Whether you’re planning a family reunion, a block party, or if you’re just planning a nice, outdoor meal for your family, there’s nothing that feels more like warm weather than a good barbecue. The biggest problem with barbecue? Well, it’s the thing that makes it all taste so good – it’s not the healthiest thing in the world. Especially if you cook out a lot during warm weather, you might want to look toward some healthy options that don’t sacrifice flavor or take forever to make.
Pineapple Bun Burgers
In this unusual recipe from Delish.com, substitute carb-heavy buns with delicious, tangy pineapple slices. Of course, you might want a couple of extra plates to catch the mess from this inevitably messy burger, but it’s worth all the effort.
Charred Cabbage with Goat Cheese
If you’re looking for a vegetarian barbecue option that doesn’t sacrifice flavor, try this recipe from Bon Appetit, featuring goat cheese, charred cabbage, Persian cucumbers and more. That char, which you absolutely need in a barbecue, is not out of place in a predominantly green meal. In fact, you can grill most fruits or vegetables at a barbecue to add a little extra kick.
Greek Burgers might not bring to mind this recipe from EatingWell.com, which are a fun take on Mediterranean food, melded with that traditional US barbecue food, the hamburger. Mediterranean food integrates veggies in a way we don’t usually find in American barbecue food, and the dips are to die for, so giving this burger in a pita a shot is sure to surprise plenty of guests.
Here’s a recipe from Sweet Peas and Saffron that makes a sometimes-dreaded vegetable – broccoli – the centerpiece of a dish by packing it all with other flavors that are bound to make even the most vehement broccoli hater take notice. Simply adding some lemon juice, parmesan cheese and olive oil rounds out the flavor so that the grilled broccoli’s perfect texture allows these flavors to play on the tongue in a way that a simple veggie and dip plate won’t satisfy.
Black Bean Salad
This recipe makes salad seem like the fun option – especially if you decide to call it a “bowl” instead of a salad – that should get the salad-phobic back on your side. Combining bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, lime juice and zest with the black beans makes for a full-flavored side to go as much with the meatiest of meats as much as it does with your other dishes. They also suggest adding feta, avocado or crumbled tortilla chips if you want to add texture and fat.
Barbecue doesn’t have to be unhealthy, and healthy food doesn’t have to taste bad. You don’t even need to play a balancing act, where you sacrifice a little taste for some healthy options. If you pick your ingredients right and cook them properly, you can have a great cookout with healthy, good-tasting results that will keep everyone feeling as good as when they arrived.