Dressing ingredients:

  • ½ cup canola oil
  • Seasoning from ramen noodle package
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar (or ½ tbsp of Splenda Sugar Blend)

Instructions:

  • Mix ingredients in a small Tupperware container and chill until serving time.
  • Before serving, shake dressing; pour over salad and toss to coat.

Who doesn’t love a little bit of trail mix action? This is an awesome combination of nuts and the spices on top are guilt free! Just a little bit of oil and maple syrup action and voila, you’ve got yourself a tasty little treat to munch on while you’re waiting on the grill. Remember: Nuts are packed with healthy fats, but they are still high in calories, so try to enjoy in moderation! 🙂

Party Nut Mix

party nut mixIngredients:

  • 1 cup pumpkin seeds
  • 1 tsp canola oil
  • 1 cup whole almonds
  • 1 cup pecan halves
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp ground allspice
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Put the pumpkin seeds in a bowl and coat with the oil. Spread the seeds on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, stirring several times.
  2. Place the pumpkin seeds, almonds, and pecans in a medium bowl and stir in the maple syrup to coat. Mix the cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and salt in a small bowl. Add to the nuts and stir well.
  3. Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until dry. Check often to avoid burning. Cool in the pan for 20 minutes.
  4. Place the mix in a bowl and stir in the cranberries. Delicious!

Recipes for… {the best course: dessert}

I’ve pinned this recipe on Pinterest numerous times and I can’t believe I’ve never made it. It’s only THREE ingredients!! So cheap, easy and it has to be absolutely delicious. Plus, it’s wayyyy lighter than regular cake frosting! One of my besties is making it for our party this weekend so I will get to try it soon! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Skinny Funfetti Dip

Ingredients:funfetti ingredients

  • 1 box Funfetti cake mix
  • 2 cups plain Chobani Greek Yogurt
  • 1 cup lite Cool Whip

Instructions:

  1. Combine cake mix, Greek yogurt, and lite cool whip in a large bowl.
  2. Refrigerate a few hours before serving.
  3. Add sprinkles on top and serve with mini Nilla wafers, low-fat animal crackers, or fresh fruit!

funfetti ingredients


Now this I’ve gotta try. I LOVE bananas. I LOVE ice cream. And I LOVE cereal! This is basically a perfect combo of all of those things. This recipe is great because you can literally use whatever ingredients you want to fit your taste! Try it with any flavor of Greek yogurt, and whatever toppings you’d like! Try some granola or nuts, or a different type of cereal and fruit toppings! I saw some pictures of people making it dipped in SPRINKLES. While that isn’t the healthiest choice, the banana and yogurt are healthy enough, so you could splurge with some sugary toppings. 😉

Frozen Yogurt Banana Pops – @instafitsociety

Ingredients:

  • 3 large bananas
  • 1 container of your favorite flavored Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup Rice Krispies
  • ½ cup chopped freeze dried strawberries
  • Popsicle sticks

Instructions:

  1. Peel and cut the bananas in half (not lengthwise).
  2. Spread the container of yogurt out on a plate.
  3. Mix together the Rice Krispies and freeze dried strawberries on another large plate.
  4. Push a popsicle stick through the bottom of each banana half.
  5. Roll the banana in the yogurt.
  6. Roll the yogurt covered banana in the Rice Krispie and strawberry mixture.
  7. Place the finished bananas on a cookie sheet lined with wax or parchment paper. Freeze the bananas for 1-2 hours or until frozen.
  8. Store in the freezer in an airtight container until ready to eat.

banana popsicle


This is the dessert I’m going to attempt for this weekend, so I shall share pictures of my creation after the fact (assuming all goes well). 🙂 It sounds easy enough, and looks amazing! Fruit pizza is always a great choice and this lightened up frosting is totally guilt-free. My favorite.

Healthy (American Flag) Fruit Pizza: [courtesy of simplytaralynn.com]

Ingredients:

  • 1 box square graham crackers
  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 6 oz vanilla Chobani Greek yogurt
  • 2 cups light Cool Whip
  • Sliced strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Banana slices

Instructions:

  1. Place graham crackers in a large bowl. Put your fist inside a cup and use the bottom of the cup to smash the graham crackers. Can use a blender/food processer, but don’t crush into a dirt consistency. You want to have a couple crunchy pieces left, to make the crust crunchier and to keep a cookie-like texture.
  2. Add the ripe banana to the crushed graham crackers. Take your hands and combine the banana and grahams together. You may use your electric mixer if you don’t want to use your hands. (If you are using your hands, treat it like a meatloaf.)
  3. When the banana and graham crackers are combined, add the ball of dough to a greased baking sheet. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten out the dough with your hands. Roll it out from the center going outward. Use your fingers or a roller.
  4. Fold the outer edges in and pinch the sides to form a crust.
  5. Drizzle the honey over the crust and spread it out with a spoon. This will give the crust a nice crispy texture on the outside, but keep it chewy on the inside.
  6. Place the crust in the oven. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, but watch it closely because all ovens cook differently. Remove the crust when the edges are lightly brown and crispy. Don’t let them burn. Let it cool on the baking sheet; if you don’t wait for it to cool before you move it, it will break!
  7. While the cookie cools, prepare the toppings. Combine light Cool Whip and 1 container of Chobani vanilla Greek yogurt together and place in the fridge to thicken. (approx. 20 minutes).
  8. I want to use strawberries, blueberries and bananas for mine to create an American flag design, for 4th of July – duh! But any fruit and/or nut toppings would be delicious!
  9. Once the crust has cooled, add the whipped topping to the center of the crust and spread evenly.
  10. Decorate the pizza however you’d like using your toppings of choice.

fruit flag pizza

Enjoy!

  • Hint: use the leftover fruit and whipped topping as a fruit dip!
  • Store leftover fruit pizza in the refrigerator.

I hope some of you decide to try out these recipes for your 4th of July festivities!  If you do, please comment and let me know how they turned out! I’m going to try the southwestern black bean dip and the fruit pizza and I can’t wait! 🙂 You can always head to my recipe page for more yummy, healthy ideas!

Have a fun holiday weekend and be safe! ‘MERICA.

eat well. live well. be happy.

Shanna

#4thofjuly #holiday #fireworks #party #healthy #desserts #dips #snacks #food #eatright #stayontrack #fitness #bikinibod #wellnessforthewin

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