It’s unlikely that our Founding Father’s celebrated the signing of the Declaration of Independence with foods we typically associate with our holiday.

According to the history books, Philadelphia's City Tavern was where the signers ate on the big day. Typical tavern fare was known for mediocre food and service. Dinner consisted of meat, bread, and beer or cider. Taverns were where travelers or those who weren’t lucky enough to be invited to someone’s home ate their meals.

Fast forward two hundred thirty nine years and we call our friends and family, fire up the grill, and set the table with potato salad, baked beans, watermelon, corn on the cob, chicken, ribs, burgers, apple pie, brownies, homemade ice cream, and beer.

Fireworks and food are a great holiday backdrop. If you are looking to add a recipe to your weekend celebration, consider these. All bring some delish nutrish and if you need it, are gluten-free.


Stacked Jicama Chicken Salad

This salad is stacked in Mason jars, which makes the presentation fun. For a crowd, just toss together in a large bowl.

  • 1 pound cooked chicken breasts, shredded
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup chutney
  • 2 teaspoons curry
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup raisins or dried cranberries
  • 2 2/3 cups strips of watermelon, 2-1/2 inches
  • 1 cup strips of peeled jicama, 2-1/2 inches
  • 4 tablespoons chopped cashews
  • 1 handful shredded romaine
  • 4 pint, wide-mouth Mason jars

In a medium bowl, blend mayonnaise, chutney, and curry until thoroughly blended. Stir in chicken, celery, onion, and raisins, refrigerate.

Divide rice and chicken mixture into 4 equal batches. Using the Mason jars, starting with the rice, layer approximately 1/4 cup of rice followed by 1/3 cup watermelon, 1/4 cup jicama, 1/3 cup of chicken. Repeat and top with 1 tablespoon of chopped cashews and shredded romaine. Serve or screw a lid onto jar and refrigerate.

Recipe Source: Watermelon.org

Quinoa and Black Beans

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 cups cooked black beans
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • 2 medium tomatoes, diced
  • ½ cup cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
  • 2 teaspoons lime zest
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • ¼-1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine beans, green onions, tomatoes, cilantro, and jalapeno in a bowl.

In another bowl, whisk together lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, sugar and salt. Combine all ingredients. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Recipe source: BeanInstitute.com

Fudgy Black Bean Brownies

The flourless brownie is gluten-free.

  • 1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract, optional
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly oil or coat an 8- by 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.

Place the black beans in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Add the eggs, oil, sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla, peppermint extract as desired, baking powder, and salt and process until smooth. Add ¼ cup of the chips and pulse a few times until the chips are incorporated.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top with a rubber spatula, and sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup chocolate chips.

Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the edges start to pull away from the sides of the pan and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan before slicing into 2-inch squares

Recipe source: BeanInstitute.com

Judy Barbe is a registered dietitian and the author of "Your 6-Week Guide to LiveBest: Simple Solutions for Fresh Food & Well-Being." Her website is www.LiveBest.info

Follow community news editor Sally Ann Shurmur on Twitter @WYOSAS.

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