We celebrate holidays and birthdays by firing up the grill and inviting friends and neighbours over – a fun, outdoor barbecue can feel synonymous with summertime. You may feel like you have to ditch your healthy eating when you commit to attending a barbecue, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are countless ways to eat healthily at a barbecue, and if you’re the host, you have a tremendous amount of healthy and delicious options to choose from while planning your menu.
Here are a few of my favourite healthy menu options for your summer barbecue.
Ingredients: 3 avocados, mashed; 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped; 1/2 onion, chopped; 1 tomato, diced; 2 tablespoons lime juice; jalapeños (optional). Mix all ingredients together and enjoy!
Watermelon On Pizza
Slice watermelon and cut into triangles, like a pizza. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, sprinkle feta cheese (optional), sprinkle almonds or walnut slices. Top with any other desired fruits such as pomegranate seeds, strawberries or blueberries
De-stem mushrooms. Drizzle mushrooms with olive oil and stuï¬ mushrooms with desired toppings. My suggestion: minced garlic, spinach, and onion. Cook mushrooms at 350 degrees for 20-45 minutes, until desired tenderness.
Place shrimp on skewers and drizzle with fresh lemon juice. Top with freshly cracked black pepper, fresh herbs of choice and grill until cooked through.
Drizzle olive oil over portobello caps and grill until cooked through. Use portobello caps as a burger bun. Place burger of choice (veggie, black bean, turkey, etc.) between portobello caps. Top with toppings of choice and enjoy!
Simple as that, but oh so delicious! Drizzle veggies of choice (I highly recommend zucchini, red pepper, and eggplant) with olive oil and fresh herbs. Grill to preferred tenderness.
Cucumber Dill Salad
Ingredients: 3 cucumbers, sliced; 1 white onion, sliced; 1/3 cup white or cider vinegar; 1 teaspoon minced garlic; 1 stalk green onion, sliced; 2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill. Toss all ingredients and chill before serving.
Chickpea Tomato Salad
Ingredients: 1 can garbanzo beans, drained; 1/2 red onion, sliced; 1 tablespoons garlic, minced; 1 cup cucumber, chopped; 1/2 cup parsley, chopped; 2 cups cherry tomatoes, cut in halves; 1/3 cup olive oil; 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar; freshly cracked black pepper. Toss all ingredients and chill.
Avocado Potato Salad
Ingredients: 2 pounds small red potatoes; 3 avocados, mashed; 1/2 cup onion, chopped; 1 tablespoon garlic, minced; freshly cracked black pepper Cook potatoes until tender. Cut potatoes and stir in remaining ingredients.
Chocolate Banana Nice-Cream
Ingredients: 2 bananas; 3 tablespoons cacao powder. Slice bananas and freeze for 30-45 minutes. Blend frozen bananas with cacao powder. Blend until smooth and top with any additional desired toppings.
Grilled Pineapple A La Mode
Slice pineapples and grill briefly until warmed. Top with your favourite dairy-free ice cream and sprinkle with honey.
There are always healthy versions of your favourite foods, if you can choose healthy over not-so-healthy, go for it.