Barbecue Redux

It’s barbecue season! When the sun is hot and the days are long, it’s the perfect time for a delicious meal cooked on the grill. But what if you’re trying to stay healthy? Don’t worry – here are some lighter alternatives to help satisfy your cravings.
  • Switch to seafood: You’ve heard of turkey burgers, but what about shrimp burgers? Burgers made with shrimp have fewer calories than beef (only about 400 per patty!). You can also add fish to your summer menu – roasting salmon with chili powder and cumin creates a smoky flavor, and you can add pineapple juice and brown sugar for sweetness.
  • Vegetables for variety: Try a new spin on an old favorite with Purple Potato Salad with Za’tar– with a tasty blend of Middle Eastern spices and a festive purple color, it’ll brighten up any picnic. Standards such as grilled asparagus, bell peppers and fried tomatoes can nicely round out your Fourth of July menu.
  • Kick off summer with kebabs: Not only are they fun to eat, but kebabs can be a healthier alternative to the typical burger. Alternate your meats with veggies for color. You’re also likely to eat less with the bite-sized portions of meat used.
  • Fire up the fruit: It might sound odd, but cooking fruit on the grill can add a delicious dimension to your meal. You can try a Grilled Watermelon Salad with Balsamic Dressing to start, or grill peaches with brown sugar for a unique dessert. Grilled pineapple can also add a sweet element to kebabs.
  • Vegetarian options: Grilled Portobello mushrooms, either on their own or stuffed with cheese and veggies, are a delicious meat alternative. And don’t rule out grilled cauliflower steaks.
Don’t worry – your Independence Day celebration can still be delicious with healthier foods. Try some new recipes and you might see fireworks!


What says summer more than watermelon? Try this recipe to include the treat in an unexpected way:
Prep time: 15 minutes
1½ lb seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch chunks (4 cups)
1 pint (2 cups) mixed baby tomatoes, preferably heirloom, halved
⅓ cup each slivered red onion and torn fresh basil leaves
4 cups baby kale, arugula or watercress
3 oz fresh goat cheese, crumbled (¾ cup)
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp white balsamic vinegar
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  1. In a large serving bowl, combine watermelon, tomatoes, onion and basil. Place greens and goat cheese on top of watermelon mixture, but do not toss. (If not serving immediately, salad can be covered and refrigerated up to 3 hours at this point.)
  2. In a 1-cup glass measuring cup, whisk oil, vinegar, salt and cayenne. Drizzle dressing over salad and toss gently to coat. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 (1-cup) servings. Each serving: 111 cal, 7 g fat, 4 g protein, 12 g carb. Adapted from Redbook.