Once we studied what actually happened way back on July 4th, 1776, the Fourth of July holiday took on a whole new meaning for my family. Sure it’s fun to celebrate any happy occasion with great food and fireworks, but when you know why you’re celebrating, it can make it all the more sweet. If you don’t know why we celebrate every July 4th, why don’t you find out? It’s a pretty exciting story.
I know you’re not here for a history lesson, so let’s talk about food!
When I’m planning my Fourth of July menu, I always think grill. When it’s hot out and I want to relax a bit, I try to keep the menu simple. A classic burger and dog combo is perfect for us. We might do lettuce wraps for the burgers or I may get fancy and make my AIP approved burger buns (really just a great big fried plantain). These “buns” are unexpectedly delicious and everybody loves them. Plus, it lets you feel like you’re eating a real hamburger you can pick up with your hands just like the rest of the world.
Thankfully, the Fourth lies right in the middle of prime garden season, so in addition to those burgers and dogs, we’ll have a whole bunch of whatever vegetables I picked that morning. Most likely it will be squash or zucchini, which I will slice and grill. There will be fresh off the vine tomatoes too. And probably also a stir fry of odds and ends – a few green beans, a bell pepper, a handful of okra. Oh yeah, and cucumbers! How could I forget the cucumbers! For years, my cucumber plants died a painful death before producing any fruit, but last year and this year we’ve enjoyed a bumper crop. I still have pickles from last summer in my fridge. And my son eats them for lunch almost every single day. We made a lot of pickles. I really should have set up a produce stand at the end of my driveway!
Other recipes that would make a great addition to your Fourth of July festivities:
Fresh Strawberry Salad – use a combination of blueberries and strawberries for an extra festive look
Grilled Broccoli (and lots of other veggies) – You can grill just about anything, you know. Just pay attention to the time required for different items and you can keep all the cooking outside! Just hang out on the patio with friends and family. We have a Weber grill and love it. They’re more expensive than some other brands, but you get what you pay for. Here is Weber’s grilling guide, which is not comprehensive, but covers the basics. We’ve found it to be spot on with the temperature and timing recommendations. If you’re going to be grilling meat, you must have a thermometer to ensure you don’t turn that steak into rubber or serve way underdone meat to your guests. I have one very similar to this. It’s easy to use and is very accurate.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes – With bacon and onions and all the smokiness from the grill these are amazing and so simple to prepare. You have to try sweet potatoes this way!
Paleo Low and Slow Baby Back Ribs – Keeping with our everything grilled theme….ribs! You start these inside, either in the oven or in the Instant Pot and finish them on the grill. If you serve these ribs you might end up with company for dinner every night!
Fresh Strawberry Pie – I know it’s not fresh strawberry season anymore in most of the country, but you can still find them in the grocery store….throw in some blueberries and top with a little whipped cream or coconut cream and you have a very light, refreshing and festive dessert.
I have tons more recipes for you to choose from. Just check out the recipe index. You’re sure to find something that will please your family and friends.
Happy Independence Day everyone. I hope you enjoy a fun-filled day with those you love.