Festive Healthified BBQ favorites + a Patriotic Sangria Recipe. Happy Independence Day!

Did the 4th spring up on anyone else out of no where? June up and went and all the sudden July flew in. July 4th can be a long day so let’s be ready for it. We have the staple points of 4th of July: early parade around 10AM, either town festivities like pie eating contests or a family/friend BBQ at 1PM, cook outs and pool parties till 6PM, then you have a few hours to get ready for your local fireworks!  We will all need a ‘pick me up’ to keep us going through all the activities, sun and the commotion that comes along with our Independence Day. Let’s mix the 4th up with some new recipes that will keep you moving all the way through till you can finally sit down and watch some fireworks. Leave the hot dogs and hamburgers at home and WOW your friends and family with a few fresh and healthy recipes that won’t leave them sleeping through the firework finale!

Creamy Dill Potato Salad
vegan, makes 8 cups
1 lb mini potatoes, halved/quartered
1 Tbsp garlic powder
2-3 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
4 Tbsp vegan mayo, Vegenaise (if not vegan make sure to use an organic mayonnaise)
2 Tbsp spicy Dijon mustard
3/4 cup sweet onion OR scallions, chopped
1 1/2 cups fresh dill, chopped (stems and fronds)
1/4 tsp cayenne fresh black pepper and sea salt to taste

*feel free to add in healthy additions for a flavor boost – like more fresh herbs (parsley, thyme, chives), nutritional yeast, or smoked paprika

Directions:
1. Prep all your ingredients. Scrub your potatoes well. Halve and quarter them. Smaller potato bits will cook faster.
2. Bring salted water to a boil and drop your potatoes. Cook until tender – do not over cook or you will end up with more of a “mashed” potato salad. I like to rinse my cooked potatoes in ice water to halt cooking.
3. There are two options now. You can chill your cooked potatoes first – then fold your ingredients directly into the potatoes and serve or chill. This prevents the vegan mayo and other creamy ingredients from ‘melting’ into the hot potatoes. The other option is to simply toss all the ingredients into the warm potatoes – and then chill until ready to serve. Doing this will allow the flavors to marinade nicely – but it may also wilt the “thickness” of your creamy potato salad sauce. The last option is to fold all the ingredients into the potatoes and serve warm. This is also delicious! 4. Chill your salad until ready to be served – or serve warm. Garnish with fresh dill sprigs and a drizzle of good olive oil and fresh black pepper over top

Black Bean Fiesta Burgers (Black Bean Freedom Burgers)
vegan, makes 5 burgers

5 whole wheat burger buns
Burgers:
1 1/2 cups black beans, drained/canned (unsalted)
3 Tbsp fine bread crumbs
3/4 cup baked/mashed sweet potato
3 Tbsp chopped cilantro – including stems
1/3 cup diced white onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chopped garlic
3/4 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/2 jalapeno, diced/de-seeded
3 Tbsp nutritional yeast – or use more bread crumbs a few dashes of chipotle powder or cayenne for extra heat

Special Spicy Sauce: 1/2 cup vegan mayo +  2 tsp garlic hot sauce
5 round onion slices and 5 round tomato slices
optional: lime-juice spritzed avocado slices (not shown in burger photos – but recommended!)

Directions:
1. First off prepare the Fiesta Slaw according to the directions. (recipe) – Chill in fridge until ready to add to burgers.
2. Whip up your “special spicy sauce” – set aside in fridge as well.
3. Next up, prepare the burgers. Pulse all the ingredients in a food processor. You can also mash well by hand – but a fp is a tad faster. Next, hand-form burger patties with the mixture and place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. I like to roll my burgers in a touch of bread crumbs so that they have nice crisp edges.
4. Bake your burgers at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool for a few minutes before assembling burgers. The last 5 minutes of cooking – add your burger buns to the oven to warm/toast them.
5. Assemble those burgers! Warm bun, spread of special sauce, tomato, onion, optional avocado, burger, fiesta slaw and finally another slather of the special spicy sauce on the top bun.

Time to cool refresh and cool down!

Blueberry Kale Pops 

Ingredients
1 c. frozen blueberries
1 c. baby kale leaves
2 c. organic purple grape juice

Directions
1. In a food processor or high-powered blender (I use Vitamix),  blend all ingredients until perfectly liquefied.
2. Pour into ice pops molds or ice cube molds (
3. Freeze until solid.

….now what’s a party without some festive and fun Sangria?!  Enjoy this delicious recipe:

RWBSangria6

 

Patriotic Sangria

2 bottles dry white wine (Sauvignon Blanc is good)
1.5 TBS orange zest 5-7 drops organic orange oil
1/2 cup organic distilled vodka (berry flavor optional)
1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice 1/2 cup simple syrup (see tips below) or agave (basil simple syrup works wonderfully in this recipe as well)
1 cup blueberries
1 1/2 cups hulled and sliced strawberries
1 cup raspberries
1 1/2 cups pineapple chunks

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a large punch bowl or pitcher and stir well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. Serve well-chilled with a good scoop of fruit floating in each drink, or serve over ice.

Tips:
*To make 1/2 cup simple syrup, boil 1/2 cup water and add 1/2 cup granulated organic cane sugar. Turn heat to simmer and stir until dissolved. Turn off the heat and let cool. (For basil: just add 4-5 leaves basil leaves when you add cane sugar, drain and discard leaves once cool)
*Make more simple syrup if you like on the sweeter side
*Use fresh fruit for this recipe.
*To make star-shaped pineapple pieces, cut long & wide pieces of pineapple off the side of the fresh fruit. use a star cutter to cut shapes.

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