Want the Tastiest and/or Prettiest Food for Fourth of July or Any Summer Celebration?

This post is linked to Allergy-Free Wednesday and Gluten-Free Wednesday.

4th of July View at Our Mountain/River Property

Yes, tomorrow is 4th of July, our Independence Day in the U.S. And our friends to the north just celebrated Canada Day. Clearly it’s that wonderful time of year called summer. The time of year when fun, food, fireflies, favorite swimming holes, and long sunny days all combine to make you feel you’ve been given a fabulous gift. Here are some recipes that can help you complete the food part of the equation! Enjoy them tomorrow, this weekend, or any time that summertime goodness is welcome.

~ Drinks ~

beverage, cocktail, 4th of july, independence day, steamed crabs, summer

Crab Claws Cocktail

~ Kim’s (Cook IT Allergy Free) 5-Minute Watermelon Strawberry Slushie … sooo refreshing!

~ My Blueberry Banana Foamie

~ Or my Raspberry+ Smoothie

~ Or my super simple Watermelon Orange Smoothie

watermelon, orange, beverage, smoothie, frozen, breakfast

 Watermelon Orange Smoothie

~ Or my “high-octane” Crab Claws (shown previously) or Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

frozen cocktails, gluten free, dairy free, margarita, watermelon

Frozen Watermelon Margaritas

~ Starters/Sides ~

~ My Cucumber Chickpea “Bruschetta” … these are loved by all! appetizer, cucumber, summer, chickpeas, garbanzo beans, bruschetta

~ Or these naturally gluten-free Garden-Free Herbed Cucumber “Flower” Bites (cucumbers cut into flower shapes with yummy topping) are pretty awesome, too.

~ Diane’s (The Whole Gang) Guaco Tacos are such great finger food, but you can easily make a meal from these gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, and easily vegan, flavorful delights!

~ Who doesn’t want to know How to Cook Perfect Corn on the Cob? Alisa of Go Dairy Free and Alisa Cooks shares the secret over at The Balanced Platter.

~ Love quinoa? Then Zoe’s (Z’s Cup of Tea) Quinoa Fritters might be your perfect side.

~ Maybe you’re looking for a great salad as a side, or your “main.” Hallie rounds up 101 Summer Salads.  I was so tickled that she included my Pulled Chicken Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing. Another favorite of mine for summer is this Fresh Zucchini Toss.

zucchini, salad, chicken, garden salad, summer

Fresh Zucchini Toss

~ For more salad recipes, you’ll want to check out Danielle’s (Against All Grain) Go Ahead Honey It’s Gluten Free roundup of Seasonal Salads. Yes, even salads can be some serious “eye candy,” especially when Amber’s Candy Cane Beet, Strawberry, and Black Plum Salad with Ginger Lemon Honey Dressing is involved.  Don’t just indulge in amazing salads like these when eating out; make one at home for a festive and healthy 4th!

go ahead honey, candied beets, summer, garden salads, ginger lemon dressing

Candy Cane Beet, Strawberry, and Black Plum Salad with Ginger Lemon Honey Dressing (photo courtesy of Amber Husten at The Tasty Alternative)

~ Main Dishes ~

~ My Gluten-Free Beer Can Chicken; there’s still no gluten-free beer that comes in a can, but there’s an easy solution for that “deficiency” in the market. UPDATE! I had this feeling that as soon as I stated that no gluten-free beer came in a can, someone would come forward and educate me otherwise. Well, sure enough, Sarah (Celiac in the City) has informed me that Joseph James Brewing, Inc. of Nevada makes a gluten-free beer that comes in a can.  Read some reviews of Fox Tail Gluten-Free Beer.

Beer Can Chicken, gluten free, 4th of July, cookout, summer, grilling recipes

Gluten-Free Beer Can Chicken

~ Ribs say 4th of July to many. Mr. GFE and Son vote for ribs ANY time! How about these Barbecue Country-Style Ribs from Shocking Delicious shared on Kalyn’s Slow Cooker from Scratch blog?

