(Reposted from last summer with some updates.)
It’s almost summertime, which means the grilling season is here! BBQ’s, picnics, potlucks galore. There are simple ways you can avoid packing on the pounds during this fun season. For example, skip the cheeseburger and make a turkey burger or a veggie burger. Here are a few other tips:
1. Choose less fatty cuts of meat. If you are grilling chicken, take the skin off.
2. Try putting BBQ sauce on before you grill, not after. A lot of it will burn off but you’ll still have the flavor.
3. Go easy on the serving sizes.
4. But go NUTS on the veggies! Veggies are delicious when grilled. Try kebabs with sliced zucchini, carrots, peppers and onions. Check out this recipe at Food Network.
5. Watch the side dishes. I love grilling asparagus or zucchini as a side dish and I skip the potato salad or chips and dip.
6. If you must have dips, try hummus and carrots. Trader Joe’s has excellent hummus (I love the red pepper hummus).
7. Use a meat thermometer to make sure you are cooking the food correctly. Nothing ruins a good BBQ like food poisoning!
8. Try grilling fish instead of a steak or burger. Here are some tips for grilling Tuna.
9. Instead of cookies or cake for dessert, try grilling pineapple slices and eat them with frozen yogurt!
Don’t forget that condiments can really add up.
Ketchup is packed with sugar (no wonder I love it). 20 calories in 1 Tablespoon. How many tablespoons do you use for fries? I bet it’s not 1 serving!
Pickles are a great addition because they are tasty and very low in calories.
Sweet relish goes great on hot dogs and burgers. I use it sparingly as well.
BBQ sauce can add a whopping 50-100+ calories to your meal as well.
The conclusion is that adding a lot of condiments to your meal can add up fast. Doing some quick math, eating all of the above (several servings) can add 100-200 calories to your meal. While I’m not saying to cut them out, there are ways to season without gaining weight. Mustard, mustard, mustard! 😉
And don’t forget to exercise! Play basketball, badminton, frisbee, etc with friends before grilling.
QUESTION: How do you keep BBQ’s healthy? Do you have a favorite recipe to share?