What better way to celebrate the spring bank holiday than with National BBQ Week (30 May – 5th June)! For many, a BBQ is a great way to get together with friends and family to enjoy some tasty treats, but for the rest of us who are trying to live a healthier lifestyle – greasy burgers and sausages don’t quite fit into our plan. Fortunately there are plenty of healthy ideas for delicious BBQ food that everyone can enjoy so that you can still enjoy a bit of al fresco dining in the sun.
1. Chicken skewers with peppers, mushrooms, courgette and tomato
Chicken skewers are a healthy alternative to burgers and sausages, and can feature whatever you like. Chicken or turkey are popular choices, or for those of you looking to push the boat out, you could even try king prawns, as well as adding whatever vegetables you fancy. Marinade the meat and veg first and add some spices to give your skewers some added flavour before cooking thoroughly on the grill.
Skewers also make a great indoor dish too and can easily be cooked in your oven.
2. Turkey burgers
Many typical beef burgers and pork sausages are high in fat, which isn’t ideal if you’re trying to lose weight! Turkey burgers are becoming more readily available, making it easier to enjoy lean, protein packed BBQ food. If your local supermarket doesn’t stock turkey burgers, you can make them easily at home with turkey mince, plenty of seasoning and an egg to hold the mince together. Experiment with different flavouring and toppings to keep things interesting.
3. Sweet potato salad & jacket potatoes
A jacket potato is a classic BBQ food, often covered in butter and cheese. For a healthier alternative on this traditional treat, swap your white potato for sweet potato. You can add whatever toppings you fancy, and low fat cheeses like feta make a great alternative to harder cheese. If you’re more of a potato sald fan, try opting for a sweet potato salad recipe instead, like this one.
4. Swap your meat for mushrooms and halloumi
BBQs can be tough on vegetarians, but there are plenty of great things you can try to diversify your barbeque dishes. A large Portobello mushroom seasoned with some garlic, breadcrumbs and herbs and topped with some grilled halloumi is a satisfying burger alternative which proves that BBQ food doesn’t have to be meaty to be tasty.
5. Grilled vegetable and feta salad
A BBQ salad doesn’t have to be a boring bowl of leaves, cucumber and tomato – take the opportunity to get creative with your salads! Season and grill some vegetables such as peppers, courgette, sweet potato, artichokes and onions and add to either cous cous, rice or quinoa with some rocket, kale and spinach for a fresh take on a summer BBQ salad. Sprinkle some feta cheese throughout and you’ll have a great salad which will be great for packed lunches the next day too.
6. Invest in healthier sauces
Despite our best attempts to cook a healthier BBQ, the second we drench our food in ketchup, BBQ sauce and mayo, we’re adding unnecessary calories to the dish. Try swapping to some healthier sauces and dressings, or make your own for some great flavours. Adding herbs and spices to your dishes before you cook them or marinading the meat beforehand can boost the flavour, making you less likely to reach for the sauces.
We all deserve a treat now and then and the warm weather offers a great opportunity to indulge in some tasty food. Keep your healthy eating habits on track this spring bank holiday weekend by making better choices with your BBQ food so that you can enjoy yourself guilt free!