Hilary Meyer

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!

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