July 3, 2013

A Better BBQ – Quick Tips and The Perfect Slaw

Summer. The Season of BBQ. Delicious, healthy and ready in a snap, BBQ can be one of your best bets. Where do we usually get tripped up? The sides. I’m not sure why it’s always that been that way.  Who decided heaps of oily mayonnaise would be the best way to go to beat the heat? Below I’ve got a few tips to help you lighten up your BBQ this summer and still enjoy to the fullest.

Choose lean proteins for your mains

Grilled chicken and fish are perfect on the grill. BBQ sauce is a delicious flavor element, just choose one that is low or no sugar added or make your own! If you are going out for BBQ, I recommend ordering it grilled plain and then asking for the BBQ sauce on the side. That way you can control the amount in your dish.

Hamburgers and hotdogs

The most popular BBQ foods. I suggest eat them “animal style” meaning between large lettuce leaves. You still get the feel of an awesome burger or hot dog but you won’t be eating the buns usually made of white flour and void of any nutrients. Once you’ve made your “animal style” choice, pile on any veggie fixin’s like tomatoes and onions.

Creamy coleslaw and potato dishes

I’ve got a cool trick to save calories in creamy coleslaws and potato dishes. Take those greens or if a mixed green salad is offered chop up the greens and mix them into the creamy sides. That way you’ll double the volume and get an extra serving of veggies in.

Healthy offerings

Heading to a BBQ restaurant? BBQ spots often have a ton of healthy side dish options – you just have to look for them. Grilled or steamed vegetables and whole grains like quinoa are popping up everywhere. You can even enjoy black-eyed peas, baked beans and sweet potatoes. If you want to have some corn go ahead and enjoy the sweet seasonal goodness, just remember you should think of it as a grain rather than a vegetable.

Apple pie

Eager to dive into that piece of apple pie? Go ahead! Just skip the crust. The crust is where most of the butter and flour linger. The filling will satisfy your sweet tooth just as much.

Have the opportunity to bring your own dish to the party? I recommend this Cabbage Caraway Salad below from {Healthy} Cooking Camp. Delicious, easy and perfectly portable this recipe has a little something special from the caraway seeds.


Caraway Cabbage Salad 

Servings: 4
Time: 10 minutes
  • 1/2 Cabbage (any kind), shredded
  • 1 apple, sliced in match-sticks OR 1 cup fresh figs, sliced
  • ¼ cup black sesame seeds or sliced almonds (optional)
  • 2 Tablespoons yellow raisins of dried cranberries

Sweet + Spicy Cider Dressing

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • salt & pepper, to taste


Thinly slice the cabbage and apples/figs.  Using a madolin will greatly help as it can be hard to get the cabbage paper thin (you can also buy prechopped cabbage.  We do that!).

*NOTE: The thinner it is the better it will taste and the easier it will be to eat.

In a separate bowl (or jar) combine the ingredients for the dressing.  Mix very well to combine.

Pour as much of the dressing as you like over the salad mix then toss thoroughly.  (save the rest of the dressing for future use on grains, greens or as a marinade) Garnish with nuts/seeds and dried fruit.

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