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4 Patriotic (5–Ingredient or Less) 4th of July Picnic Recipes 

It's not easy to fit it all in — work, meals, cleaning, working out, family, personal time — and enjoy a holiday, too. As full-time employee and mother, I know this all too well. That's why I thought it might be nice to offer you a simple, healthy menu for the 4th of July that's planned  including your shopping list. That way, you can also get in a quick workout and enjoy the fireworks!

Red, White and Blue Chicken Kabobs

This kabob is super simple to make and is paired with a flavor-packed blueberry barbeque sauce (that you’re basically going to want to use on everything) for a colorful-Americana-like look. I love kabobs in the summer because they're so easy. Just prep in advance and throw them on the grill when you're ready.

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time:  15 min
Serves: 4 (8 kabobs) 

Nutritional Info: Calories: 230 | Protein: 40 | Fat: 1 | Carbs: 6


For the Blueberry BBQ Sauce:

  • 2 cup of blueberries, fresh
  • 1 cup of ketchup, low sugar, organic
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp. molasses
  • 1 tsp. chili powder

For the Kabob:

  • 3 red peppers, cut into ¾ inch
  • 5 (6 ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into ¾ inch 


  1. To make the sauce, put all the ingredients into a sauce pan over medium heat.  Stir in ¼ cup of water.
  2. Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce is thick (slightly chunky), stirring occasionally.
  4. Cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
  5. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Thread chicken and peppers onto skewers. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water 20 minutes before using.
  6. Lightly oil the grill grate. Place the kabobs on the grill, cover, and cook until the chicken is opaque throughout, about 8-12 minutes, turning once or twice during cooking.
  7. Transfer to a warmed platter and drizzle blueberry barbeque sauce over skewers before serving.

Baked Zucchini Chips

Vegetable chips are a great alternative to store-bought and processed options. If you're a salt lover like me  — nothing says picnic or holiday more than something salty and crunchy to munch on. I enjoy this recipe because the portion goes a long way. Plus, you can add a dip (try a yogurt or hummus option) but they're also amazing plain.  

Prep Time: 15 min
Cook Time:  60 min
Serves: 3-4

Nutritional Info: Calories: 41 | Protein: 1 | Fat: 3 | Carbs: 2


  • 2 zucchinis
  • Coconut oil, for greasing
  • Sea salt, for sprinkling


  1. Slice the zucchini into thin, round slices.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place a wire rack on top. Coat rack with coconut oil.
  3. Place the zucchini chips in a single layer on top of the wire rack. Sprinkle with sea salt.
  4. Bake for 60 minutes at 250⁰F, or until golden brown. Cool before serving.

Chickpea Chunky Salad 

Nothing says summer and picnic more to me than a fresh and chunky salad packed full of flavor and healthy seasonal produce. This is my favorite recipe to batch prep for lunches during the summer.

Prep Time: 15 min
Serves: 4

Nutritional Info: Calories: 141 | Protein: 2 | Fat: 9 | Carbs: 13


For the salad:

  • 1 (15 oz.) can chickpeas/garbanzo beans, well drained
  • 2 green bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cucumber, sliced and quartered
  • 1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/3 cup pitted Kalamata olives, halved 

For the dressing:

  • 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsps. Olive oil
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano


  1. Combine all salad ingredients into a large bowl. 
  2. In a small bowl, whisk lemon juice, oil, oregano and garlic together.  Pour over salad and toss thoroughly.  Season with salt and pepper to your taste.
  3. Marinate in refrigerator at least 1 hour prior to serving. 

Red, White and Blue(berry) Popsicles 

Who doesn't like popsicles, right? It's the perfect treat for kids and adults — and almost no cleanup. If you're vegan or lactose intolerant, this version is easy to make dairy-free. See my notes below. If using yogurt, make sure to use the full-fat yogurt as the texture tends to be gritty with a fat-free option.  

Prep Time: 20 min
Freeze time: 2 hours
Serves: 6

Nutritional Info: Calories: 173 | Protein: 6 | Fat: 4 | Carbs: 30


  • 1 cup frozen strawberries (you could also use cherries)
  • 1 cups frozen blueberries
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 3 cups of full-fat vanilla yogurt


  1. Peel, cut and freeze bananas at least 2 hours ahead of time
  2. Start with the fruit color you'd like to add first — add 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup yogurt and 1/2 banana to food processor (or use a blender). Add equally in to the popsicle mold, abut 1/3 full.
  3. Add 1 frozen banana and 1 cup yogurt to food processor (or blender) and add to poscicle mold 1/3.
  4. Add 1 cup strawberries, 1/2 frozen banana and 1 cup yogurt to food processor, blend and top off the mold. 
  5. Insert the popsicle sticks or base of mold. 

Optional substitutions: 

  • If you don't have popsicle molds, use cups and popsicle sticks, straws or spoons to make your popsicle.
  • If you want a vegan or dairy-free option, use one full banana with each fruit option and for the "white" blend with 1 cup coconut milk or other nut or dairy-free milk. 

I hope a few of these recipes will make your 4th of July a little easier and healthy, too. If you you'd like to get a reset after the holiday, make sure you sign up for the next D.TOX Class with me. It starts July 17th, and you can sign up here


In health, Anika Christ – Director – Digital Programming & Events – Life Time Weight Loss



P.S.: I didn't forget, here's your shopping list! Just save the image. 


This article is not intended for the treatment or prevention of disease, nor as a substitute for medical treatment, nor as an alternative to medical advice. Use of recommendations in this and other articles is at the choice and risk of the reader.


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