Soon coolers will be packed, smoke bombs will be used as bug repellent and family gatherings will be color-coded with red, white and blue. As you prepare to celebrate Fourth of July with family and friends, don’t stress about what dish to take to the party. Great Plains Communications has looked to our cable channel, Food Network for some of our favorite portable side dishes that will be a great addition to any grilled feast.

Ree’s Picnic Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is “kid friendly” as Ree says, with big pieces of bacon and cheese, accompanied by a very mild dressing to not overpower any of the flavors.

 

Ina’s Crunchy Noodle Salad

Want to mix things up a little? Try this Asian inspired noodle salad that provides richness from the peanut butter and sesame oil but still has freshness from the peppers, rice wine vinegar and chopped herbs at the end.

 

Trisha’s Avocado Salsa

Instead of the tomatoes being the main component in this salsa, the avocado steps up and makes this a fun mix between salsa and guacamole. The tropical pineapple will have your friends delightfully surprised by the combination of flavors.

 

Aarti’s Quinoa Tabbouleh

Looking for a little heavier side dish but still want to keep it on the healthy side? This tabbouleh is a party of fresh flavors, from the abundance of herbs mixed throughout to the tomato and cucumber.

 

With the high temperatures, here are a few tips on keeping food safe from the USDA.

  • If you plan to have a burger or hot dog toppings bar with items like mayo, sliced tomatoes or avocado, be sure to keep them cold by placing them on a tray of ice. Be sure to replenish the ice as needed!
  • Perishable food items should not be left outside for more than two hours if the temperature is at or below 90°F, and only one hour if the temperature is at or above 90⁰F.
  • Any leftovers should be refrigerated within 2 hours (1 hour if temperatures are at or above 90⁰F) of being placed outside. If you are not sure how long food has been sitting out, throw it out immediately.
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