The early days of summer give you plenty of reasons to celebrate. A Memorial Day barbeque is the perfect way to kick-off a few months of fun in the sun. However, there’s no reason to abandon your plan for a healthy beach body. With a few minor adjustments, your barbeque can be delicious and healthy, too.
Try something other than the usual ribs and burgers.
Grilled fish, chicken and turkey burgers work just as well and taste good too. Try wild salmon grilled on a cedar plank, or marinate some Mahi Mahi in a citrus dressing for a tasty fish taco. Mix up your favorite burger recipe using ground turkey instead of beef and you will have great taste with less saturated fat.
Follow safe-grilling guidelines. No matter what type of meat you choose to grill, following safety guidelines can help reduce the amount of dangerous chemicals produced in the grilling process. These chemicals, called HCA’s or heterocyclic amines, can be harmful to your health.
Select leaner meats.
Leaner cuts of meat are less likely to drip fat on the grill and produce smoke that contains chemicals.
- Marinate meats before grilling. Researchers have determined that marinating meat prior to grilling, even for just a few minutes, can reduce HCA formation by 90% or more.
- Grill at lower temperatures. Lower temperature “roasting” reduces HCA formation.
- Prevent flare-ups. Flames from the grill cause the formation of HCAs. Turn meats frequently to minimize the chance of flare-ups.
- Don’t overcook meats
Go for the grilled vegetables Healthy, tasty and so easy to prepare, it’s hard to believe they are packed with fiber and nutrients, and are low in calories. There’s no reason NOT to make this a barbeque staple! Try a mix of onions, colorful peppers and corn on the cob, or make kabobs with mushrooms, tomatoes, summer squash and pineapple. There’s something everyone will like.
Vinegar-based coleslaw (no mayo) and some vegetarian baked beans can round out your table and provide some familiar fare for those less adventuresome eaters.
Finish off your meal with fresh, seasonal berries. Serve with sorbet and your guests will leave satisfied, impressed and thankful for the healthful change of pace.