How to Host a Killer Barbeque Bash
…and still look fabulous for bikini season!
-Erin McDowell, www.theapartmentkitchen.net
There are a number of ways to turn the incredible warm weather into healthy choices: take a walk or hike, swim laps or spend some time in the garden. But eating is not one of the things that usually makes this list – especially with swimsuit season fast approaching. But there’s no need to starve yourself, especially since spring and summer are the best time for fresh vegetables and herbs. There’s never been a better time to celebrate the warm weather while still keeping your waistline small. Not convinced? Here are a couple of ideas to get you started:
Break out the grill. Now’s the time, because nothing is quicker, easier or more social than grilling out. Go ahead, throw a party – your friends and family will love it, and the clean up is a snap! Best of all, it’s easy to toss on all sorts of vegetables. Think corn, asparagus, onions and potatoes. Then grill some chicken breasts and you have a great, healthy meal that will make for even better salad the next day!
Switch to leaner meats. Try new cuts and preparations of chicken or turkey – including ground versions of both. Replace your normal beef burger with ground turkey for a lighter way to get your barbeque fix. Try this recipe for a Spicy Turkey Burger. Also, don’t be afraid to try new meats – products like bison are becoming increasingly available in stores across the country. It tastes very much like beef, but is much leaner.
Chose filling side dishes. Believe it or not, there are foods out there that are both filling and healthy. Beans are one great way to get your protein while keeping fat and calorie content down. Several varieties of canned beans make for a deliciously simple salad. Or try edamamme – soy beans in the pod. You can buy them in the freezer section of your grocery store and pop them in boiling water at home for just a few minutes. Then drain them and season them with Kosher salt. It’s an incredibly satisfying snack that’s also perfectly healthy!
Continue to incorporate whole grains. Switch to whole wheat and whole grain products so that you don’t have to go totally carb-free. Whole wheat bread, hamburger buns and hot dog buns can be found in the bakery section of your grocery store. Or if it’s not a sandwich sort of meal, make side salads from products like wild rice or whole grain pasta.
Don’t forget the healthy fats. Yes, there is such thing! If you want to keep your meal low fat, it’s easier than you think. Sure, you may be reluctant to forget the cheese on your burger, but try avocado – it’s rich and creamy but full of good fats and cholesterols. Also try spreads like pesto or hummus that use olive oil. It’s a healthier alternative to butter or mayonnaise that’s packed with flavor.
Keep the flavors fresh. Fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs are the easiest way to a healthy dish. Incorporate them wherever possible: salads, side dishes, even cocktails! You’ll feel extra-good about your meal with a Mojito made from fresh lime juice and mint in your hand!