Tuesday, June 29, 2010



By Laura Discepola, RNCP/ROHP

Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner
T: 647.408.7142 F: 647.430.3459 e: lauradnutrition@rogers.com

With the hot weather in full effect what better time than to learn some healthy BBQ techniques to stay on track and maintain your healthy weight this summer?

Grilling is easy, healthy and oh so delicious! However, be rest assured that is not limited to hot dogs, half pound burgers, juicy and fatty steak, beer canned chicken or sticky sweet and sour ribs. Although the aforementioned sound mouth-wateringly delicious, overconsumption of these higher fat BBQ staples may wreck havoc on your health goals and your waist line.

Did you know you can grill vegetables, fish, breads, pizza and even fruit? Yes, that’s right and with your BBQ heated and ready for some flavour, here are some great ideas for you to try in a healthier way:

1. Try replacing hot dogs for homemade kofta (ground meat skewers) and if you’d like, place them in a multigrain bun. Try my Ground Lamb Kofta recipe:

3.5 oz. extra lean ground lamb (ask your butcher for extra lean)
1/2 tsp each, ground cumin, ginger, garlic
A pinch of cinnamon
1 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
¼ tsp sumac (optional)
2 tbsp finely chopped onion


Mix together and form 2 meatballs. Place each meatball on a long wooden skewer and spread along the length of the skewer to make a sausage-shape. Grill until cooked and serve over a tossed green salad or your vegetables of choice.

2. Instead of store bought pre-packaged burgers with 25 + grams of fat each, try making homemade beef burgers with extra lean ground beef. Keep it moist by adding egg whites and extra herbs and spices. Try combining extra lean ground beef and lamb (1/4 lamb, 3/4 beef), fresh rosemary, thyme and garlic to make a mouth-watering burger and better yet, top it off with some low fat goat cheese and grilled onions.

3. If you love condiments, stick to natural ketchup, assorted mustards, relish, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles. Avoid mayonnaises, high-fat cheeses, and rich creamy sauces. If you want to spread some spice try using a fat-free yogurt or sour cream and add some fresh garlic, herbs, spices and hot peppers, your taste buds will thank you for it!

4. For extra flavour, try marinating or adding a dry rub to your chicken breasts, shrimp or lean beef. There are many different flavours and seasonings to try from: lemon-garlic shrimp, jerk chicken, soy-lime ginger beef, etc…

5. Choose lean cuts of meat. For beef, go with beef tenderloin, striploin or sirloin and don’t forget to remove all visible fat. For chicken, go with the breast (feel free to BBQ with the skin on but then take it off and discard before consumption).

6. Grill your veggies! Try bell peppers (red, green yellow and orange), eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, red onions, asparagus and cherry tomatoes to name a few. You can even grill small potatoes and sweet potatoes but before you do, it would be best to pre-cook them slightly. Before hitting the grill, be sure to toss the lightly in some extra-virgin olive oil or use a basting brush so they don’t stock to the grill.

7. For dessert, try grilling pineapple, mango, peach halves, nectarines and even bananas and drizzle your fruit with some fresh orange or lime juice and fresh chopped mint.

8. Quench your thirst with some low-sodium soda water as your base and add some of the following and get creative: add a slash of pineapple juice, add fresh berries and lemon juice, cucumber and even melon. You won’t believe how refreshing these drinks can be! If you fancy wine, think moderation and make a wine spritzer using half wine, half soda water and ice!

9. Don’t forget to serve these BBQ delicacies with some fresh, crisp summer side salads. Try tossing assorted leafy greens (mesclun, Boston Bibb, spinach, arugula, Romaine, etc) and add d toss in a citrus vinaigrette. Make a creamy coleslaw using fat free plain yogurt and your favourite herbs. Try a fresh tomato and basil salad with aged balsamic vinegar, or change things up a little and make a sweet potato salad with fresh chives, rice wine vinegar and add a hint of honey for sweetness!

With a little creativity and a BBQ heated and ready to be used, you can enjoy your summer, outdoors with your friends and keep your healthy eating on track with the above mentioned guideline, tips and tricks! Bon App├ętit and happy Barbeque season.

By Laura Discepola, RNCP/ROHP
Registered Nutritional Consulting Practitioner
T: 647.408.7142
F: 647.430.3459
e: lauradnutrition@rogers.com

Join me this August 27th-29th at the Fit Firm and Fab Weekend Getaway for Women,

No comments:

Post a Comment