You can have a Nutritious & Flavourful Summer Cookout!
A traditional BBQ feast may consist of a cheeseburger, hot dog, scoop of potato salad, handful of chips, cup of lemonade and piece of pie for dessert. Of course, it is fine to indulge now and then but there are healthier food options that make an equally delicious BBQ feast.
Some easy swaps can include a ground turkey burger for a ground beef burger, a lean poultry sausage for a beef sausage, skinless chicken breasts and chicken/fish-veggie kebabs for fatty cuts of steak or ribs. Pre-made coleslaw, macaroni salads and potato salads are often calorie-laden and high in sodium. Instead of these high calorie and high sodium salads, whip up some homemade salads. Below is a recipe for a re-styled potato salad that will make your taste buds dance!
Adding flavour to lean meats can be done without drenching them in oil or sauces high in sugar and sodium. Dry rubs work great on protein. Flavourful ingredients that make great dry rubs include chili powder, oregano, thyme, garlic, ginger, lemon zest, cumin, ground turmeric and cayenne. A homemade teriyaki sauce can include white wine, sugar, low sodium soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, lemon, and ginger root – easy and delicious!
Making your own marinades is best as this helps control the fat and sodium content. A basic blend of oil, lemon or lime juice and herbs is all you need as a base. If you would like an Asian flair, try some reduced-sodium soy sauce, grated ginger and garlic. For a South-Western flavour, use cumin, chilies, and cilantro. Honey with mustard is another simple, yet flavourful, option.
Healthier side dishes that pair nicely with grilled meat include roasted potatoes (yellow and sweet), quinoa and whole grain couscous salads. And don’t forget about veggies! Grilling your favourite veggies can be as easy as brushing them with just a little olive oil or threading them onto kebabs. Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, asparagus, onion and bell peppers all work wonderful! Did you ever try tomatoes on the grill? Placing your tomato skin side down and drizzling with olive oil, placing fresh basil on top and sprinkling with parmesan cheese is flavourful and looks beautiful on your plate.
A nutritious cookout must still include dessert. A healthy swap to your piece of pie or sundae is grilled fruit! Pineapple, peaches, nectarines, and plums work really well on the grill. You may even decide to drizzle chocolate on this grilled fruit because after all, all foods can fit!
Re-Styled Potato Salad
1/2 pound small red-skinned potatoes, quartered
1/2 pound (1/2-inch) cubed peeled sweet potato
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons buttermilk
1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon finely chopped shallots
1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1/2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup chopped celery
1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
2. Combine red and sweet potatoes with oil on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; toss to coat.
3. Bake at 425° for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
4. Combine buttermilk and next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a large bowl; mix well. Add potatoes and celery; toss well. Serve immediately.