~ Or these Oven-Baked Spare Ribs (perhaps if you’re in the Northwest … or Australia; probably not a good idea if in the Northeast during our current heat wave).

~ Love pork, but think ribs are too messy? Try my Slow-Cooked Pork Butt, Also Known as the World’s Easiest and Best Pulled Pork … at least by my family and friends.

~ Heidi’s (Adventures of a Gluten-Free Mom) Homemade Barbecue Sauce would work well for all the pork recipes I’ve mentioned, but then there’s barbecue chicken, too. I do love barbecued chicken!

Or for a Few More Vegetarian/Vegan Options:

~ Try Johnna’s (52 Sweets) Faux Pulled Pork. I can personally vouch for this recipe and Heather just did a review here. Look at Heather’s photos; you would swear that you’re eating pulled pork. I’m not a vegetarian, but I loved that I could eat Johnna’s super tasty barbecue and not have that heavy “I want to go to sleep” feeling afterwards.

~ Son and I are nuts over my Blackened Black Bean Burgers. Seriously. I’d eat them over a regular burger any day.

best veggie burger, gluten free, dairy free, black beans, blackened, gluten-free veggie burger, dairy-free veggie burger

Blackened Black Bean Burger

~ Then there’s Carol’s new recipe, Chipotle Black Bean and Quinoa Burgers. I think that chipotle adds the most wonderful flavor to so many recipes.

~ Desserts ~

Oh, how we love our desserts, don’t we? They are without a doubt the most abundant—and most popular—recipes on blogs. I think you’ll enjoy all of the following. Not all at once, of course.

~ Lynn’s (Lynn’s Kitchen Adventures) Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad; Red, White, and Blue Kabobs; or Star-Studded Blueberry Pie

~ Kimi’s (The Nourishing Gourmet) Strawberry Fool. This one, which Kimi also calls Strawberry Whipped Cream, is beautiful on its own. But you could easily make this a red, white, and blue dessert by adding some blueberries. If you’re not into strawberries, just sub in raspberries.

~ Or maybe you want to “up” the fruit kabob game and actually make an American flag. This would be a fun activity for the kiddos to help with, and it actually looks quite easy to do! Bonus: You also get an essay from real food advocate and author Robin O’Brien—worth a read!

~ Are you looking for frozen dessert? My Watermelon Sherbet is so refreshing. When you ask who wants watermelon for dessert and all the heads go up and down, pull out this treat and surprise them instead.

gluten free, dairy free, ice cream, sherbet, watermelon, summer, 4th of July

Watermelon Sherbet

~ If peaches are more your thing, these Roasted Peaches ‘n Coconut Cream Popsicles from Katie Did look amazing!

~ What starts out blue, but ends up purple? The answer is Ricki’s (Diet, Dessert and Dogs) Blueberry Ice Cream. There’s more frozen lusciousness with this one, so I don’t think anyone will mind that its hue is not blue and doesn’t fit the typical patriotic color scheme.

~ Speaking of blueberries, how about my Blueberry Honey Pie with Honey Whipped Cream? This pie is one of my most favorite gfe recipes! Guess what? It’s ”no bake.” (I love you, too.)

blueberry pie, gluten free, dairy free, no bake, 4th of July, Independence Day

“No-Bake” Blueberry Honey Pie with Honey Whipped Cream

Truthfully, I simply adore pies and tarts. Here are a few more gorgeous and delicious options!

~ Alta’s (Tasty Eats At Home) Strawberry “Cheesecake” with Almond-Macadamia Crust. Just look at it!

strawberry, cheesecake, alta mantsch, tasty eats at home, dairy free, gluten free

Strawberry “Cheesecake” with Almond-Macadamia Crust (photo courtesy of Alta Mantsch at Tasty Eats At Home)

~ Danielle’s (Against All Grain) Stunning Berry Tart. Oh my.

