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Ask the Expert Archive


It’s hard to believe, but next Monday is July 4th.  Traditionally that means we celebrate with some form of barbeque or picnic with friends and family.  While we usually feature the typical grill fare (kebabs, burgers, hot dogs) and salads, I thought it would be fun to also feature some menu items that display the patriotic flare of the holiday.  Of course I’m talking about going with a red, white, and blue theme.  Thankfully, so many fruit and veggies are colorful, so it’s not too difficult to accomplish this.  I’ve found a few recipes I think your guests will enjoy, both from a taste and “fun” perspective.


Red, White, and Blue Salad is super simple to make.  You’ll need chopped romaine lettuce, blueberries, chopped strawberries, and feta cheese.  Toss together and add your favorite salad dressing.  This recipe uses Trader Joe’s Sweet Poppy Seed dressing, but you can create your own by using equal parts of olive oil, Dijon mustard, and white balsamic vinegar.  Whisk together and add fresh cracked black pepper and salt to taste.

Courtesy of Green Lite Bites


This American Flag Vegetable Tray is a healthy appetizer option.  You’ll need cucumber, radishes, cauliflower, grape tomatoes, and red bell peppers.  Arrange the veggies on a cookie tray and then you can create a homemade dill dip using fat free sour cream, mayonnaise, light cream cheese, fresh dill, fresh parsley, minced onion, a little salt, and a few drops of blue food coloring.

Courtesy of Living Locurto


Red, White, and Blueberry Yogurt Popsicles are a great July 4th dessert option.  All you’ll need are raspberries, blueberries, and vanilla flavored Greek yogurt for this recipe.  You’ll need to use your food processor or blender to make the fruit smooth.  In popsicle molds you’re going to layer the yogurt and each of the fruit a little at a time and then freeze each layer (it will take about an hour for each layer).  Once all the layers are in, freeze until completely solid and serve.  The process is tedious, but the result is well worth it.

bluberry yogurt popsicles
Courtesy of The View from Great Island


Have a happy July 4th and I’ll be back next week with some recipes that make good use of those delicious tomatoes from your garden.


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It’s hard to imagine a summertime picnic, pool party, or barbeque without slices of watermelon and cantaloupe.  Summer melons are a must have this time of year for many reasons.  They’re plentiful in supermarkets, road side stands, and farmer’s markets, melons are high in water contents and perfect for helping to keep you hydrated during these hot summer months, and their flavor is sweet and refreshing.  An extra bonus is both watermelon and cantaloupe are excellent sources of both Vitamins A and C.  While it’s simple to slice a wedge of one of these melons and enjoy, I’ve gathered some recipes using them in other ways that take advantage of their flavor in creative ways.


This Watermelon Gazpacho from Fruits & Veggies–More Matters is a great light meal for lunch or as a starter at dinner.  Watermelon, cucumber, garlic, onion, lime juice, jalapeno pepper, olive oil, fresh basil, and ground pepper are combined for a refreshing blend of flavors.

Courtesy of Fruits & Veggies–More Matters


Cantaloupe and Mozzarella Caprese Salad is an interesting blend of flavors.  The salt in the dressing brings out the sweetness of the cantaloupe.  You’ll use cantaloupe, fresh mozzarella, sliced prosciutto, basil, mint, olive oil, honey, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper to taste.
Courtesy of Foodie Crush


Watermelon Salsa can be used in many ways.  Dip your favorite tortilla chips in it or use it to dress up grilled fish or chicken.  It’s simple to make and you’ll need diced watermelon, diced red onion, chopped cilantro, chopped mint, finely chopped jalapeno pepper, and lime juice.

Courtesy of Gimme Some Oven


Summer Cantaloupe Slush is a great way to beat the heat.  There’s only three ingredients to this recipe–four cups of frozen cantaloupe cubes, one cup of water, and a little lime juice.  Put everything in a blender and blend until smooth.  You’ll end up with a refreshing and healthy treat!

cantaloupe slush
Courtesy of Apron Strings Blog


I’ll return next Monday with some patriotic recipes to get you ready for your July 4th celebrations.


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