Holidays can be tricky if you are on a diet or trying to reform your eating and lifestyle habits. There are ALWAYS healthy alternatives, though! You just have to be a little creative and resourceful. With the 4th of July fast approaching, here are some ideas for lightening up your cookout:

watermelon-flagWatermelon and Feta Flag

Photo and recipe by Wenderly Designs.
Source: http://wenderly.com/patriotic-watermelon-feta-flag/

Half of a seedless watermelon
8 ounces of feta cheese
1 pint of blueberries

Cut and cube half of a seedless watermelon.
Cube 8 ounces of feta.
Rinse off 1 pint of fresh blueberries.
Pour blueberries into a bowl, preferably square and place in the top left corner of a rectangle (or oval) platter.
Assemble watermelon and feta into rows, starting with the watermelon.

Note: Serve with a side of toothpicks for easy and healthy handling of the food.

blueberry-strawberry-jicima-salsaBlueberry Strawberry Jicama Salsa

Photo and recipe by Two Peas and Their Pod.
Source: http://www.twopeasandtheirpod.com/blueberry-strawberry-jicama-salsa/

1 cup fresh blueberries
1 cup diced strawberries
1 cup diced jicama
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons finely chopped jalapeno pepper, stemmed and seeded
Juice of 1 large lime
Salt, to taste
Tortilla chips, for serving

1. In a medium bowl, combine blueberries, strawberries, jicama, cilantro, red onion, jalapeno, and lime juice. Stir until well combined. Season with salt, to taste. Serve with tortilla chips at room temperature or chilled.

Note: This salsa is also great with grilled fish or chicken. It is best eaten the day it is made.

turkey-burgers-blueberryRed, White, and Blueberry Turkey Burger Sliders

Photo by Dana Shultz. Recipe by Brandi Koskie.
Source: http://www.dietsinreview.com/diet_column/05/red-white-and-blueberry-turkey-burger-sliders-recipe-for-summer-cookouts/

1 pound ground turkey
1 red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
1/4 cup reduced-fat feta cheese
whole wheat slider buns
1 tsp. coriander
1 tsp. cracked black pepper

Add all ingredients in a bowl and fold until well combined. Form six to eight small patties. Place on a low-to-medium heat grill for about 5 minutes, then turn and cook about 3-5 more minutes. Place each patty on a slider bun and top with the blueberry balsamic reduction. Serve and enjoy!

Happy Fourth of July!

Attachment