~ Stephanie’s (Hope for Healing) Fresh Strawberry Coconut Custard Pie. As wonderful as it sounds.

~ Or how about Ali’s (The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen) Raw Berry Tart with a Coconut Pastry Cream Pastry? A work of art that I’d like to eat piece by piece. In case you missed my announcement on my gfe Facebook page, Ali and Tom’s new book, Nourishing Meals:  Healthy Gluten-Free Recipes for the Whole Family, is coming out next month. There are over 300 gluten-free, dairy-free, and soy-free recipes in this cookbook, and grain-free and vegan recipes are included as well! Pre-order via their site and you’ll get a free preview e-book (16 of their favorite recipes with full-color photos) right away!

gluten free, dairy free, raw, vegan, Nourishing Meals, Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen

Raw Berry Tart with a Coconut Pastry Cream Pastry (photo courtesy of Ali Segersten at nourishingmeals.com)

Last, there’s always chocolate. Thank goodness!

~ How about Maggie’s (She Let Them Eat CakeChocolate Chocolate Cookies turned into Ice Cream Sandwiches?

~ You also can’t go wrong with Linda’s (The Gluten-Free Homemaker) Chocolate-Covered Strawberries.

~ Or Amber’s (The Tasty Alternative) Strawberry-Studded Chocolate Tart.

Don’t you agree?

Happy Belated Canada Day, Happy 4th of July (or Independence Day, if you like), and Happy Summer to All!

p.s. If you’re eating at a group event for the holiday or any time soon, don’t forget to follow these rules to stay safe. Here are some more great guidelines from AndreAnna (Life As A Plate) specifically geared to summer. As always, please remember that ANY gluten is too much gluten for someone who is eating gluten free for medical reasons; enjoy the tasty and good times with friends, but stay vigilant.

Not just gf, but gfe!

Full Disclosure/Disclaimer: This post may contain one or more affiliate links. If you purchase through them, your cost will always be the same, but I will receive a small commission. Thanks for the support! Read the full disclaimer here.


50 Responses to “Want the Tastiest and/or Prettiest Food for Fourth of July or Any Summer Celebration?”

  1. Heather @Gluten-Free Cat on July 3rd, 2012 5:47 pm

    Oh, Shirley, what a wonderful collection of holiday yumminess! (After the day at the vet that Crab Claw picture nearly sent me to the liquor store for ingredients! Soooo delicious!)

    Thank you for linking to my review of Johnna’s faux pulled pork that I posted today! You are a speedy writer!


    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:07 am

      Heather–Hope you had a happy 4th and that your cat is on the mend! Crab Claws are only about a once-a-year indulgence here, but they’re a great one! ;-) I’m not a speedy writer, just a procrastinator. LOL Often that “method” works out for including the latest links and happily filling a void as it did this time. I needed veggie/vegan options for this roundup, so your post was right on time! :-)


  2. amber on July 3rd, 2012 7:47 pm

    Wow and wow, Shirley. What a fantastic round-up! Some new recipes for me to check out.

    And I’ve made your blueberry pie many, many times and it’s my favorite. It was the first time I made coconut whipped cream (two years ago already?!)…and I’ll never forget that day, Shirley. I was a happy girl. And I’m making your black bean burgers ASAP! I’ve been working on a recipe, but nothing to write home about yet. So I look forward to trying these.

    And thank you for including my candy cane beet salad. It’s a delightful mix of flavors and textures. And I just can’t get enough of those pretty beets. :-)

    You have a great day celebrating tomorrow.

    Big hugs to you friend,

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:41 am

      Hi Amber–Happy 4th! I think most of us will still be celebrating through the weekend with various events. :-)

      Roundups are easy with all you guys providing these amazing recipes! I absolutely love that it was my Blueberry Honey Pie with the Honey Whipped Cream that introduced you to coconut whipped cream! :-) Has it been that long?

