It’s no secret. Aussies love a barbecue. Whether it’s Sunday afternoon in the park or Saturday night by the pool, getting together with friends and family outside over a meal is a winner… But it doesn’t only have to be about chops and sausages! Here are some BBQ tips to fill your plate with something delicious AND healthy!
Vegetables: not just for salads –
Why not add nutritious and delicious vegetables to your grill? Try grilling sliced eggplant and corncobs for a colourful side dish, or threading vibrant coloured vegetables like capsicum, zucchini, red onion and cherry tomatoes onto skewers. Brush with olive oil to make yummy vegetable kebabs. These look appealing and contain a generous helping of vitamins, minerals, dietary fibre and a myriad of healthy plant antioxidants.
Choose lean meats –
Always trim visible fat and remove skin from steaks and chicken, to reduce the amount of unhealthy saturated fats consumed. You can also experiment with seafood like prawns and salmon, which are high in protein, minerals like zinc and selenium and healthy omega-3 fats.
Experiment with different salads –
Try mixing roasted vegetables, spinach leaves and feta cheese with cooked quinoa or couscous, and add nuts and seeds for some healthy crunch. Rather than a creamy, kilojoule-dense dressing, use healthy ingredients like olive oil, argan oil, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, preserved lemon, wholegrain mustard and herbs and spices to add delicious flavour.
Give ‘nibblies’ a healthy makeover –
Instead of the usual ‘chips and dips’, try a platter of colourful vegetable sticks and wholegrain crackers, along with some homemade dips. Making a delicious tzatziki is a simple matter of one cup of Greek yoghurt with a chopped Lebanese cucumber, a clove of crushed garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Watch the alcohol –
High in kilojoules and easy to drink, a glass of wine has up to 400kj, so it’s important to watch how much you’re drinking. Only allow refills when your glass is empty, so you can keep count of how many you’ve had. Be sure to alternate your alcohol with sparkling or tap water; this has the added benefit of keeping you hydrated in the summer heat.
Exercise portion control –
Enjoy all your favourite foods in moderation. Aim to fill half of your plate with colourful vegetables and salad, and keep starchy foods like potatoes and bread to the size of your fist. Protein rich foods, such as meat or fish, should ideally be the size of the palm of your hand.
What are your favourite BBQ tips?? We’d love you to share in the comments!