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A healthy take on celebrating the Fourth of July

Published on June 28, 2016

A healthy take on celebrating the Fourth of July

Briana Traut, Registered Dietitian
CentraCare Weight Management

July 4th celebrationLiving in Minnesota, the Fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays to celebrate. After what seems like an endless winter, summer brings warmer weather, cabin goers and grilling season. The Fourth of July is, of course, not complete without barbecues, fireworks and everything decked out in red, white and blue. Looking to enjoy some of your favorites at this year’s Fourth of July celebration, but without the extra calories and carbs? Try out these quick and easy recipes as substitutions for your classic barbecue dishes!

Cauliflower “Potato” Salad
Classic potato salad — without the carbs! Cauliflower is a great substitution for many starches. Try it out in place of potatoes, rice, or pasta. You can even make your own low carb cauliflower pizza crust.

1 medium head cauliflower
2 hard-boiled eggs
1 medium stalk celery, minced
½ cup green pepper, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1/3 cup light mayo
1 Tbsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. lemon juice
¼ tsp. garlic powder
¼ tsp. onion powder
1-2 drops hot sauce or a pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)
1-2 tsp. sugar substitute
2 Tbsp. sugar-free dill pickle relish or 1 dill pickle, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste


  1. Break or chop the cauliflower into small florets. (If they are too big, they’re difficult to cook.)
  2. Microwave florets in a covered container with a small amount of water or steam on the stove. You want them to be fork-tender (a fork slips in easily) but not overcooked.
  3. Drain and put into cauliflower into a medium bowl. Chop the egg and add. Toss with salt and pepper, to taste.
  4. Mix the ingredients for the dressing (mayo, mustard, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper (optional) and sugar substitute). Mix the chopped vegetables (celery and onions) and the dressing into the cauliflower and egg mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with paprika and chill.

Yield: 8 servings
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 99 calories, 3 g carbohydrate, 3 g protein, 1.5 g fiber
Recipe adapted from VeryWell

Watermelon Fruit Pizza
Get creative with this delicious alternative to fruit pizza! There is no right or wrong way to make this quick and simple dessert. You simply need watermelon slices, a “sauce” such as a Greek yogurt spread and your favorite selection of sliced fruit and other toppings. This is a great recipe to get the kids involved!

1 watermelon

Yogurt Spread
4 oz. Greek yogurt
½ tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. lemon juice

Topping options
Mandarin oranges
Sliced almonds
Coconut flakes
Mini dark chocolate chips
Feta cheese


  1. Slice up the watermelon into round, circle slices. Slice each watermelon round into four triangular slices.
  2. Top the watermelon triangles with the yogurt spread.
  3. Next, add your sliced fruit and other toppings.

Nutrition Information Per Serving: Nutrition varies according to type of fruit/toppings used.

Black Bean Pasta Salad
Put a spin on Italian pasta salad! Try out black bean pasta — it is high in fiber and protein. Personalize it by adding your favorite summertime veggies!

1 lb. black bean pasta
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
½ cucumber, diced
1 cup broccoli
1 small red onion, finely chopped
½ cup cherry tomatoes
½ cup light Italian dressing


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Chill.
  2. Clean and cut up all vegetables.
  3. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.
  4. Add dressing; toss well.
  5. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Yield: 13 servings
Nutrition Information Per Serving: 82 calories, 14 g carbohydrate, 5 g protein, 4 g fiber

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About the Author

Briana Traut

Briana Traut, RD, LD
Registered Dietitian
CentraCare Weight Management

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