Red, White, and Blue Eating on July 4th

July 1, 2010

We’re just a few days away from July 4th and that means it’s time to get the barbecue prepped and your fridge stocked with delicious eats for the holiday weekend! Before you go filling your grocery cart with traditional barbecue fare like potato salad, mayo-drenched cole slaw, hot dogs, and hamburgers, take a look at my nutritioulicious™ recipes geared specifically for July 4th. You’ll notice there’s a color pattern: red, white, and blue — very patriotic, I know! What’s great is that foods in this color scheme are super healthy for you and filled with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. The recipes will also save you loads of calories and fat compared to what you’d ordinarily have at a BBQ!

Mediterranean Tuna BurgersTuna Burgers

Makes 8 Burgers


  • 2 pounds chilled fresh tuna steaks
  • 2 tablespoons chopped capers, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 8 whole wheat hamburger buns or sandwich thins
  • 8 slices tomatoes from the vine or beefsteak tomatoes
  • Sliced avocado (about 3 slices per burger)


  1. Finely dice tuna and in a large bowl mix with capers, red onion, mustard, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
  2. Moisten hands and shape tuna mixture into eight 4-ounce burgers (about the size of the palm of your hand and thickness of a deck of cards). Place prepared burgers on a plate, cover, and refrigerate at least 1 hour (or freeze for about 5 to 10 minutes).
  3. Spray grill or grill pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Grill burgers about 2 minutes per side (or longer if you like them more well-done).
  4. Place burgers on bottoms of buns or sandwich thins and top each burger with one slice of tomato, three slices of avocado, and bun/thin top. Serve and enjoy!

4th of July Grilled Vegetables


  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Red peppers, cored and cut into four pieces
  • Vidalia onions, sliced into 1-inch thick rounds
  • Nonstick cooking spray


  1. In a small dish, combine olive oil, salt, and pepper. Using a basting brush, lightly cover peppers and onions with the olive oil mixture and place on a plate or in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate up to one day.
  2. Spray grill or grill pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat to medium-high. Grill vegetables about 5 minutes per side, until they are tender and nicely charred on both sides. Remove from grill and serve immediately.

Sweet Cabbage Slaw

Makes 8 servings


  • 1 jicama (about 2 pounds), peeled and quartered
  • 1/2 pound carrots (about 2 large), peeled
  • 1 purple or red cabbage (about 3/4 pound)
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon packed brown sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Poppy seeds (optional)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil


  1. Using a mandoline or a knife, cut jicama and carrots into very thin slices. Stack slices and cut into julienne strips. Then, cut cabbage into very thin shreds. Vegetables can be prepared one day ahead and refrigerated.
  2. Whisk together vinegar, brown sugar, salt, pepper, and poppy seeds (if using). Add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.
  3. About 30 minutes before serving, toss cabbage, jicama, and carrots in a large bowl with vinaigrette. Let stand and serve.

Grilled Stone Fruit with Greek Yogurt

Makes 2 servings


  • 2 plums, nectarines, or apricots, cut in half and pitted
  • Olive oil
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons honey


  1. Lightly brush fruit with olive oil. Spray grill with nonstick cooking spray and heat grill to medium-high. Grill fruit on both sides for about 10 minutes total.
  2. While fruit is grilling, combine yogurt and honey. When fruit is done, remove from grill onto a plate and top with 1/4 cup yogurt-honey mixture each.

To see me prepare some of these recipes and for more healthy grilling tips, tune into Fox 5 Good Day NY Street Talk Saturday July 3rd at 6 am!

Happy 4th of July!!

Tuna burgers

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    1. They’re actually tuna burgers! Turkey burgers are a great lean choice for the BBQ as well! Hope you had a great 4th!