Suns out Grills Out!! Last night I threw down in my friends backyard, Fourth of July Style. I’m a huge fan of all the classic cook-out-meals, but I wanted to put a few fun and healthier spins on a big ol’ grilled dinner. I went with a build your own burger bar with a few bun alternatives, a pasta salad, grilled veggies, and a spritzer cocktail! I partnered with Whole Foods Market 365 for this project, keeping the healthy food options high, and the end bill low! I love that Akron has this store, it’s so bright and colorful, and I know everything on the shelves is free of artificial flavors, colors, and sweeteners. They also have a local coffee shop and a taco bar with grain free tortillas, so yum! Let’s dig in!
I picked up a few bottles of the “Pool Boy Rose”, which I thought was so cool! It’s a plastic bottle with a resealable plastic lid, perfect for days at the beach, and the ….. pool. *giggle*. If you’re not a wine drinker, I recommend trying this spritzer, it’s easy to sip on and is a perfect, red, white, & blue theme. Adding sparkling water to wine keeps the cocktail light, and if you have a sweeter wine, the water mellows the sweetness. Whole Foods 365 had a ton of sparkling water flavors, I love the grapefruit citrus and strawberry the best. You can make this kid friendly by just adding frozen berries to the sparkling water.
Red, White, & Blue Rose Spritzer
1. Fill 5 glasses with ice and frozen raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries.
2. Divide one bottle of Pool Boy Rose between the cups, and top with Whole Foods sparkling water, I love the strawberry, and also the citrus. Grapefruit & rose is my favorite combo!
Pesto Pasta Salad
I used a box of WFM Organic Pasta, but you could also use whole wheat, gluten free, or a chickpea pasta in place of traditional white pasta. I find that adding mixed greens to pasta salad makes your serving look bigger, but you’re really consuming more veggies than noodles. My mom used to put pasta in big salads and it was always so good! Add as little or as much arugula as you like.
Pro Tip, Let your tomatoes marinade in salt, pepper, and fresh basil while the pasta cooks, It almost makes another form of the dressing. Delicious.
Pesto Pasta Salad
1 cup WFM Organic Ranch
1/4 cup WFM Basil Pesto
2 cups grape tomatoes
2-3 cups arugula
1/4 cup goat cheese
1 lb WFM Orecchiette
1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta 10-12 minutes, until done. Drain and allow the noodles to cool.
2. While pasta is cooking, halve your tomatoes and toss with salt, pepper, and fresh basil. Make dressing by combining pesto and ranch.
3. Once pasta is cool, combine with the pesto ranch, halved tomatoes, arugula, and goat cheese.
For the grilled veggies, I purchased the WFM 365 Ready to grill veggies which had mushrooms, squash, onions, and peppers! I also got corn on the cob on sale, and some large portobello caps. To grill the veggies, toss in avocado oil, which is perfect for high heat cooking, and cook for 2 minutes per side on high. I love the char marks, but keeping the heat high and the grill time low keeps the veggies from turning into soggy mush.
Finally, the best for last. I love a burger bar. I got all beef patties on sale, and WFM 365 condiments. I wanted to switch up the “bun” options with fresh butter lettuce, whole wheat brioche, and those portobello caps for a Porta-burger. Personally, a real favorite of mine. Grill the portobello’s on medium for 4 minutes per side! I added tomato, lettuce, avocado, cheese, and homemade pickled onions to the burger bar.
I think these are some great additions to your fourth of July Cookout, and I hope you’ll enjoy these recipes as much as we enjoyed eating them. If you have a Whole Foods Market 365 near you, I highly recommend checking them out, the quality and attractive price points make for a great shopping experience!
As always, thanks for checking out the blog, and if you make something, please tag me on instagram, @thatswhatsheeats