4 healthy cookout recipes for the 4th of July

WASHINGTON – Ahh — The Fourth of July. A classic American holiday centered around summer, celebrations and food. And while burgers and dogs are the classic cookout fare, some WTOP staffers and reporters are hoping you’ll try their healthier cookout options.

Neal Augenstein’s Grilled Vegetables

Get your cookout started off right with this healthy dish. You can serve it as a side or as the main dish at your barbecue.


  • Grill
  • Steel grill pan with small holes
  • Tongs


  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 1 zucchini
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 vidalia onion
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Garlic powder


  1. Slice peppers and onions into strips.
  2. Slice half-inch rounds of zucchini and squash.
  3. Break cauliflower into largish sprigs.
  4. In large mixing bowl, generously coat vegetables with olive oil. Then add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste.
  5. Over high heat, spread the vegetables on the grill pan and cook them until they are slightly charred.

Joan Jones’ Patriotic Fruit and Dip

This fresh and easy recipe is perfect for hot, summer days. Plus, it’s colors are perfectly patriotic for the Fourth!


This quick and easy dish is both healthy and patriotic. (Courtesy Joan Jones)


  • Amaretto
  • Marshmallow fluff
  • Whipped cream cheese
  • 2 quarts of fresh strawberries
  • 1 quart of fresh blueberries


  1. Wash the fresh fruit and cut the tops off the strawberries.
  2. Mix together equal parts whipped cream cheese and marshmallow fluff. Add a dash or two of Amoretto (optional) for extra flavor.
  3. Have toothpicks handy and dig in!

Rachel Nania’s Italian Lentil Salad


This rustic salad is a great way to serve up some protein off the grill. (Courtesy Rachel Nania)

Looking for an alternative source of protien at your cookout? Lentils are a great option! All you need to do for this delicious dish is cook some lentils, chop some veggies and toss it all together. It’s always a hit at parties.


  • 2 small/medium zucchini
  • 6 small/medium yellow tomatoes
  • 1 quart red cherry tomatoes
  • Fresh mozzarella balls (a small container)
  • Green onion (a small bunch)
  • Olives (pick your favorite variety)
  • Olive oil
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Black lentils


  1. Cut the zucchini length-wise. Brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Grill the zucchini on a grill pan on an outdoor grill until lightly charred and set aside.
  2. Cook 1
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