Healthy Patriots #independenceday #FourthofJuly

Holidays...a time when everyone overeats and all diets are thrown to the wayside as our waistlines expand in the span of a single day. Sadly, the indulging occurs too often, resulting in one third of our American population being obese. I suppose the American way to celebrate this Fourth of July would be to overeat fatty, sugary, salty, unhealthy foods until you can no longer button your pants, but I'm going to be a true Patriot, and throw that idea into the Boston Harbor (I'm a big proponent of #treatyoself and the #bodypositivity movement, but obesity has become a worldwide epidemic, and it doesn't have to be).

Here are some super easy, seasonal, very on-brand healthy American snacks to celebrate this holiday.

1. Breakfast

Berry Yogurt Parfait

Ingredients:

  • 1 c Plain, Nonfat Greek yogurt (one serving is a whole cup, you'll be shocked at how much that actually is)
  • Strawberries & Blueberries, rinsed
  • Chia seeds

Method:

  1. Put yogurt in bowl.
  2. Cut off tops of strawberries and slice into quarters (or eighths depending upon size of the berries). Line on top of yogurt to look like flag stripes.
  3. Sprinkle a few blueberries and chia seeds in the top left corner to look like stars.
  4. Eat your flag for breakfast!

You could easily replicate this in a 9 x 13 dish if you're having an Independence Day Brunch.

2. Lunch/Dinner, or Picnic Side Dish

Red, White, & Blue Kale Salad

There are two tricks to a show-stopping Kale salad: 1. make your own dressing (why anyone still buys pre-made dressing boggles my mind. It is so easy to make and so much healthier/tastier), and 2. massage the dressing into the kale greens (dressing will get into every crevice of the leaf and reduce any bitterness).

Ingredients:

  • Kale, rinsed and de-stemmed
  • 1/2 Red onion, sliced thinly (more or less depending upon how stinky you want everyone's breath)
  • 1/2 c Blue Cheese (okay, fromagiers I used Gorgonzola, but it's in the Blue family)
  • 1 can White beans, drained and rinsed (any white bean will work, Cannellini, Great Northern, Garbanzo, etc, you will get a different flavor with different beans)
  • Homemade dressing: (I like to make a lot, in a jar, and store in fridge)
    • 1/2 c olive oil
    • 1/4 c white wine vinegar
    • 1/4 c red wine vinegar
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • salt & pepper
    • 1/2 t sage
    • 1/2 t rosemary
    • Mix all of the above in a glass jar (with lid). Screw on lid, shake and boom, dressing.

Method:

  1. Put kale in large mixing bowl.
  2. Add red onion, and white beans.
  3. Dump about half of dressing into bowl. Use your hands and mix the dressing into the kale, this is the massaging. Add more dressing if needed. (Pro tip: make sure you wash your hands really well after massaging, otherwise you're going to smell garlic all day).
  4. Top with blue cheese (or Gorgonzola).

Obviously you can enjoy either one of these dishes on days other than July 4th, but if on the 4th, I do highly recommend pairing with the Hamilton Soundtrack for maximum patriotism (or some good ol' Bruce).