My friend and I recently hosted a backyard barbecue and in keeping with my healthy lifestyle, decided to ditch the usual creamy salads and red meat, opting instead for lighter, healthier fare. Check out our healthy BBQ menu below:
Fruit: mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
Homemade salsa: Homemade salsa (get the fire roasted salsa recipe here) with tortilla chips
Mixed greens salad: lettuce, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, carrots with various dressings available on the side
Turkey: Turkey burgers, turkey hot dogs, and turkey sausages instead of beef or pork. We also used whole wheat buns alongside lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and offered mustard and ketchup as condiments
Shrimp: We bought two pounds of deveined shrimp, which we marinated in Italian salad dressing for an hour before grilling. They were delicious!
Veggie burgers: To accommodate any vegetarian barbecue guests, we grilled garden veggie burgers and vegetable masala patties
Spaghetti: Instead of mayo-heavy sides like potato salad and macaroni salad, we served spaghetti with vegetables and a fresh tomato sauce as a side dish
Vegetables: Cut up bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and squash and marinated the veggies in olive oil, salt, pepper and basil for grilling
Corn on the cob: We soaked the corn (husks on) and grilled them, turning with tongs until well-roasted. Then all we had to do was peel the husks off and cut the corn into smaller pieces for easy, tasty corn, sans butter.
Fruit: Sliced watermelon, mangos and pineapple
Chocolate covered strawberries: All we did was microwave chocolate chips and dip strawberries into the melted chocolate. Then we let them cool in the refrigerator and served chilled.
Ice cream: We bought sorbet and frozen yogurt instead of creamy, rich ice cream. Haagen-Dazs mango sorbet, which I love, is just 150 calories for half a cup!
With this healthy menu, I was able to enjoy the BBQ, spend time with my guests and maintain my eating habits.
In my next blog, I’ll discuss what choices to make when attending a summer barbecue, since you can’t control what other people may be serving!
Our 2012 Weight Loss Diary writer, Yasmin, is a 33-year-old web content producer who is looking to get healthy and love her body! Follow along on her year-long weight loss journey!