Have a Healthy Fourth of July with These Recipes!

It is my hope that this blog will be helpful for you, my readers, and bring you closer to the NYCPT experience of Sustainable Wellness. I’m here to share with you how I eat in my own home, with my family, so that you can bring to yours a new understanding of Sustainable Wellness. This post will discuss the recipes I’ll be using for my Fourth of July barbecue. It will include a twist on the traditional Independence Day fare, and introduce you to some insight on the ingredients I use. 

The first recipe was given to me by my good friend Jody Scaravella, who owns Enoteca Maria, a premier Italian restaurant in St. George, Staten Island. What is so remarkable about this restaurant is that they employ the culinary expertise of native Italian nonnas (meaning ‘grandmother’ in Italian) to bring authentic, regional Italian cuisine to New York. Locally grown and fresh, the food at Enoteca Maria is delicious while being mindful of the ingredients used.


The notorious Nonnas of Enoteca Maria taking a stroll down Abbey Road, with owner Jody Scaravella in the background. Photo taken by Nicholas Fevelo.

Jody calls this recipe Gamberi alla Griglia Marinati con Rucola e Aglio, or Grilled Shrimp, Marinated with Arugula and Garlic. Shrimp is abundant in vitamin-A, D and E. It also contains omega-3 and B12; as well as the minerals zinc, magnesium, copper, and iron. Loaded with the antioxidant astaxanthin, shrimp help to prevent premature aging, and work along with copper and zinc to give your hair a healthy sheen.

I suggest you use fish, but if you would rather use meat, I alternatively suggest buying organic, grass fed product, like that provided by Applegate Farms. It’s important to be mindful of the meat you consume. Applegate is easily accessible, as it is available at your local supermarket (the Applegate website even has its own locator for you to plug your location into!). You can always use raw sauerkraut to accentuate your organic hotdog or hamburger, which is high in digestive enzymes and great source of probiotic. Applegate hamburgers taste great with fresh, organic tomatoes, red onions and sprouted bread (vs. the traditional hamburger bun). Baked sweet potato fries make a perfect side for this alternative dish.

Gamberi alla Griglia Marinati con Rucola e Aglio

Ingredients (organic if possible) :


Directions : Blend arugula, garlic, olive oil, salt and red pepper into a paste. Clean shrimp and marinate in paste overnight. On the day of, cut up and blanch vegetables. It is important to pre-cook them, as it takes less time for the shrimp to cook through. Skewer vegetables and marinated shrimp. Place on a medium hot grill (about 350 degrees). When the shrimp curve in and have a bit
of color, they’re done!

The avocado offers an innumerable amount of health benefits, including fiber and vitamins-A and K. It also contains potassium, B6 and folate, which supports cell production in your skin and helps prevent osteoporosis bone fractures. Avocados are a food that elevate any meal, and fortunately my wife makes an amazing Tomato, Corn and Avocado Salad from Martha Stewart’s recipe collection, giving me the opportunity to incorporate this gratifying dish into our barbecue.

This and other dishes can be found at Martha Stewart’s website.

Tomato, Corn, and Avocado Salad

Ingredients (organic if possible) :

  • 1 ear corn (husk and silk removed; tip cut off)
  • 2 pints cherry, grape, or pear tomatoes, halved
  • 1 avocado, halved, pitted, peeled, and diced
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon cold pressed olive oil
  • Himalayan Pink salt and ground pepper


Directions : Stand ear in a large wide bowl; with a sharp knife, carefully slice downward to release the kernels. Discard cob. Add tomatoes, avocado, scallions, lime juice, and oil to bowl. Season with salt and pepper, and toss gently to combine.




Purple (or red) cabbage is an often underused ingredient in barbecue fare. This is unfortunate, as it offers many of the same health benefits as the above mentioned foods, like folates, and vitamins-C and K. It also offers an abundance of minerals, such as calcium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, and iron and magnesium, which help control blood pressure. Thus I am excited to let you in on a special recipe for coleslaw that is a wonderful and fresh side for cooked barbecue foods.

This picture and recipe can be found on Kimberly Snyder’s website.

Raw Purple Cabbage Slaw

Ingredients (organic if possible) :


Directions : Shred the cabbage, using the shredding attachment to your food professor or a mandoline, or finely by hand, and place into a large bowl. Whisk together the other ingredients, adding the tahini last. Pour over the cabbage and mix well. Allow to chill covered in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before serving. 

For dessert, prepare a tray of organic dark chocolate (preferably 85% cocoa content). My favorite brand is Green and Black’s Organic chocolate. Dark chocolate helps lower blood pressure, and prevents wrinkles with the deterrence of collagen break-down in the skin. Raw macaroons are great for dessert, too; they’re simply delicious and healthy at the same time!