Today is your independence day — from boring backyard cookouts! In this Fourth of July menu, juicy, heart healthy turkey burgers are stacked with flavorful toppings. Indulge in a guilt-free chickpea salad filled with a rainbow of veggies. Finish the meal by wowing your crowd with individual red white and blue parfaits. This easy-to-prepare cookout will leave you with the energy to stay up and enjoy the fireworks.
Note to the cook: All recipes serve a party of eight but are easily cut in half to feed a smaller group.
Chickpea salad is a fantastic alternative to more traditional pasta and potato salads that tend to contain unhealthy amounts of fat and starch. Mayonnaise is replaced with a much lighter vinegar-based dressing. Chickpeas pack a protein punch, and a variety of vegetables add eye appeal and taste great. This is a terrific “kitchen sink” recipe that is perfect for using up leftover vegetables. Try some different combinations and make this recipe your own!
1 large tomato
1 large orange bell pepper
½ large English cucumber
2-19oz. cans chickpeas, low sodium preferred
1 cup cooked corn kernels (from frozen or from a leftover cooked ear)
2 tablespoons finely diced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar (red wine vinegar may be substituted)
¼ teaspoon smoked paprika (sweet paprika may be substituted)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Remove seeds and dice tomato. Dice orange pepper and cucumber.
Rinse chickpeas and drain well. Remove any visibly loose skins.
In a large bowl, combine diced tomato, pepper, cucumber, chickpeas, corn, red onion and parsley.
In a small bowl, combine vinegar and paprika. While stirring, drizzle olive oil into vinegar mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Once mixture is well incorporated, pour over chickpea salad. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Keeps very well overnight.
Grilled turkey burgers
Full of flavor, these grilled turkey burgers are a delicious twist on the traditional burger. A simple turkey cheeseburger is piled high with toppings, turning the simple into something truly special. Easily customizable, these cheeseburgers will appeal to both your pickiest and most adventurous eaters.
2 lbs lean ground turkey
8 slices reduced fat cheddar cheese
8 whole wheat hamburger buns
1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
2 teaspoons lime juice
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
sliced red onion
thinly sliced jalapeños
Season ground turkey with salt and pepper to taste. Form into eight 4oz patties. Cover and refrigerate until ready to cook. Chilled patties will keep their shape better when grilling.
Combine yogurt, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl, season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
Preheat your grill to medium high. While grill is preheating, prepare your toppings.
Once grill has reached the desired temperature, grill your burgers until cooked through — 3 to 4 minutes per side. During the last minute of cooking, add your sliced cheese, allowing it to melt.
Grill your buns, insides facing the grate until lightly toasted. Assemble burgers as desired, using 2 tablespoons of sauce per burger. Serve right away.
Red, white and blue yogurt parfait
Vanilla yogurt parfaits are a sweet Fourth of July themed treat that will please patriots of all ages. Fat free vanilla Greek yogurt in place of pudding, ice cream or whipped cream cuts the fat and adds extra protein. This dessert is an excellent way to enjoy the abundance of fresh summer berries. Refreshing, light, and doesn’t require turning on the oven on a hot summer day — the perfect summer dessert!
4 ½ cups fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt
4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and dried
4 cups fresh strawberries, washed, dried and sliced
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 small glasses
In a small glass, layer your ingredients as such: 3 tablespoons of yogurt, ½ cup blueberries, 3 tablespoons yogurt, ½ cup sliced strawberries, 3 tablespoons yogurt. Top layers with 2 tablespoons of graham cracker crumbs.
If not serving right away, make yogurt and fruit layers, cover, and refrigerate. When ready to serve, uncover and top with graham cracker crumbs.
Total recipe serves 8. (Nutritional information below for 1 serving.)