Happy Birthday, ‘Merica!
Yes, summer is here and we’re celebrating Independence Day! The parades, fireworks, friends, and loved ones are all reasons why we enjoy this 240-year-old tradition.
There is another reason we love the 4th of July so much…food! It’s always great to get together and chow down on some epic meals.
There might be one downside to this holiday and that’s the feeling of remorse on July 5th when you go back to the gym and feel like you’re going to have to work harder to overcome the surplus of calories that you flooded your digestive system with.
Well fortunately for you, we at Muscle & Strength are ready, willing, and able to help you enjoy this day without having to regret it tomorrow.
Take these recipes that will not only taste great but will spare you the extra time you would normally commit to the treadmill tomorrow because they’re healthier options than your neighbors might have.
All of these recipes are to serve four people. We have an appetizer, some main courses, a beverage, and dessert so you have a full meal that you can enjoy without any regrets.
Imagine if the founding fathers had these kinds of food options. They would’ve been jacked and the Revolutionary War probably would’ve been a lot shorter.
Baked Tortilla Chips w/ Fire Roasted Tomato
Ingredients: 1 bag of corn tortilla shells, 3 tomatoes, ½ cup onions finely chopped, ½ jalapeno seeded & diced, 1-2 cloves garlic minced, ¼ teaspoon cumin.
Directions: Put tomatoes on a baking sheet under the broiler on high heat until charred. Remove tomatoes and put them into a food processor to blend. Next, add other ingredients along with salt and pepper to taste. Set combo aside.
Related: Grillin’ & Chillin’ - The Best July 4th Recipes for Lifters
Cut shells into chips of your desired size. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Bake in an oven at 375 until they reach your desired crispness. Remove and serve on a plate next to your bowl with the fire-roasted tomato.
Nutrition Info per Serving: 160 calories, 3 grams protein, 25 grams carbs, 5 grams fat
Turkey Ezekiel Burger w/ Avocado Sauce
Ingredients: 1.5 pounds ground turkey, 2 cloves of garlic, 2.5 teaspoons paprika, 1 egg, Ezekiel bread, provolone cheese, 1 avocado, salt, and pepper for taste
Avacado Sauce – ½ avocado, 4 tablespoons greek yogurt, juice of 1 lime
Directions: Burger – Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix them together. Make combo into patties and place on your grill on medium to medium-high heat. Cook until it is completed to your desire. Place provolone cheese onto patties and cook until cheese is melted. Place Ezekiel bread onto grill and toast. Place patties onto bread.
Sauce – Combine avocado, greek yogurt, and lime in a bowl and mix. Add salt and pepper for taste. Place sauce onto patties.
Nutrition Info for 1 Burger with sauce: 400 calories, 35 grams protein, 20 grams carbs, 20 grams fat
Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic Sriracha Dip
Ingredients: 2 sweet potatoes, 1-2 teaspoons olive oil, 1 cup plain greek yogurt, 5 cloves of garlic chopped, 1 tablespoon sriracha, 2 teaspoons lime juice
Directions: Cut sweet potatoes into ¼ inch fries. Soak fries into cold water for 30-45 minutes to draw out excess starch which will help with crispness. Preheat oven to 420. Drain fries and pat dry. Combine oil and fries in a large bowl to coat. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay fries into a single layer.
Don’t overcrowd the baking sheet. Back on middle rack for 15 minutes. Turn fries over and bake for 15 more minutes or until they are crispy.
Dip- Place garlic on a baking sheet and roast in an oven at 420. Once they are cooked to your desired consistency, combine with Greek yogurt, sriracha, and lime juice. Mix together in a bowl and serve with your fries.
Nutrition Info: 165 calories, 10 grams protein, 30 grams carbs, 7 grams fat
Stove Top Quinoa Mac & Cheese
Ingredients: 12 oz. dry quinoa elbow macaroni, 2 tbsp unsalted butter, 2 tbsp whole wheat white flour, ½ onion diced, 1 clove garlic minced, 1 cup skim milk, 2 cups low sodium chicken broth, 1 cup reduced-fat shredded cheese of your choice, salt, pepper.
Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the macaroni according to package directions. Heat a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the butter, garlic, and onion. Cook for 5-6 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook for another minute.
Raise the heat to medium-high and add the milk and chicken broth. Stir frequently until the sauce starts to thicken which could take around 10 minutes. Stir in the cheese, add your salt and black pepper as you desire. Add the cheese sauce to the drained macaroni and stir to evenly coat.
Nutrition Info per Serving: 320 calories, 16 grams protein, 45 grams carbs, 9 grams fat.
Fruit Infused Green Tea
Ingredients: 5-6 strawberries, 2 peaches, 1 gallon of brewed green tea, 2 tablespoons of honey
Directions: Brew green tea according to directions on the package. Smash your strawberries into the honey in a bowl so they are mixed together. Add your strawberries and honey into your tea. Cut your peaches into small pieces and add to your tea. Place in your fridge to sit overnight.
Related: 43 Best High Protein Recipes That Anyone Can Cook
Nutrition Info for 8 ounces: 18 calories, 0 grams protein, 4 grams carbs, 0 grams fat.
Protein Ice Cream (8 total servings)
Ingredients: 2.5 cups skim milk, 6 tablespoons natural peanut butter, 1 banana, 3 scoops whey protein isolate powder.
Directions: Blend 2 cups milk with peanut butter, banana, and protein powder. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze for at least one hour. Once frozen, place cubes back in the blender, and add the remaining ½ cup of skim milk.
Nutrition Info per Serving: 95 calories, 12 grams protein, 9 grams carbs, 1 gram fat.
Banana Oat Cranberry Cookies (16 total cookies)
Ingredients: 2 ripe bananas, 1 cup quick oats, 1/4 cup dried cranberries.
Directions: Mash bananas in a bowl. Mix in oats and cranberries. The cranberries will help keep the cookies together but don’t add too many. Separate into 16 small scoops and place onto a baking sheet with parchment paper on it. Bake at 350 for 12-15 minutes. If you like, you can add other ingredients like cinnamon, chocolate chips, etc.
Nutrition Info for 2 cookies: 60 calories, 1 gram protein, 13 grams carbs, .5 grams fat
BONUS IDEA: Here’s something you can do. Make 2 things into one better thing. Take one serving of ice cream, place it onto two of your cookies, and boom. Healthy Ice Cream Sandwiches! Do it. You’ll be glad you did.