On the Fourth of July, we celebrate Independence Day with barbeques, picnics, parades, and family get-togethers. Here to help you plan your celebration is Rebecca Lang—chef, food writer, and author of several cookbooks, including the upcoming, “Y’all Come Over” and “Quick Fix Southern”.
SPECIAL FOODS GREAT FOR SUMMER PARTIES
It is good to think outside of the box when planning a holiday party. The secret ingredient is Pulses. It is easy to improve the nutrition of a 4th of July meal without sacrificing flavor by just adding Pulses; that is the category of foods known as chickpeas, lentils, beans and dry peas to a favorite recipe. Great recipes can be found at Pulses.org. They are high in plant-based protein, fiber and other nutrients that will help keep one full; making it a perfect summertime entertaining dish – from hamburger patties, seasonal salads to appetizers and more. While waiting for the barbecue’s coals to warm up, enjoy a Southwest Guacamole Hummus to get the summer festivities started. They are gluten-free and vegetarian, making them a great meal option for guests with dietary restrictions. Just adding one half-cup serving of pulses to a diet 3 times per week can aid in weight management, reaching recommended dietary fiber intake and more. For more information visit pulses.org/nap/
SPECIAL BEVERAGE SUGGESTIONS TO PROMOTE THE SPIRIT OF THE HOLIDAY
This year, Stellabrate 4th of July with America’s favorite semi-sweet, semi-sparkling wine Stella Rosa. Choose from a variety of juicy flavors like Peach, Green Apple, and Tropical Mango to beat the summer heat. They are all bursting with fresh fruit flavors that will have everyone’s taste buds singing. Or go for the always popular Stella Rosa Rosé. Serve them all chilled for the perfect summer drink. They also come in chic, mini aluminum bottles which stay extra cold, perfect for the pool or backyard barbecues and picnics or use them to make delicious cocktails. For fun recipes, like Star Spangled Stella Rosa, go to stellarosa.com.
SPECIAL IDEAS TO IMPRESS GUESTS
Give guests a full menu of options. It is important not to forget the vegetables. Libby’s Canned Vegetables are delicious, simple ingredients that can help one plan ahead. Spend less time indoors in the kitchen and more time outdoors with friends and family this summer. Easily throw together a backyard BBQ with friends and family because the canned veggies cut down on prep time since there is no need for dicing or slicing. They come in a variety of offerings, including Sweet Corn, Green Beans, and Peas & Carrots, and they are all grown and packed in the United States, so one can feel good about serving these. Gather this summer with friends, family and Libby’s Canned Vegetables. It will help round out any summer meal. For more information visit getbacktothetable.com/
TIPS FOR A TASTY SUMMER SNACK
Everyone loves a good snack. They play an important role in the summertime experience. In fact, the new U.S. Snack Index survey revealed nearly three-fourths of Americans put snacks on their travel packing list, every time. In addition, the survey showed millennials, women and parents top the list when it comes to those who will host the 750 million anticipated summer gatherings from pool parties to barbecues. According to retail sales data, the week of July 4th represents the biggest snacking week of the entire year for Frito-Lay. There is no party without Frito-Lay snacks. All the flavors are crowd-pleasers, Doritos Nacho Cheese, Tostitos Scoops and Salsa, Lay’s Classic potato chips and Cracker Jack snacks. For more information visit www.fritolay.com/