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The Best Summer Taco Dinner: BBQ Chicken Tacos with Avocado Coleslaw and Raspberry Serrano Sangria

Recently, on a time-crunched work day, inspiration struck when a craving for tacos found a lone breast of BBQ-rubbed chicken in the freezer. I wasn’t quite sure how to make the barbecue spice meld with a classic taco, but I was hungry enough to make it work. I let the chicken thaw during the day and by the time I came home from work I had a plan.

The usual tomatoes, black beans, and peppers were not going to make this bird fly; I had to use the traditional barbecue as my muse. That’s when I decided a coleslaw topping would bring these little tacos together perfectly.

So there I was, on a random Tuesday night, throwing together a simple dinner (less than 30 minutes) that was not only super healthy, but about to be pretty darn good. It was so good my family has requested it weekly all summer, and each time I oblige I’m able to fine tune the recipe to the point that I’m ready to share it with all of you.
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Our Healthiest (and BEST) July 4th Cookout Recipes

Fourth of July is tomorrow and everyone is looking forward to having their Wednesday off! I’ve always loved Fourth of July because my big family gets together for one day to enjoy each other’s company. And who doesn’t love getting together to eat? Everyone is just happy for one day. However, after the holiday, like a lot of people, I’m not so happy because I tend to overeat at the family BBQ.

Yes, I could have eaten less… or my family could have put more healthy plates on the table. Don’t regret the holiday food this year. We can help you ditch the regret and enjoy the holiday with these healthy cookout recipes developed by our team of foodies.

 Picnic Perfect Red and Sweet Potato Salad

The Red and Sweet Potato Salad is light and tasty, and healthier than a traditional potato salad with only 92 calories.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers

Go meatless for the Fourth this year. If most of the people at your party are vegans or vegetarians, or just reducing meat, then the Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burgers won’t disappoint.

Red, White, and Blueberry Turkey Burger Sliders

Nothing says Fourth of July like red, white, and blue. These turkey burger sliders are inspired by the patriotic colors of summer. Instead of ground beef the recipe calls for turkey, red bell peppers, and feta crumbles all topped with a blueberry balsamic reduction.

A Simple Red, White, and Blue Sangria Recipe

What’s Fourth of July without a little cocktail? The berries sweetened the wine and will make anyone want more than one glass of sangria. This sangria is simple and easy to make, and it’s going to wow any crowd at the cookout!

Triple Berry Sparkers are the Perfect Cool Down This 4th of July 

For the non-drinkers, and especially the little ones, these sparkling, colorful drinks are hydrating, nutritious, and low in calories. Puree berries for ice cubes and add to your choice of ice cold Perrier.

Chocolate Banana Popsicles

Ditch those stale popsicles from the store and whip up a batch of Chocolate Banana Popsicles. They are half the calories and scrumptious as well, plus loaded with good-for-you nutrients that a traditional frozen treat can’t offer. There are 11 more summer popsicle ideas over at Care2.com.

all images by Dana Shultz



Empty Calories Comic: Don’t Cry Over Grilled Veggies

See more Empty Calories right here in the blog and look for new episodes each month.

Also Read:

Pack a Healthy Father’s Day Picnic

6 Foods You Aren’t Grilling but Should

Simple Summer Burger Guide for Healthier Grilling



5 Healthy Habits for Hot Summer Days

By Rachel Berman, RD, Csr, Cdn for Calorie Count

As summer rolls in everyone wants to take full advantage of the longer days and warmer weather. This year, make the most of your summer by focusing on simple, healthy activities that you can do every day of the week!

Get moving together with your friends or family every evening for a walk, jog, or bike ride. This is a great way to enjoy the weather, have some bonding time with your loved ones, and get your exercise in. Working out with others will motivate you and keep you accountable, too. On the weekends, head to the local pool for a great full body workout.

Take a trip to the farmers market and check out what’s in season. You’ll be surprised at the vast variety of fruits and vegetables available, and each week you’ll find something new. Because this produce is recently harvested it will be more fresh and nutritious than produce from the supermarket. Buying from the farmers market also supports the community and local farmers!
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Red, White, and Blueberry Turkey Burger Sliders Recipe for Summer Cookouts

I’m a pretty all-American girl, I like to think. I love running around barefoot in the summer, classic rock ‘n roll, a hot grill, and cool drinks. Summer is my season and I, admittedly, love to eat and drink my way through it.

I also, admittedly, like to remain relatively close to the same size at the end of the summer as I am at the start of the summer. That means a few trade offs. I (mostly) gave up beef burgers years ago. Turkey is where it’s at now. And I say this as a pretty picky eater. If I can be sold on a turkey burger, the rest of you should already be on this train.

With Memorial Day unofficially kicking off the summer this weekend, I’m ready to enjoy everything I love about the warm days ahead, minus a few unnecessary calories. So I hope you’ll join me in devouring a few of my Red, White, and Blueberry Turkey Burger Sliders.

The great thing about sliders is the automatic portion control. One or two of these little guys is all I need, and I still have plenty of room on my plate (and calories) for corn on the cob, potato salad, grilled fruit, and maybe even a little ice cream. I found the whole wheat slider buns at Kroger, but even small dinner rolls will work.
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