      Those beets are so, so pretty! Will look forward to what recipe you come up with for Black Beans. Stephanie at Hope for Healing just shared a nice one here: http://glutenfreehope.blogspot.com/2012/07/rice-bean-garden-burger.html

      Hugsss back,

  3. Kris on July 3rd, 2012 7:55 pm

    wow, this is a fabulous roundup of food. and yes, we do love our desserts! there are some new people here I get to discover, thank you!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:43 am

      Hey Kris (will have to get used to that!)–Thanks! And hehe on the desserts. Btw, I’m loving that dessert that you just made for Jason’s birthday–WOW! Last, I just love introducing bloggers to each other. ;-)

      Hope you all had a wonderful 4th! xo,

  4. Megan @ MAID in Alaska on July 3rd, 2012 8:23 pm

    Beautiful round up, Shirley! I would SOOO love one of those watermelon margaritas right now!

    Wishing you and your family a very Happy 4th of July!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:45 am

      Hey Megan–I love watermelon in beverages, so I was surprised when Son declined the option of having watermelon in our morning smoothie the other day. I’ll be having a watermelon-based beverage soon I think. It makes for a cooling and refreshing drink, which is just what we need here right now! :-)

      We had a quiet, but happy 4th and will be celebrating more this weekend. ;-) Hope yours was great! :-)


  5. Heather @ Life Gluten Free on July 3rd, 2012 8:34 pm

    Those are all great recipes! I just posted a No-Bake Fruit Pie for the 4th of July. Because of the fires, our firework shows have been canceled. We’re celebrating with pie instead ;) Have a lovely holiday!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:48 am

      Hey Heather–Thanks! Thanks, too, for mentioning your No Bake Fruit Pie. I love all the ingredients, and I can guarantee that anything that is “no bake” *wins* right now. ;-)

      Bummer on the fireworks cancellation, but happy that the fire situation is getting better. Hope you all enjoyed the 4th and that the celebration will continue for a few days!


  6. Maggie on July 3rd, 2012 8:48 pm

    Shirley this is just unfair! So many fabulous recipes – many that I’ve already seen and drooled over before :) Thank you so much for sharing my cookies! Happy July 4th. xo

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:50 am

      Hi Maggie–LOL … no calories are consumed in oohing, ahhing, and drooling (well, maybe a few are burned with drooling … you think?). Hehe! Who can resist your cookies? Especially when made into ice cream sandwiches!

      Thanks for the 4th wishes, dear! Hope Canada Day was lovely for you all!

  7. Alta on July 3rd, 2012 9:53 pm

    …And now I’m hungry! Shirley, this is an excellent round-up. I forgot about your blueberry honey pie! Thanks for reminding me. And thanks for sharing my strawberry cheesecake!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:52 am

      Alta–I’m sure you had plenty of good eats on the 4th, enough to distract you from this listing for a while. ;-) LOVE your strawberry cheesecake … it made this roundup POP! :-)


  8. Ina Gawne on July 4th, 2012 9:29 am

    Happy 4th of July Shirley! Wow, all of that food looks and sounds amazing….now I`m hungry!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:54 am

      Hi Ina–Thanks so much, dear! Everyone is hungry after looking at these roundups; so many blogs (including yours) and great recipes I can pull from. ;-) If I could, I’d squeeze in even more recipes in this one. LOL, but true!


  9. Kalyn on July 4th, 2012 10:54 am

    Looks like a delicious holiday is in store with these winners. Thanks for sharing the ribs I featured on Slow Cooker from Scratch!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:55 am

      Hi Kalyn–My pleasure! I hope you had a wonderful 4th. If I recall, you all have a family gathering that is hard to beat for all the fabulous food shared! ;-)


  10. Kim (Cook IT Allergy Free) on July 4th, 2012 12:22 pm

    What a beautiful round-up!! Makes me wish I could be with you creating all of these yummy things!! Thanks so much for including me in your awesome list! Hope you have a wonderful and festive Fourth!! Miss you, my friend!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:57 am

      Hey Kim–I imagined all the fun that you guys were having on the 4th at the beach! Some great memories being made there for sure! :-)

      Those Watermelon Strawberry Slushies of yours are the best; hopefully, lots of folks made them or will soon.

