Healthy BBQ recipes and tips – How to stick to your diet!
Thinking of having a family barbecue but fear it will put your diet in jeopardy? Well it needn’t, providing you follow a few sensible rules.
Why not aim for style and sophistication rather than the high-fat calorific fare served up at the traditional British and American barbecues?
Make yours a gourmet grill to remember rather than a mammoth meat-feast.
Rules for a healthy barbecue
If burgers must be on the menu, avoid the high fat calorific variety and opt for the healthier alternatives of turkey burgers and veggie-burgers. (If buying ready-made burgers compare the labels for nutritional information and particularly fat content.)
Avoid the buttered white buns that traditionally accompany the burger or hot dog and choose the healthier whole wheat variety which is lower in calories and fat.
As an alternative to chicken drumsticks, in blackened barbecued skin, use skinless chicken breasts with a sumptuous sauce (perhaps mango salsa) or barbecued turkey cutlets, which are low in fat and calories.
Give chips/fries a miss and offer a range of delicious salads. Avoid the high calorie creamy dips and side salads and make your own, replacing the mayonnaise in potato salad and coleslaw with natural yoghurt. Make side salads interesting by including colourful fresh fruit and peppers.
Grill the vegetables as well as the meat: this method of cooking preserves vital nutrients which would be lost if boiled or steamed. Remember that fruits can also be barbecued – try kiwi, banana and strawberry kebabs for an amazing – and healthy – dessert.
Tasty BBQ salsa recipe
A nice salsa can transform the ordinary to the amazing, yet is tasty, healthy and low in calories. Use as a topping for grilled chicken, turkey breast, or any other lean meat. You can add avocado, green chilli, red, green and yellow peppers, or pretty well anything you like to change the appearance and flavour of this basic salsa.
1 mango (around 350g)
2 tablespoons (28ml) orange juice
1 tablespoon (14ml) lime juice
Half a small onion, finely chopped
6 drops chilli sauce
A pinch of black pepper
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and use as tasty topping for grilled chicken or turkey breast. Grilled chicken, topped by salsa, will contain around 240 calories and 5g of fat per serving.
The chances are that if you are hosting a barbecue, the weather will be warm and sunny, hence guests will welcome fruit juices which are refreshing, healthy and low in calories.
You’ll find countless recipes for low-calorie non-alcoholic cocktails online, but do you really want to spend all that time creating amazing individual drinks?
If you want to radiate chic and style, serve iced water with lemon or lime along with the food and offer green tea or coffee served in vintage china cups and saucers (buy the crockery in charity shops or at car boot sales; afterwards, if you’re feeling crafty, you can fill them with wax and wicks and give them to friends as elegant Christmas candles.)
If you follow the rules, consider the suggestions, and supplement these with some of your own ideas your barbecue will be elegant, stylish, healthy and above all, guilt-free!