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Feed Your Face: What to Serve at an Outdoor Party

By Dr Jessica Wu

I love giving outdoor parties -- they have a more casual vibe, and food tastes better when it’s enjoyed outside in the fresh air. Plus, I’d rather spend less time in the kitchen and more time chatting with my friends. If you’re picnicking or barbecuing this Fourth of July holiday, get creative with these dishes -- they're easy to make, tasty, and good for your skin:

Instead of burgers and hot dogs, grill meatballs. Mix ground beef, lamb, or turkey with salt and pepper, and stir in eggs, chopped onion and garlic, and your choice of herbs (parsley, thyme, and/or oregano). Form meatballs and brush with olive oil. Place them directly on the grill, or thread through a skewer, either alone or alternating with baby yellow and green squash (to fight crow's-feet) and cherry tomatoes (to fight sun damage). Make sure your grill is clean, and brush it with olive oil to prevent sticking.

Instead of watermelon, serve tropical fruit. I have a weakness for watermelon, but it’s relatively high in sugar; plus, I always end up dribbling juice down my chin and shirt. Papaya and pineapple are lower in sugar and higher in fiber and vitamins A and C (both important for making strong collagen). They’re also easier to eat. Serve chunks of fruit on a pretty platter with slices of lime and plain yogurt for dipping, along with flag toothpicks (I know -- cheesy. But cute).

Instead of chips and dip, try olive and pistachio spread. Black olives are high in monounsaturated fats and vitamin E, and pistachios are a good source of the essential fatty acid linoleic acid, which is linked to healthy skin and hair. In addition, pistachios are among the nuts with the fewest calories. Rinse black olives, remove pits, and chop with roasted, unsalted pistachios. Add a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve with toasted whole-wheat pita bread triangles.

Be sure to catch next Tuesday’s newsletter: I’ll feature recipes for good-for-your-skin popsicles!

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