      Miss you, too, dear! Hope there’s another get together in the not too distant future. ;-) xo,

  11. Diane Eblin- thewholegang on July 4th, 2012 3:22 pm

    Great round up! Thank you for including me too. Wish we were all together to celebrate. Will raise a glass of probably juice to toast you! Those crabs and crab claw drink looks so good!!!!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 6:58 am

      Diane–Well, you do make the best juice! I’d be happy to lift that as a toast, too. :-)

      Thanks, and I love sharing those Guaco Tacos. The world needs to know about them! Happy 4th … keep celebrating this week!

  12. Kelly on July 4th, 2012 7:25 pm

    Thank you Shirley for the shout out! You’ve got a fantastic list of must have treats for the 4th!

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 7:00 am

      Hi Kelly–Welcome to gfe, and thanks! :-) Found your great ribs recipe via Mark (Mark’s Daily Apple, of course). Bet you had tons of visitors from that mention–woohoo! ;-)


  13. whaleshark on July 4th, 2012 10:52 pm

    I like the Blueberry pie, looks yummy. Can you share the recipe with us??

    • Shirley on July 5th, 2012 7:01 am

      Hi whaleshark–Just click on the title or photo for the Blueberry pie recipe–enjoy! :-) BTW, Isla Mujeres is on my “must visit” list. ;-)


    • WhaleShark on July 5th, 2012 5:54 pm

      You’ll love it! It’s so beautiful!

      • Shirley on July 9th, 2012 1:43 pm

        WhaleShark–Yes, I can tell it’s gorgeous–thanks! Hope you enjoy the Crab Claws. They’re definitely one of our faves. ;-)


  14. InTolerant Chef on July 5th, 2012 7:14 am

    All those watermelon recipes are winners to me, so refreshing indeed! Happy Fourth!

    • Shirley on July 8th, 2012 6:43 pm

      Hi InTolerant Chef–Yes, they are sooo refreshing. I have some watermelon in the fridge and some in the freezer so I can make more! ;-) Thanks for the 4th wishes, dear. This one stretched on … we just returned from visiting out-of-town relatives for a celebration. Fun! :-)


  15. Tom @ Tall Clover Farm on July 5th, 2012 9:19 am

    Wow Shirley, that’s quite a cavalcade of great recipes. I think I’ll start with the sweets and work backwards.

    • Shirley on July 8th, 2012 7:01 pm

      Hey Tom–Thanks! I like your plan for tackling this listing. ;-)


  16. Sarah @ Celiac in the City on July 5th, 2012 10:12 am

    Well, I’m set for summer recipe ideas — what a great list! Thanks for putting all of this together. I hope you had a lovely holiday!

    We’re looking at temps over 100 today in Wisconsin… I better get to the store for some watermelon, there were a few recipes here that would be perfect for today!

    PS- this IS a GF beer in a can now, it’s called Fox Tail, my husband found it at a local store. He said it’s the best one so far, but I wasn’t a huge fan… bet it would work great for any “beer can” recipes. :)

    • Shirley on July 8th, 2012 8:08 pm

      Hey Sarah!–Thank you, dear, on all!! We just finished celebrating this weekend. ;-) Watermelon for cooling? You bet!

      For some reason, I had this momentary feeling of doubt when I shared the info on the gluten-free beer. Thank you for informing us all about this gf beer that comes in a can! Even if one doesn’t like to drink it (reviews I read were mixed … just like at your house LOL), it would probably still be great for beer can chicken or other cooking with beer like you said. :-)


      • Sarah @ Celiac in the City on July 10th, 2012 8:25 am

        Funny that after I posted that comment, I was at the store where I found it in Milwaukee (Beans and Barley) and they no longer had it. Maybe out of stock, who knows. But regardless if I’d pour it into a pint glass and drink it or not, like we said, it would probably work for the recipes. :)

        After the weekend out on the bike with 104 degree temps, every single chilly recipe on here looks even better!

