Summer has now officially begun! Okay, for Southern California it began last week when we had that crazy heat wave. Regardless, with Memorial Day weekend rapidly approaching its time to break out your barbeques people! If you’re like me then you got invited to at least one BBQ/picnic/rocking party. Now I know what you’re thinking; a party means tons of deliciously unhealthy food. Well don’t worry; if you’re slightly dreading the temptation of all the delish food, then I’m here to help. I’ve got the best suggestions for some AMAZING, healthy and yummy foods you can serve or bring to your weekend BBQ!
Okay people; burgers are awesome and amazing, but burger buns? Really? I’m always totally and completely dissatisfied after eating a burger bun. It’s never as good as you want it to be! The same goes for beef burgers, so fatty and no thank you. Switch to turkey burgers over lettuce people! Trust me! Don’t buy the pre-made ones either. Buy ground turkey meat, such as Jenny-O’s low fat one, and season to your desire. Making turkey burgers for your party will win you lots of fans. My go to seasonings are of course Franks Red Hot sauce, garlic powder or fresh, dill, red pepper flakes, black pepper, and Trader Joe’s South African smoked spices. Don’t be shy with those seasonings! The grill will cook them off. Make your own individual patties and top with cheese, mustard, pickles and either bring mixed greens and make burger salads OR buy a head of romaine lettuce and lettuce wrap those bad boys! You won’t miss the bun, I promise. And now if you want to splurge on the delish chips and dips that someone else brought, you won’t feel guilty at all!
Not into burgers. Don’t worry, the best BBQs I’ve thrown or been to don’t have burgers at all. One of my favorite things to make are vegetable, fish, and chicken skewers. This definitely adds variety to your BBQ and has something for everyone! It’s also easy to pre-make ahead of time. Win win! I always do peppers, onions, mushrooms, and zucchini for my veggies. I marinate them in olive oil, with dill, garlic powder, and pepper. Add a little lemon juice and hot sauce if you’re so inclined. Season as much or as little as you want. I normally skewer the chicken on its own and then salmon or any fish you like on its own as well. If you want to mix and match go ahead. Be bold! I normally use the same olive oil mixture for all the veggies and meats and make sure you put these in Tupperware overnight. All you have to do is break these bad boys out when you’re ready and grill them up! You can serve it with hummus and pita bread and salad. It definitely will give your BBQ a fresh and different feel!
If I’m heading out to a BBQ and want to keep things simple and healthy, with little prep, then salads are my go to! One of my favorites is to bring a Mexican inspired taco salad! I always fajita my veggies first, but they’d be yummy raw as well. I chop up peppers, onions, and mushrooms; then sauté them with taco seasoning, garlic, and hot sauce. While the veggies cook, I chop a head of lettuce and put it in a large bowl, adding three chopped tomatoes and chopped olives. Add the fajita veggies on top and sprinkle on some cheese if you’d like. I throw in an avocado or guacamole, personally. You can also add ground turkey meat or veggie crumbles to make this a full on meal. Black beans or vegetarian refried beans also tie the dish together, but they go directly on top of the lettuce before adding your other ingredients. Beans first, then layer on the rest of your fixings. This is such a delish and easy salad to make. It’s filling and adds a wonderful flare to your BBQ!
No need to settle for junk at your BBQ, bring or serve something amazing and healthy. Trust me, you’ll make a lot of other people happy too! These are just three simple ideas, a few healthy delish meal tricks to keep up your sleeve, but your options are endless. Let’s face it! Memorial Day is just the beginning of summer parties, so don’t eat completely unhealthy at your backyard BBQ. Spice things up with a healthy option. Who really wants to eat boring hamburgers and hot dogs? Not me! Have fun and enjoy your BBQ!