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Hey all, it's Madison with another guest post. This time I wanted to offer readers a healthy alternative to traditional Fourth of July meals. Food served on the Fourth is typically heavy on the grease, processed carbs, and saturated fat. These foods are difficult for our bodies to digest and offer little nutritional value. This post re-imagine some classic Fourth of July meals, substituting nutritive ingredients and adding in ferments as a digestive aid. Every recipe in this post offers a great way to introduce healthy probiotics into your system.
This meal features an entree, side dish, and desert- three courses packed with probiotics. For our main dish I whipped up some vegetarian sloppy joes bathed in sauerkraut. On the side, we have a potato salad sans mayonnaise (mayonnaise has a very high saturated fat content). Finally, for desert, a parfait will round up the probiotic bliss that is this 4th of July dinner.
So, let's take a closer look at these bad boys.
Sloppy joes: on a scale of zero to America, this sandwich is up there with baseball and apple pie. But traditional sloppy joes are filled with ingredients linked with poor coronary and heart health. And, full disclosure, I'm a vegetarian, so I couldn't eat 'em even if I wanted to. Instead, to address this tragedy, I created a sloppy joe using lentils and garbanzo beans as a meat substitute. Here's how you can too:
What you need:
- lentils (green or red)
- can of garbanzo beans
- tomato sauce
- organic barbecue sauce
- organic honey or maple syrup
- chili powder
- smoked paprika
1 cup of lentils in 2 cups of water
As the lentils boil, cut up half an onion and begin to sauté in a large skillet. Add two to three cloves of garlic. Add 1/2 a cup of garbanzo beans, 1/2 cup of tomato sauce, 3 tbsp. of your preferred organic barbecue sauce (mine is Annie's Smokey Maple BBQ sauce), and 3 tbsp. of organic honey or maple syrup.
Then, spice it up! Start with 1 tsp. of chili powder, 2 tsp. of smoked paprika, and 1 tsp. of cumin, and then just season to taste.
Let the pot simmer, and keep stirring until the "slop" thickens. Once it's done, grab your favorite wholewheat bun. I used Udo's gluten free hamburger buns (whichever bread you use, I recommend toasting it slightly before) and pile the lentils high. To finish the glorious mess, trade out coleslaw for sauerkraut to add some class and culture to your meal.
Ok, potato salad: It's not the sexiest of dishes, but man does it taste good #carbs. Side note, if you read Candace's article on refeeds, this recipe is perfect for upping your carb intake while keeping your meals nutrient dense.
What you need:
- container of kefir or plain greek yogurt
- cheese cloth
- savory spices/potato seasoning
The cream base of this salad can be either kefir or greek yogurt. Both of the options are low fat, high in protein, and a lot less calorie then a typical potato salad base. I used greek yogurt, but no matter what you choose, just make sure that the flavor is plain.
To make the cream, I took a colander and put it in a larger mixing bowl. I then put a cheese cloth over the colander, and put about 3/4 cup of yogurt onto the cloth. When you do this, make sure the cloth is thin enough for liquid to seep through. Whey will leak out from the yogurt, isolating a probiotic rich liquid. Allow the yogurt to sit in the cheese cloth for 24 hours. If you are able to suspend the yogurt and cheese cloth over the colander, even better!
After 24 hours has past, remove the cream from the cheese cloth (p.s., you're going to want to wash that) and put it in a bowl. I then recommend taking the why collected in your original mixing bowl and adding it to your lentil dish, to further boost the probiotic count. Returning to the yogurt, which will now resemble cream cheese, add some savory spices like oregano and thyme. I used Primal Palate's meat and potatoes seasoning and had no regrets.
Boil or bake 4 medium to large sized potatoes. Sauté onions and garlic in a pan (I just took out some of the onions and garlic I cooked for the sloppy joes to save time). Add three sticks of celery to the pan. After everything is done cooking, toss it into the bowl with your seasoned cream. Mix well and then throw it in the fridge for about two hours to let it congeal. Feel free to heat it again when it's ready to eat.
We are getting all kinds of patriotic up in this dessert.
What you need:
Grab all the blue and red fruits you can find. I went with strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries. The yogurt base offers a good source of probiotics, and the assemblage is pretty simple.
Throw one fruit at the bottom, layer yogurt, then layer any type of granola you want, then more fruit, then yogurt, then granola, then... you get the idea. Top it off with chocolate if you need more decadence. Super easy, super pretty, super yummy. Enjoy!
Enjoy, and happy Fourth!