With Labor Day and the last days of summer right around the corner, BBQ-ing, grilling outside, enjoying the sun, taking a dive into a nice cool pool after a yummy meal (please wait an hour before doing this) is … coming to an end. Oh, don’t feel so depressed now! Personally, I am looking forward to fall. The cool breeze, color changes in the leaves, hoodies, hot coffee, pumpkin pie, Thanksgiving food .. well, now I’m getting too ahead of myself!
Now, before all of this occurs, we need to enjoy these days while they last! This is when BBQ’s kick into full effect. Now, you saw our post below, yes? About overeating, smaller portions, and making smarter choices at cookouts. Well, if you plan on throwing a BBQ or are attending one, I have got some delicious HEALTHY finger licking meals for you! Personally picked by yours truly.
Before we get into recipes to a few healthy eating BBQ meals, I just want to share with you a couple of my favorite foods. Macaroni salads, hot dog on a bun, red juicy meaty burger, with a nice cold beer to wash it all down. Who doesn’t absolutely just enjoy this? The good ol’ American way! But, that all comes with a price. Attending BBQs, cookouts, fairs, boardwalk grabs .. yes, folks, as we all know eventually it catches up with you. Now here is big question, “How can I eat deliciously and still feel satisfied?” Keep reading to find out how.
Happy Healthy Cookout
We all know the staple side dishes for any cookout are macaroni and potato salad. So to make it more figure friendly, try using low-fat mayo AND substitute half of the amount with low-fat sour cream. It’ll be half the fat, all the flavor. This tip was picked up from Eating Well’s website and I love it! SkinnyTaste.com posted a recipe for macaroni salad and while it calls for 7 tablespoons of light mayo, I’m going to change out half of that for light/fat free sour cream and see how it tastes. I can’t wait!
Some Like it Hot!
If the thought of something hot and spicy gets your taste buds going then this next recipe is for you! About.com posted a recipe to kick up your corn! This ingredient list includes cayenne, cumin, and so much more! Now while it does call for 1/4 cup of unsalted butter, keep in mind it is supposed to spread over at least 6 cobs. It also asks for a particular brand’s ranch salad dressing and if the thought of ranch dressing just made your heart skip a beat (not in the good way) then please, by all means, reach for the Fat Free or Light variety! Or hey, try bringing in that good ol’ sour cream!
Let Me See Ya Grill!
Woo! The flames are high and the charcoal (or wood, or both) are burning red! You can already feel the heat, can’t you? Well before you start tossing all the meat you can find on that grill, let me give you some alternatives that are sure to keep your guests happy. MyRecipes.com has two turkey burgers (yes, I said turkey) that will blow your mind. Well the first might actually calm your taste buds down after have that hot hot corn. In fact, this burger requires a pocket-pita which will cut down on your carb intake! See? We care about you. With some greek yogurt, tahini sauce (seasame seed paste), and much more you’re bound to enjoy this practically guilt free turkey burger pita with tahini sauce.
Now if you’re ready to ramp it up, you’ll love this Jamaican Jerk Turkey Burger with Papaya-Mango salsa. If you’re not the adventurous foodie then this burger is NOT for you. Jamaican jerk is a strong and hot seasoning, and while the papaya-mango salsa might cool down your mouth, both fruits pack a powerful punch. Each item in this recipe has a very strong taste but it all goes together so well. Just a tip: if you go for this recipe, please offer your guests some dairy to cool their mouths. Water will only spread the heat, and soda… just don’t.
Sugar! Awe, Honey Honey!
Dessert! Nothing completes a meal like a sweet! Now we’re not saying that it’s bad to indulge on apple pie, or ice cream but if you’d like to get that sweet satisfaction without loading up on the calories then this next recipe might be for you. Found on The Detoxinista’s site, this Easy Peach Crisp is an excellent way to end your meal. The recipe calls for quite a bit of pure maple syrup and some coconut oil, both of which (when consumed in moderation) are actually pretty healthy (in the grand scheme of things that is). Make sure that if you purchase maple syrup, it is PURE maple syrup. Why? Because PURE maple syrup contains really awesome things like ANTIOXIDENTS and minerals where as maple FLAVORED syrup has refined sugar. What does that mean? Well, PURE maple syrup has a glycemic index of about 54 where as table sugar has an index of 64. Coconut oil as a great substitute for butter and cooking oil. So, with this tidbit of knowledge you can enjoy your dessert without the guilt.
If You Like Piña Coladas!
Ok this isn’t actually about alcohol but I had to keep the song themed headings going. One of the owners and his kids recently gave us a recipe for all you nutribullet fans out there.
If that doesn’t do it for you then try this: take a bunch of your favorite summertime berries, and toss them in the freezer the night before your cookout. The next day, fill a pitcher with either cold water, or cold soda water (aka Seltzer) and throw in those berries! You’ll have a great drink that is refreshing and super healthy.
So there you have it folks! Enjoy your Labor Day weekend and be sure to get lots of activities in to burn off those cookout calories!
– Ingrid and Jay
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