You don’t have to blow your diet to celebrate the Fourth of July.

We culled through the Chow Town recipe box and put together a meal of all-American favorites fit for a holiday gathering.

(And we promise your guests will never know they’re better for you.)

Bison burgers: Instead of a hamburger on the grill, try these lean but tasty buffalo sliders on whole-wheat slider buns. Top the burgers with a low-fat blue cheese sauce.

Corn-on-the-cob: Instead of boiling the corn-on-the-cob, grill it. Serve the tastier ear with an herb sauce flavored with herbes de Provence and Parmesan.

Gazpacho: A cold tomato soup is the perfect way to beat the heat. Use reduced-salt tomato juice. It’s even more delicious when topped off by a few grilled shrimp.

Coleslaw: Skip the mayonnaise version and try this side dish with a Southwestern flair, including black beans for extra fiber.

Rhubarb parfaits: Cobblers and crisps are on the summer menu, but portion control can help keep the party in check.

Buffalo Sliders

  • 1 pound ground buffalo (bison) meat
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely minced
  • 2 teaspoons ketchup
  • 1-1/4 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • Salt, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-fat blue cheese crumbles
  • 3 tablespoons low-fat buttermilk
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped celery
  • 8 whole-wheat slider buns, split and toasted
  • 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced

Spray grill grates with nonstick spray. Preheat grill to medium high or allow coals to burn down to white ash.

Combine buffalo, egg white, garlic, jalapeño, ketchup, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, hot pepper sauce and cayenne. Mix lightly. Shape into 8 thin patties, about 2-1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Season very lightly with salt.

Grill patties 2 to 3 minutes each side or until meat thermometer registers 155 degrees. Remove from heat, cover and allow to stand about 5 minutes while internal temperature rises to 160 degrees. (Do not overcook.)

Meanwhile, combine blue cheese and buttermilk in a small mixing bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash the blue cheese into the buttermilk. Add mayonnaise and mix well. Stir in celery and remaining 1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce.

Place a tomato slice on the bottom of each bun. Top with a patty, then dollop 2 to 2-1/2 teaspoons blue cheese sauce over the meat, then top with bun.

Cooking tip: The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends that ground buffalo be cooked to 160 degrees; overcooking will produce dry burgers.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 215 calories (26 percent of calories from fat), 6 g total fat (2 g saturated), 47 mg cholesterol, 16 g carbohydrates, 20 g protein, 243 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.

Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob with Creamy Herb Sauce

  • 4 medium ears of corn, unshucked
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon low-fat sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, crushed

Fold down the husks on the corn (similar to peeling a banana) to reveal all of the corn but do not remove them from the corn. Remove silk and wash. Using cooking twine, tie the husks together 1 to 2 inches below the cob. Place corn in cold water to cover and allow to soak about 15 minutes.

Mix remaining ingredients. Allow to stand at room temperature while preparing corn.

Preheat grill to medium-high or allow coals to burn down to white ash. Lift corn out of water, then spray corn with butter-flavored nonstick spray coating. Grill corn over direct heat about 15 minutes or until kernels are just crisp-tender and slightly charred, turning to brown evenly.

Serve corn hot and brush each ear with about 1/4 of sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information per serving (1 ear of corn): 1 tablespoon sauce): 124 calories (27 percent from fat), 4 g total fat (1 g saturated), 4 mg cholesterol, 18 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 75 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.

Chunky Gazpacho with Grilled Shrimp

For the gazpacho:

  • 3 ripe tomatoes, quartered and seeded
  • 1/2 cucumber, cubed
  • 1 red pepper, seeded and cut into wedges
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 2 shallots, peeled and halved
  • 3-1/2 cups reduced-sodium tomato juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

For the grilled shrimp:

  • 1 pound large shrimp (31 to 35 shrimp per pound), peeled and de-veined
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/8 teaspoon cumin

Place tomatoes in work bowl of food processor. Pulse to chop until finely and evenly chopped but not liquefied. Spoon into a bowl and set aside.

Process cucumber until very finely chopped, then stir into tomatoes. Process red pepper until very finely chopped, then stir into tomato mixture. Process garlic and shallots until finely chopped, then stir into tomato mixture. Stir in tomato juice, vinegar, oil, sugar, salt and pepper.

Cover and allow to chill several hours or overnight.

To grill shrimp: Place shrimp and remaining ingredients in zip-top bag; seal and squeeze gently to coat shrimp evenly. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. Drain and discard marinade. Skewer shrimp.

Preheat grill to medium-high or allow coals to burn down to white ash. Spray grill grate with nonstick spray coating. Grill shrimp 3 to 4 minutes per side or just until shrimp are done and turn pink; do not overcook.

To serve, spoon chilled chunky gazpacho into serving bowls. Place about 4 shrimp in each bowl of soup.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 110 calories (19 percent from fat), 2 g total fat (trace saturated fat), 86 mg cholesterol, 10 g carbohydrates, 13 g protein, 167 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.

Southwestern Coleslaw

  • 1 (14-ounce) package coleslaw mix (cabbage and carrots)
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 medium tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and finely diced
  • 1 avocado, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

Place coleslaw mix, black beans, cilantro, tomato, red onion, jalapeño and avocado in large salad bowl.

Whisk together remaining ingredients in small bowl. Pour over coleslaw and toss gently.

Serve immediately or refrigerate for a few hours until chilled through.

Makes 8 (1-cup) servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 113 calories (39 percent from fat), 5 g total fat (1 g saturated), no cholesterol, 13 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein, 115 mg sodium, 4 g dietary fiber.

Roasted Rhubarb Parfaits

  • 3/4 pound rhubarb, trimmed and cut into 1-1/2-inch pieces
  • 5 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup toasted pecan pieces
  • 4 dates, pitted and cut in half
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 containers (5.3 ounces each) Greek nonfat honey yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Arrange rhubarb on baking sheet in a single layer and sprinkle with sugar. Cover with foil and roast for 15 minutes; remove foil cover and continue roasting for 5 minutes. Allow to cool.

In a food processor, pulse pecans, dates and salt until finely ground.

In six, 1/2 cup ramekins, place 1 tablespoon of pecan mixture and pat to form crust.

Divide yogurt evenly among ramekins. Using a slotted spoon, spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons rhubarb over yogurt. Sprinkle remaining pecan mixture on top.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information per serving: 154 calories (58 percent from fat), 10 g total fat (1 g saturated), no cholesterol, 14 g carbohydrates, 2 g protein, 24 mg sodium, 2 g dietary fiber.

Jill Silva is a freelance writer and former food editor for the Kansas City Star.

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