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Food alternatives for July 4th party

Spice up the classic July 4th foods this year by including some creative non-traditional recipes on your party menu. Some food alternatives for a July 4th party include twists on classic cookout recipes, healthy alternatives, and non-traditional BBQ dishes.  Here are some 4th of July party food ideas to help you make your party menu fun and unique.

Blue Cheese Stuffed Burgers
This dish is a classic twist on the traditional cheeseburger. The blue cheese melts in the center of the burger making each bite flavorful and delicious. It's a must-have July 4th food item!

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • 2 oz. crumbled blue cheese
  • 1 teaspoon of onion powder
  • 1 pound ground beef (85% lean)
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:
Start by combining the cream cheese, blue cheese, and onion powder in a bowl. Once combined, start making your burgers. Divide the beef into eight equal pieces and roll each piece into a ball. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Next, flatten each ball into round equal sized patties. Spoon the blue cheese filling on half of the patties and top with the remaining patties to make four burgers. Seal the edges of each burger by pressing down the edges gently.  Cook each burger on the grill until they reach your desired temperate (160 degrees USDA recommended). Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Grilled Caesar Salad
This is a twist on a classic side salad that is perfect for a July fourth cookout because it can be prepared right on the grill.

Ingredients

  • Two stalks of romaine lettuce
  • Olive oil
  • 1 lemon
  • Your favorite Caesar dressing (homemade or store bought)
  • 2 tablespoons Grated parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper
  • Croutons (optional)
  • Anchovies (optional)

Directions
Cut the romaine stalks in in quarters (the long way) while making sure the leaves stay together. Depending on the stalk size, you may only be able to split them in half or in thirds. Drizzle the flat side of the leaf with olive oil then place on the grill over medium heat. Let the lettuce cook for about 5 minutes or until there are grill marks. Removed the lettuce and place on a serving platter. Dress the salad with Caesar dressing, the zest and juice of one lemon, Parmesan cheese, croutons, anchovies, salt, and pepper.

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Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Spice up the average burger and French fry combo by offering grilled sweet potato fries at your July 4th cookout. These are a delicious and healthy alternative to the traditional French fries side dish.

Ingredients

  • 4 sweet potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Cayenne pepper (just a pinch)

Directions
Start by partially cooking the sweet potatoes in boiling water. You want to cook them until slightly fork tender. After cooking the potatoes, let them dry and cool. Once cooled, cut the each potato lengthwise into 8-10 pieces. Drizzle each piece with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Place on a medium hot grill and cook on each side for about two minutes or until there are grilling marks. When the sweet potato fries are done, place on a serving platter and immediately season with salt and pepper. Let cool slightly before serving and enjoy.

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Mixed Grilled Fruit Kabobs
Everyone loves kabobs, but for dessert? Yes! This dessert is a fun twist on a classic BBQ favorite that is the perfect sweet ending to any all-American cookout celebration.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pineapple, cubed
  • 4 Peaches or nectarines, cubed
  • 4 granny smite apples, cubed
  • Red grapes
  • 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup of brown sugar
  • Canola oil
  • Wooden skewers

Directions
In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the fruit, brown sugar, and lemon juice. Next, assemble your skewers by alternating fruits to fill ¾ of the skewer. Heat your grill to medium heat and rub grates lightly with oil to prevent the fruit from sticking. Grill each kabob for about 4 minutes on each side or until there are visible grilling marks. Serve on a large platter with whipped topping or chocolate sauce for dipping.

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