All-American favorites made healthier for July 4th

By: Hilary Meyer  |  Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I like food from all corners of the planet, but on Independence Day, I want All-American 4th of July recipes. I’m talking about foods that stick to your ribs, like juicy cheeseburgers, creamy pasta salads and sticky-sweet desserts—all washed down with a cold beer.
When I was a kid, I could really pack that kind of food away (minus the beer), but today I have to be a little more careful. A menu like that can have upwards of 1,150 calories—a number my summer wardrobe can’t afford. So to keep my tradition alive without going overboard, I make healthier versions of these All-American favorites that we developed in the EatingWell Test Kitchen.
Here’s a healthier All-American menu for your 4th of July feast that clocks in at 724 calories—a savings of 425 calories—when I avoid that classic 4th of July fare:
Inside-Out Cheeseburgers –You don’t lose any melted cheese off your burger if it’s between two patties of lean ground beef. It delivers all the juicy characteristics of a double cheeseburger at a fraction of the calories.
EatingWell Deviled Eggs – No one can pass up a tray of deviled eggs. Our recipe replaces some of the egg yolks with nonfat cottage cheese—keeping the filling velvety and rich while reducing some of the fat. No one will know the difference.
Garden Pasta Salad – Pasta salads are a perennial favorite at 4th of July gatherings. This summer classic gets lots of flavor from Kalamata olives and basil with just a hint of mayonnaise.
Bean & Tomato Salad with Honey Vinaigrette – Farmers’ markets are in full swing by July 4th—take advantage of their bounty by pairing fresh tomatoes with green beans, red onions and dried heirloom beans. Bonus: most of it can be made ahead.
Raspberry Bars – Tart raspberry filling is swirled into a low-fat cream filling in these beautiful bars. They're a festive treat for a summer picnic or party and they’re portable!