No-Sweat Snacks for a Fabulous 4th

I’m sitting here in my hot apartment dreading the thought of cooking, which is unfortunate when I have a Cooking Club coming up in a few days, but I digress! It’s stifling and muggy and sticky and I can’t bear the idea of turning on the oven or standing over the stove.

Summertime is a great time to pull out the slow cooker or the Instant Pot for easy recipes that don’t bring the temperature up in your home. I’ve already shared some of my favorites, like pulled pork and Buffalo chicken!

So I decided to go look for some new ideas to prep for a sizzling 4th of July without sweating in the kitchen.

Now, I love a good theme party. And you don’t have to go far for ideas for the 4th of July – red, white and blue; the flag; stars and stripes. With summer being the best time to for all those amazing fresh fruits and vegetables, there are some super easy ways to put together healthy, colorful treats.

Dip It Good

One of my favorite things I came across while looking for ideas was the American Flag Vegetable Tray from It’s really simple, easy to modify based on your preferences, and requires cutting and organizing, but no cooking.

Just get a variety of red and white vegetables like peeled cucumbers, radishes, cauliflower florets, grape tomatoes, and red peppers. Slice the vegetables and line them up on a large cookie sheet in rows of red and white.

The website also includes a recipe for what looks like a delicious dill dip, but I prefer Ranch (and I’m feeling lazy), so I’d probably go with two cups of Greek Yogurt mixed with a packet of Ranch dip mix. I do love the idea of using a little blue food coloring to make the dip blue and adding little radish stars, though!

Find a square container to put your dip in the top left corner of your tray and then use a fondant cutter in the shape of a star to make radish stars to place on top of the dip.

Red, White and Blueberry

Another way to get your red, white, and blue on is with a no-bake fruit pie. One of my favorite recipe websites,, has an easy Super Light Blueberry Cream Pie recipe.

You use a ready-made graham cracker crust and fill it with a mixture of 8 oz. of whipped topping, 2 c. of blueberries and (2) 5.3 oz. containers of fat free blueberry yogurt. Chill it in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving, and voila!

I would add some sliced strawberries on top before serving to fit the color theme. Some of the reviews on the site say the pie can get a little runny so, if you can, you might want to pop it in the freezer for a while instead of the refrigerator – just make sure you leave enough time before serving it to defrost for a bit so those berries aren’t too cold!

Ex-Skews-Me Caprese

I’m actually mad about another great idea I found (because I didn’t think of it myself): Caprese Skewers. I love a Caprese salad and this idea for making it more snacky is awesome.

Just take cherry tomatoes (cut in half), basil leaves (torn or cut in half), and a ball of mozzarella cut into small cubes. Skewer a half of a tomato, a half of a basil leaf, a cube of cheese, and another half of a tomato on a toothpick.

Right before you serve the skewers, you can drizzle them with balsamic vinegar. Yum!

The Devil Made Me Do It Lobster Roll Deviled Eggs

Last but not least, this requires a wee bit of cooking, but, what’s a summer party without deviled eggs?

I love deviled eggs and have recently branched out with horseradish and Old Bay variations. So I’m excited that this recipe takes it a step further with Lobster Roll Deviled Eggs.

I usually use the 5-5-5 method to make hard boiled eggs in the Instant Pot: 5 minutes at high pressure, 5 minutes natural release, 5 minutes in an ice bath. But I’m fascinated by the idea of cooking the eggs and the lobster tail at the same time at low pressure. Worth trying!

Of course, you can also use your favorite stovetop method to cook the eggs and just follow the recipe for the filling. The recipe also suggests subbing pre-cooked shrimp for the lobster tail if you want something a little more budget friendly. I think lump crab meat would also be a good substitute saving the step of cooking the seafood.

We’ve already established that I’m a lazy cook, so I’d skip the step of basically making your own breadcrumbs and use store-bought bread crumbs, or just skip the carbs entirely. I also think it’s worth experimenting with Greek Yogurt instead of the mayonnaise, or trying a mixture of Greek Yogurt and mayonnaise.

Goalz? Bring it, Gurl

My number one tip for making healthy choices at a party during the summer (or the winter, or any other time) is to make sure you bring something delicious that fits your goals, that way you know there will always be at least one thing that you know can eat and still stick your nutrition plan. Hopefully these recipes help make hosting a party – or taking a dish to someone else’s party – a little bit easier.

You made it this far, you must be a highly sexy! Wanna learn about 7 more habits to help you nail healthy living?


A few times a month, members of Lisa’s Cooking Club get together to prep food for the week. MFF Ninjas, past and present, can join by requesting to join the Facebook group.


Outside of NYC? You can get great recipe ideas from Lisa’s website and follow her on Pinterest.

A long time ago, in a gym far, far away (well, 41st Street) Lisa Spodak asked new trainer Mark Fisher for some help with a circuit workout. The rest, as they say, is history. Lisa isn’t a chef and doesn’t like to cook, but she started the Cooking Club in 2013. When she’s not swinging a kettlebell or doubling the protein in every recipe she finds on Pinterest, Lisa loves going to the theater and training for marathon breast cancer walks.


Let’s get to know each other and see how we can help you!

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