Low-Carb Summer Holidays

Fourth of July, Memorial Day, Labor Day Menus

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Between the potato salad, the hamburger buns, and the strawberry shortcake, you might think summer holidays like July 4th need to be a carb fest, but there are lots of great traditional choices that are low in carbs, and others that can easily be made so. Here are some ideas to have a wonderful celebration without sending your blood sugar through the roof.

Grilled Meats

Unless they are covered with sugary sauces (including regular ketchup), meats are usually carb-free.

Regular barbecue sauce usually has quite a lot of sugar. Using a sugar-free BBQ sauce not only cuts the carbs, but the low sugar content makes the sauce less likely to burn on the grill.

Recipe for Sugar-Free Barbecue Sauce

Tips and recipes for grilled meats:

Hamburgers can be eaten with most of the usual fixings, but try to find low-carb versions of ketchup and sweet pickle relish. Hamburgers can be eaten without the bun (knife and fork), or using large lettuce leaves or low-carb tortillas to fold around them.

Tips for Making Great Hamburgers

Hot dogs, can be made in a similar way, low-carb tortillas to roll around hot dogs. Compare labels to find hot dogs with low-carb counts.

Trying to save money? Check out How to Make Cheap Steaks Taste Good.

There are a lot of reasons to eat grass-fed beef, but you do have to cook it a little differently. Here's How to Cook Steaks from Grass-Fed Beef.

If you follow the South Beach Diet or are trying to eat a diet low in saturated fat, check out this list of cuts of beef and other meats low in saturated fat.

Recipes for the Grill:

Korean Beef - one of our favorites - guests always love it

Middle Eastern Ground Meat Kebabs-- Richly spiced and very tasty. Try with grilled eggplant (recipe below) and Tzaziki, a middle-eastern yogurt sauce.

Chinese Five-Spice Chicken -- another favorite for guests

Mexican Grilled Chicken -- from Central Mexico, the marinade includes cinnamon which adds a warm note to the spice mixture

Easy Baby Back Ribs -- use with my sugar-free BBQ sauce

Grilled Dilled Salmon -- easy and elegant

Grilled Salmon with Tangy Glaze - The spicy-sweet glaze is great with salmon. Try it with this Ginger Guacamole. (Really!)

Appetizers and Dips

Vegetables are perfect for dips, of course. Cucumber and jicama slices are great for spreads. Here are some ideas for dips and other appetizers for your low-carb table:

Chicken Wings with Spicy Peach Dipping Sauce

Deviled Eggs

Super-Easy Guacamole

Bean Dip

Four Pepper Dip

Shrimp Spread with Dill

More Low-Carb Snacks, Appetizers, Dips, etc.

Side Dishes

Some traditional summer side dishes made low-carb:

Cauliflower "Potato" Salad

Barbecue Beans

Low-Carb Cole Slaw (most has quite a lot of sugar)

Low-Carb 4-Bean Salad

Mom's Prizewinning Zucchini Casserole

Southwestern Squash Casserole

Broccoli Bacon Salad

Low-Carb Pasta Salad - ("Caprese"-style)

Grilled Eggplant with Middle Eastern Spices

Grilled Asparagus


Beer, grilled meats, and a summer day -- they go together, don't they?

Besides water and diet soda, here is some more info and recipes for summer beverages:

Beer on a Low-Carb Diet

Sugar-Free Margaritas

Tropical Colada Drink - alcoholic or non

Sugar-Free Strawberry Daiquiri - alcoholic or non

Alcoholic Beverages on a Low-Carb Diet


Yes, you can have a low-carb summer dessert!

Low- Carb Strawberry Shortcake

Sugar-Free Fresh Berry Pie

Raspberry Fool

Miracle Brownies

Sugar-Free Macaroons

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