Holidays can be tough when you’re trying to stay on your nutrition game! With some serious heat to deal with this week, here are some ideas for those 4th of July parties that will keep you all cool, satisfied, and healthy!
Shrimp and Avocado Salad
- 8 oz (225g) raw shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 large avocado, diced
- 1 handful cherry tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- Freshly chopped cilantro (or parsley)
- 2 tablespoons salted butter, melted
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and fresh cracked pepper
1. Toss shrimp with melted butter in a bowl until well-coated.
2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add shrimp to the skillet in a single layer, searing for a minute or until it starts to become pink around the edges, then flip and cook until shrimp are cooked through, less than a minute.
3. Transfer shrimp to a shallow plate and allow to cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
4. Add all other ingredients (avocado, tomato, red onion, and cilantro) to a large mixing bowl. drizzle with olive oil and lime juice and toss to mix everything together.
5. Add shrimp and give a quick stir to mix together. Season with more salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy!
Spicy Turkey and Zucchini Burger
- 1 pound ground turkey meat
- Just under 2 cups, lightly packed, coarsely grated zucchini (from about 2 to 3 small zucchinis or one medium zucchini)
- 3 green onions, thinly sliced, onion greens included
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh mint (spearmint)
- 2 Tbsp chopped fresh cilantro (tender stems included)
- 1 clove garlic, crushed and minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne
- 3 Tbsp vegetable oil
Sour cream sauce:
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1. Make the sour cream sauce by placing all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl and stirring until combined. Chill until ready to use.
2. Mix the turkey zucchini mixture: In a large bowl place the grated zucchini, sliced green onions, chopped mint, cilantro, and garlic, ground cumin, salt, pepper, and cayenne. Stir to combine. With your hands, mix in the ground turkey until the zucchini mixture is well distributed through the ground turkey.
3. Form patties: Use your hands to form 3 to 4 inch wide patties, placing them on a baking sheet. Note that the patties will be rather wet, so they may be a little tricky to handle.
4. Fry gently: Heat 3 Tbsp of vegetable oil in a large frying pan on medium high heat. Once the oil is hot, lower the heat to medium.
Working in batches, place the patties in the pan. Let cook for about 5 minutes, then flip the patties over and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.
You want them to brown and to gently cook all the way through. If the temperature is too high, they’ll get browned on the outside but the inside will still be raw. So, cook them gently.
If the outsides are browned and the insides still aren’t done, lower the heat and cook longer.
5. Remove to paper-towel lined plate: Once the first batch of patties are done, remove to a paper towel-lined plate while you cook the second batch. Or you can keep the patties warm in a 200°F oven.
Makes 8 large patties or up to 18 small ones. Serve with the sour cream sauce.
Herbed Lemon Garlic Chicken Skewers
- 1½ tablespoons finely minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon zest
- 4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- ½ cup minced fresh herbs, I used a mix of basil, rosemary and oregano
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium zucchini, cut into ½ inch slices
- 1 large red bell pepper, cut into ¾ inch squares
- 1 medium red onion, cut into wedges and then ¾ inch squares
- 1¼ pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 lemon cut into wedges for serving
- In a small bowl combine garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Set aside.
- Place cut vegetables in a zip lock bag and add 3 tablespoons of the herb marinade. Toss to coat. Place chicken in separate bag and add remaining marinade and toss to coat. Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes and up to 4-6 hours.
- Preheat the grill to medium heat. Thread the skewers alternating with meat and vegetables. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for 3-4 minutes and then flip. Continue to cook and flip when necessary until the chicken is cooked through to 165 degrees.
- Serve with lemon wedges and squeeze on top.
Peach Salad with Grilled Basil Chicken
Grilled Basil Chicken
- 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts
- 3 Tbsp olive oil , plus more for brushing grill
- 1/3 cup slightly packed chopped fresh basil
- 2 cloves garlic , minced
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 3 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 10 oz Spring Mix lettuce
- 1 lb peaches , sliced (about 3 small)
- 2 ears corn , husked and kernels cut from cob
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans , toasted
- 1/2 small red onion , sliced thin (about 3/4 cup), rinse under water to remove harsh bite
- 4 oz Goat cheese , crumbled
For the chicken:
In a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oil, basil, garlic, and lemon juice and season with salt and pepper (about 1/2 tsp of each). Using the back of a spoon, press basil against sides and bottom of bowl (to help extract flavor from basil). Place chicken in a resealable bag and pound thicker parts of chicken to even thickness with a meat mallet, then pour basil mixture over chicken and evenly distribute basil over chicken. Seal bag while pressing excess air out, rub marinade over chicken and transfer to refrigerator and marinate 2 – 5 hours.
Preheat a grill to 425 – 450 degrees over medium high heat. Brush grill grates lightly with olive oil then place chicken on grill. Grill until cooked through, rotating once halfway through cooking, about 4 – 5 minutes per side (chicken should register 165 degrees in center of chicken on an instant read thermometer). Transfer to a cutting board and let rest 10 minutes then slice into strips or dice into cubes.
Whisk together all ingredients until well blended and season with salt and pepper to taste. Store in refrigerator until ready to use, stir again before pouring over salad.
In a large salad bowl gently toss together lettuce, peaches, corn, pecans, onions, and grilled chicken. Sprinkle goat cheese over top and drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve immediately after adding dressing.
Watermelon, Feta, and Orzo Salad:
- 1 cup orzo pasta
- 1/2 cup Lemon-Shallot Vinaigrette
- 3 cups seeded and diced watermelon
- 4 cups firmly packed watercress or baby arugula
- 4 ounces crumbled feta cheese