Memorial Day marks open season on backyard barbeques, picnics and potlucks, and with it comes many opportunities to indulge in foods we normally wouldn’t eat (at least not every weekend!) – think hotdogs, potato salad, coleslaw, dips and chips. Whether you are hosting a BBQ, or attending one as a guest, it’s time to broaden your repertoire of summertime party staples. The Connecticut Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics has put together the following dietitian-approved barbeque fare for your next soiree.
CHIPS AND DIP
• Bake a batch of seasoned kale chips (or buy store-bought).
• In lieu of potato chips, bring a bag of lentil chips and serve with hummus or guacamole.
• Create a colorful crudité plate and serve with a greek-yogurt dip .
• Do-over deviled eggs by replacing the mayonnaise with Greek-yogurt or avocado.
• Quinoa stars in a salad – just toss with any combination of chopped vegetables, dried fruit (apricots or cranberries), nuts (pistachios, almonds, walnuts), a little crumbled cheese (such as reduced fat feta) and toss with a drizzle of olive oil.
• Showcase summer’s seasonal fruits in a colorful fruit salad with watermelon, berries, cut up peaches and plums. Toss in some fresh mint from the garden, and voila!
• Bring on the beans! Whip up some Cowboy Caviar and replace full-fat dressing with a reduced fat Italian dressing.
• There are many lean proteins that are perfect for the grill. Think lamb (leg, loin and rack), pork (tenderloin, loin chop), fish (salmon, halibut, scallops), or chicken.
• Go veggie! Bring your favorite frozen veggie burger brand to throw on the grill, or make veggie kabobs with tofu or tempeh .
• Pizza party! Start with whole wheat dough, grill both sides, top with sauce, fresh mozzarella and veggies and grill for another two-to-three minutes.
• Make a better-for-you version of traditional BBQ desserts, like these flourless black bean brownies.
• Try this twist on a lemon bar featuring peak of the season raspberries with this recipe from Eating Well.
• Grill up some fruit – pineapple, stone fruits like peaches or plums, mangoes – drizzle with raspberry sauce and serve with lowfat frozen yogurt.
• Fruit-infused water is a refreshing alternative to sweet tea and lemonade.
• Calories from alcohol can quickly add up on a hot summer day. Alternate with water in-between, or splash some soda water into white wine for a spritzer.
• Search for fun and festive mocktails and lower-calorie cocktail recipes like these from Prevention.
What’s your favorite go-to summer time dish? Post in the comments below!