        Have a great week!

        • Shirley on July 10th, 2012 10:59 am

          Sarah–Around here, the stores are notorious for never having gf beer stocked. They could sell much, much more than they do because of that fact. Still, if folks can’t find the Fox Tail beer, the “empty the soda can and fill it with any gf beer” method works quite well!

          Biking in 104 temps? Wow. You were not alone though (I saw many doing the same), and we were walking about a NJ town seeing where all the relatives lived this weekend. ;-)

          Happy Tuesday!

  17. Ricki on July 5th, 2012 12:33 pm

    Hi Shirley,

    I’m just catching up after being computerless for almost 2 days. . gah! While I wait for my new one to arrive, though, let me say thanks for including my ice cream here! And what a roundup–everything looks fabulous. Hope you had a great 4th of July yourself! :)

    • Shirley on July 8th, 2012 11:12 pm

      Hey Ricki–I’m catching up after being tied up with other things and then away. ;-) Saw you have your new computer–hooray!! We just finished celebrating the 4th this weekend, so it was an “extended” and fun one this year. I’m happy that I could link up your yummy blueberry ice cream. ;-)


  18. Linda C on July 5th, 2012 4:07 pm

    Thanks for the wonderful collection of yummy recipes! Hope you had a great 4th!

    • Shirley on July 9th, 2012 1:42 pm

      Thanks, Linda! As I was just stating, we just finished up celebrating yesterday, so it was definitely good! ;-) Hope yours was, too! :-)


  19. Casey on July 5th, 2012 8:37 pm

    What a fantastic bunch of food dishes. Where do I start checking out the recipes?

    • Shirley on July 9th, 2012 1:44 pm

      Thanks, Casey! It is hard to know where to start, isn’t it? ;-)


  20. Kay Guest on July 6th, 2012 6:17 am

    Hey Shirley!
    There are so many recipes here and they all look so good!
    Hope you are doing well these days, I know you are eating good!!!

    • Shirley on July 9th, 2012 1:45 pm

      Hey there, Kay–It’s so great to see you! I’ve missed you! Yes, summer time brings so much good eating, which can be somewhat surprising when it’s as hot as it’s been of late. ;-)


  21. Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) on July 6th, 2012 10:26 am

    Great round up Shirley! I am craving anything and everything that is cold right now! Your watermelon smoothie sounds perfect for this heat! I’m glad you had a good 4th with your hubby!

    • Shirley on July 9th, 2012 1:48 pm

      Hi Sarena–Yes, I’m craving the cold stuff, too!! And lots of it! I had a watermelon smoothie this morning. It was so refreshing. I can’t get enough! We continued celebrating through the weekend, so it was indeed a good 4th. ;-) I’m glad your family’s 4th was good, too. BTW, your latest creation, that Pina Colada Cake with the pineapple “flowers” looks incredibly good! :-)


  22. WhaleShark on July 6th, 2012 3:06 pm

    That crab claw concoction seems like just the thing for my recent infusion of duty free rum and tequila… ;-) Thanks!

  23. Carol, Simply Gluten Free on July 9th, 2012 9:20 pm

    Wow, fantastic round up! Thanks so much for including me and sign me up for one of those watermelon margaritas!!!

    Hope you had a great Fourth!

    • Shirley on July 10th, 2012 10:56 am

      Hi Carol–Thanks, dear! It was my pleasure to include your new vegan burgers–total yumminess there. :-) Everyone wants the watermelon margaritas! We need to have a party. It might have to be virtual, but we could all lift our glasses at the same time. ;-)

      Our 4th was great. It went from a quiet celebration on the actual day to a lively out-of-state-one this past weekend. Hope yours was grand!


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