Nothing epitomizes summer like friends and family gathered in the backyard, barbequing delicious Memorial Day recipes on the grill. But while you’ve been trying to eat non-fattening foods, sometimes these BBQ parties, with all the heavy meats and barbecue sauces, including staples such as ketchup, mayo, and ranch dressing—high in calories, sugar and additives—interfere with your diet’s regimens. In an interview with Fox News Magazine, Tanya Zuckerbrot, a registered dietitian and author of The F-Factor Diet said, “Barbecue sauce, like ketchup, gets its sweet kick from sugar — and a lot of it. A mere two tablespoons of barbecue sauce has 100 calories, more than 10 grams of sugar and 22 grams of carbohydrates — enough to turn a diet-friendly piece of grilled steak into a candy coated calorie bomb.”
Can’t fathom your turkey burger without ketchup? According to Zuckerbrot there are healthier ways to add tomato flavor to your food, like fresh slices of real tomato, tomato vinaigrette, spicy salsa or a dash of hot tomato sauce. Not only are these low-calorie options packed with plenty of bold taste, studies have shown that eating spicy foods boosts you metabolism. Other light and tasty barbeque alternatives are low sodium soy sauce, creamy avocados, yellow mustard, ricotta cheese, olive oil, and horseradish. Now that you have healthier condiment ideas, here are 10 healthy eating recipes for your next barbecue that are filled with tons of flavor, but not the calories.
1. Rosemary Shrimp Skewers with Arugula-White Bean Salad
This protein packed, no carb and scrumptious seafood meal is easy to prepare and simply picturesque on the plate. Just pop those extra-large shrimps on skewers after you’ve marinated them in olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and rosemary.
2. Barbecue Pork Back Ribs
The key to these ribs is asking the butcher to cut the rack in half and lengthwise for smaller portions. Then be sure to trim the fat off the ribs and add a low-cal spicy flavor with chili powder, limes, cumin, and mustard. Baby will come back for more.
3. Barbecue Roasted Salmon
This is a no-brainer when it comes to healthy Memorial Day recipes. Grill up some omega 3s in your life, but not with all the unnecessary added calories. In this smart and spicy recipe, pineapple juice and brown sugar add the sweetness, while chili powder and cumin provide the traditional smoky flavor.
4. Spiedini of Chicken and Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde
Spiedini means little skewers in Italian. And this juicy chicken on a stick dish doesn’t need too much seasoning; just a dab salt, pepper, and a high flame. The almond flavored green salsa has a blend of tangy, herbal, and nutty flavors that are perfect for chicken and for your figure, too.
5. Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Balsamic
Call us “stuck in the 90s” but we think Portabello mushroom are great for Memorial Day recipes. These beefy shrooms are not only known to fill you up fast, but can actually give you the sensation of eating meat. When grilled up and flavored with garlic, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, kosher salt and olive oil, you’ll want to stick them between a bun with lettuce and tomatoes.
6. Pork Tenderloin with Maple-Chipotle Sauce
If you want to feed your family lean types of pork, opt for tenderloin, since it’s less fatty than say, that other famous white meat. For the finger lickin’ good sauce though, you’ll need maple syrup, sherry vinegar, chipotle chile hot sauce and kosher salt.
7. California Turkey Burgers
Turkey is far less caloric and fat-filled than beef. And with the right seasoning, bread, and toppings, knowing that this juicy burger is healthier, makes it even more gratifying. Season the ground turkey with paprika, garlic, cumin first, and top with avocado and tomatillo salsa.
8. Grilled Corn with Chipotle-Lime Butter
This mouth-watering low calorie, low-sodium, and low-carbohydrate vegetarian barbeque option has a heavenly balance of sweet and spicy flavors, and a drizzle of limejuice provides tang with a bang! We also like the butter.
9. Chicken Sausage with Charred Peppers and Onions
Chicken sausages are even healthier than their pork counterparts, with fewer calories and less fat per serving. Look for the Italian-flavored sausages, which are extra tasty and then slice up some colorful bell peppers and onions for a perfect barbecue feast.
10. Grilled Bread Salad with Tomatoes and Goat Cheese
Another vegetarian dish that’s easy on the waistline is this rustic dish from Italy. What do Europeans do when their bread gets stale? They grill it up with olive oil, basil, fennel, and add tomatoes and globs of goat cheese and that’s dinner. Then they pour the wine.
Photos 5 & 6 courtesy of Food Network.com