1. The Low-Cal Burger
Swap out your burger bun for a portabello mushroom. Simply remove the “gills” from the mushroom, brush it lightly with canola oil, toss them on the grill to cook them down a bit and in about three minutes, remove them and use the mushrooms as your bun! Loaded with nutrition, yet light on calories.
2. Switch It Up
Instead of traditional hot dogs, high fat hamburgers and sausages, choose leaner cuts of beef, fish, poultry or game meats. Salmon, for example, is packed with protein and omega-3 essential fatty acids. And experiment with your condiments as well — rather than traditional BBQ sauce or mayo, try some salsa. It’s delicious, it’s fresh and it has even topped ketchup in some sales reports as America’s most popular condiment.
3. Better Meat
Use leaner cuts of beef when making a hamburger. A four ounce patty of 80/20 “chuck” will pack in around 280 calories and 18 grams of fat, whereas a 95/5 ground meat slashes almost 100 calories and cuts that fat down to about eight. Just be careful when cooking. Leaner cut cook more quickly. For added flavor, toss on some spices, like a pinch of chili powder, crack blacked pepper and a pinch of salt to add more flavor since a lot of the fat is gone.
4. Go Green
Slice a variety of veggies, like squash, bell peppers, onions and any others you like — toss them with some vinaigrette and throw them on the grill. Just a few minutes each side and you’ll have a side that will surely be a crowd pleaser!
5. Healthy Slaw
Coleslaw is a BBQ staple, but it’s usually loaded with fat and calories. Rather than adding mayo, swap it out and go for a fresher recipe. Here’s a simple recipe to try:
Shred about 4 cups of red and green cabbage (total)
Shred 1 cup carrots
Add 1-2 tsps of fresh ginger
2 TBS soy sauce
2 TBS sesame oil
2-3 TBS rice vinegar
Season with a pinch of salt and cracked black pepper and a dash of red pepper and voila! Sweet and spicy slaw without the heavy fat and calories.