What’s a 4th of July cookout without burgers on the grill, creamy potato salad and apple pie? The holiday wouldn’t be complete without an outdoor feast. But, before you dig into that classic American meal, have you considered the impact it could have on your body?
Cholesterol, blood pressure, obesity and diabetes are all risk factors of heart disease. Hamburgers and hot dogs are high in sodium while potato salad is loaded with empty calories. While we’re happy to celebrate a free country, is this the best way to indulge?
Grilled food doesn’t have to be heavy. Today, we’ll be sharing 10 recipes adapted from Epicurious that’ll help you escape the burger rut.
(Struggling with the summer heat? This free guide will help you stay healthy.)
1. Grilled Chicken with Bok Choy
This dish is Instagram- worthy and proof that everything’s better grilled. Arrange the chicken, bok choy, radishes and shiitake mushrooms on a platter and drizzle with mango-sesame dressing for a fresh splash of flavor.
2. Grilled Steak Salad with Beets
While we wouldn’t normally recommend red meat, this is a perfect example of adjusting your favorite dishes to meet your health needs. Serve grilled steak over scallions and beets to create well-rounded (and filling) summer salad.
3. Stuffed Bass with Lime
Fish is low in fat, high in protein and packed with omega-3. Grilled fish with lime and cilantro is a refreshing option for a backyard cookout. Another herb combination that compliments fish is dill, bay leaves and lemon. When putting this together, oil the grate before adding the fish to keep the skin from sticking.
4. Grilled Scallops with Salsa Verde
Not a fish fan? That’s okay. Scallops are another high-protein option to consider. And, served alongside a citrusy salsa verde, is a fantastic appetizer to serve poolside. The secret to delicious scallops is in the sear. Click to learn and practice the technique.
5. Dry-Rubbed Flank with Grilled Corn
Does your mouth water for steaks and corn on the cob? Try this heart-healthy alternative instead. A flank steak salad with grilled corn and tomato salsa will keep your guests coming back for more.
6. Grilled Oregano Chicken with Tomatoes
Another lean protein that goes well with just about anything is grilled chicken. For a brown (not blackened) finish, start with the skin side down in medium heat to reduce flare-ups. Pair it with tomato salad, garlic, olives and fresh oregano for a Mediterranean twist on 4th of July fare.
7. Swordfish Steaks with Olive
Swordfish is another seafood option that packs a punch of omega-3s. Once you’ve finished cooking, transport it to a platter topped with savory olive gremolata and lemon wedges for a heart-healthy (and impressive) dinner party on the patio.
8. Snapper Escabèche with Scallions
If you’re serving a lot of food, snapper is a fantastic option because it can be marinated in the shallot-infused vinaigrette and chilled two hours ahead. If you’re new to snapper, grill it skin side down for 4-6 minutes until it’s lightly charred. (The skin should release easily. If it sticks, cook it for another 1-2 minutes.)
9. Spicy Grilled Chicken With Lemon
Do your taste buds crave something a little spicier? Look no further than this paprika-rubbed grilled chicken. Similar to snapper, it can be prepared ahead of time. When ready to serve, add parsley and a few squeezes of caramelized lemon for a delicious tang.
10. Grilled Beets with Burrata
Lastly but certainly not least is a grilled beet salad. You may be wondering, “where’s the meat?” With this recipe, you’ll feel satisfied without feeling overly full (which is great for outdoor activities like swimming or volleyball). Tossed in a mustard poppy-seed dressing with fresh mozzarella, you may have to prepare a second batch for guests.
We encourage you to try one of these 10 healthy grilling recipes for your 4th of July party. While you may not have control over factors like family history or diabetes, you can take steps towards improving your cholesterol, blood pressure and body mass index (BMI) to help prevent heart disease.
During the cookout, try to watch your portions. While it’s good to relax, it’s also easy to overflow your plate or mindlessly snack on chips and dip. To make your holiday even healthier, try adding some games to your cookout! It’s more fun being active when you have friends and family to laugh with. Here are some ideas from Reader’s Digest to help you get started.
To learn more about heart disease or to schedule a heart scan and learn the state of your health, reach out to us today at (918) 879-6161.
How to Protect Your Heart in the Heat
Whatever brings you outside – whether it’s a jog in the park or a friendly game of tennis – it’s important that you’re conscious of your health in extreme temperatures. In this free guide, you’ll learn how to identify heat exhaustion and stroke as well as three ways to protect yourself this summer. Click below to download yours now!