There are few things more characteristic of summertime than a good ol’ barbecue. However, most BBQ staples – hamburgers, hot dogs, coleslaw, pasta salad – aren’t the healthiest options, and we all know it’s never fun to have to unbutton your white pants. We’re all about balance, at Spoon, so a BBQ binge every once in awhile won’t kill ya. But, if you’re looking for healthy alternatives for your next BBQ, check out the following ideas:
1. Veggie Burgers FTW
We all love a juicy hamburger, but why not avoid the red meat and indulge in a veggie burger every once in a while? This is a great BBQ entrée that lots of people will love. Check out these 5 homemade veggie burger recipes for inspiration.
2. Grilled Shrimp Skewers
As for an entrée, burgers aren’t the only option for using the grill. For example, these grilled shrimp skewers make for a delicious summer dinner option. They’re just as flavorful and as filling as a juicy burger.
3. Cole Slaw – Sans Mayo
While coleslaw has serious healthy potential – it’s veggie based – the mayo is what can make it a high-fat dish. Instead, save calories with this greek yogurt coleslaw that uses a greek yogurt dressing instead of mayo. Don’t be quick to judge. Greek yogurt is actually a common replacement in mayo-based recipes like in this tuna salad.
If you’re worried about the crowd not being down for a unique approach on coleslaw, then stick with this more conventional yet healthy take on the classic BBQ side dish.
4. Arugula and Watermelon and Feta, Oh My!
We’re all about consuming copious amounts of watermelon in the summer, especially at barbecues. This watermelon salad by the famous Ina Garten is the quintessential summer salad recipe. It’s light, refreshing, and just the right amount of sweet, thanks to the watermelon. Or, if you’re much more of a kale person, check out this alternative.
5. Pimp My Potato Salad
Again, like coleslaw, traditional potato salad tends to be doused in mayo making it a fat-filled dish of simple carbohydrates. Translation: not very healthy. Swap it for this savory, light potato salad and you won’t feel guilty having seconds or even thirds.
6. Corn – Off the Cob and Just as Good
Much like watermelon, we can’t get enough corn in the summertime. But saturating this healthy summer vegetable in butter kind of defeats the purpose. Get your corn fix from this healthy corn and farro salad that’s super easy to prepare. Plus, eating corn that’s covered in olive oil just feels so much better than when it’s covered in butter.
7. Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches are S’cute
Healthy because they’re miniature, right? We think so at least. These mini ice cream sandwiches are almost too adorable to eat! To make them as healthy as possible while also still qualifying as dessert, use low-fat frozen yogurt in the middle.
8. Creamy Mango Sorbet
Again, what’s the point of a summer BBQ if you don’t serve something cool and sweet for dessert? This homemade mango sorbet is a great substitute for ice cream and is naturally sweetened so it’s not chock full of sugar like most store bought brands. Now that’s a win.