The Fourth of July is one of those holidays that can be celebrated anywhere with anyone. This day can be celebrated at the beach, at a local park, in the backyard, or at a block party with the neighbors. And the Fourth of July is not just about the fireworks. Celebrating with food and libations has become the norm.
The beauty of the Fourth of July celebrations is that a lot of food is cooked either ahead of time and brought along to a party or grilled on the spot, making great opportunities for creating low-carb dishes to help maintain that low-carb lifestyle. With that in mind, here are some great dishes to take along to the party or grill when you get there.
What’s a cookout without the burger? The best part of the burger is definitely not the bun or the sauce, but the quality of the meat you cook and the seasoning you use. Choose beef, turkey, even bison, and season to your liking. Rather than swaddle all that flavor in a bun, choose several large leaves of butter lettuce to wrap it in. Add a slice of red onion and dill pickle, and you have yourself a low-carb handful. Oh, and don’t forget the cheese!
BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Ribs are a summer party favorite, but they can be time consuming to prepare. One way to cut the time, but not the flavor, is to cook the ribs in a pressure cooker, and then finish them off in the oven or on the grill with a low-carb BBQ sauce. This recipe by the Spicy Apron is perfect for tender ribs in under an hour.
One thing that goes great with BBQ ribs is a side of coleslaw. This recipe from Low-Carb Life doesn’t use any sugar. If a sweeter version is something you prefer, adding a bit of stevia or coconut sugar can give the slaw that extra edge you might be looking for.
The grill is not just for meat. Grilled, marinated vegetables are so very tasty, filling, and good for you. If you don’t want to marinate them, spray them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Slices of zucchini, eggplant, bell peppers, corn, whole portobello mushrooms, slices of red and yellow onion, and whole green onions are tender and tasty when cooked on the grill. They make an excellent side dish.
Tomatoes and basil are at their best and freshest during the summer. Paired with fresh mozzarella and balsamic glaze, tomatoes and basil are a hit. Another way to serve this salad is to create skewers by alternating small grape tomatoes, basil, and fresh small mozzarella rounds. Drizzle some glaze over the top and you have an easy, plate-free appetizer. A balsamic reduction does not require sugar and can be made at home rather easily. This recipe from Joyful Healthy Eats gives step by step instruction on making the reduction just right, and it can be used in many low-carb recipes.
Beer can be very filling and is full of carbs, but it is definitely what is most commonly found at a Fourth of July cookout. Why not opt for a cocktail that is light, refreshing, and low-carb? Margaritas are easy to make, and several sugar-free premade mixes are available in the grocery store. Some already include the alcohol. If you are tired of sugar-free margaritas, try this mock sangria recipe from I Breathe, I’m Hungry. The recipe ditches the wine and lightens up with some sparkling seltzer water.
Whatever your plans this Fourth of July, remember to keep it fun and safe!!!