5 Easy and Healthy BBQ Essentials

Hi all! How many times have you shown up at a BBQ and there’s not even a single veggie...except for maybe a pickle to throw on your burger? Most typical BBQ’s involve a ton of highly processed carbs and meats. If you’re trying to eat well or watch your weight, it is not happening here! Luckily there are lots of easy, BBQ friendly food items you can bring along and people will love you for it...and if not at least you’ll be good to go ;).

Here are my 5 favorite easy and healthy BBQ essentials:

1. Veggies for the grill - This is beyond easy! Pick up some asparagus, zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions at your local market (ideally organic). Slice veggies long ways and sprinkle on a little pepper and sea salt. Bring it along to wherever the grill may be. You can also get a little more fancy and put the sliced veggies on a stick. Voila! Veggie kababs!

2. Homemade Turkey or Lean Beef Burgers with lettuce buns: High quality meat is essential. Insure that you are getting the good stuff by purchasing it at a local market or from a butcher you trust...then prep the burgers yourself! It’s this easy:

Place ground meat in a large bowl. Sprinkle on sea salt, paprika, cayenne, garlic powder, and any other desired spices. Mix spices into the meat with your clean hands, and roll into balls. Place on a sheet of waxed paper or a plate, and press down on the balls to flatten them. Place patties in some tupperware or ziploc, and you’re good to go. After grilling, wrap with large bed of romaine lettuce. Even better, add a scoop of the guacamole salad (see below) on top of the burger before wrapping with lettuce. Yum!

3. Hummus with sliced veggies: Home-made hummus is a piece of cake! It’s cheaper than buying it, and you can make it in larger quantities. The key ingredients are chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice, water, and sea salt. Blend these ingredients to desired consistency and taste (note that the hummus comes out creamier if you soak the chickpeas overnight). Slice up some celery sticks, carrots, and cucumbers. These essentials will definitely be a hit.

4. Guacamole Salad: Who doesn’t love guacamole?! Especially when it’s homemade. Try adding a healthier twist on it by adding in shredded carrots and diced cucumber.

Start by mashing 4-6 ripe avocados with a fork or potato masher. Add in fresh minced garlic, sea salt, pepper, paprika, finely diced tomato, and lemon to taste. Then add shredded carrots and diced cucumber. It makes for a perfectly healthy dip!

5. Summer salad plus fish: Fish and salads are both great additions to a bbq (bring separately and add together once fish is grilled). Wild salmon and tuna fillets are easy to cook on the grill with just a little salt, pepper,and lemon. Then place fish on or aside one of these two perfectly easy and delicious Summer Salads. They will go great with your grilled fish or burgers.

Strawberry Spinach Salad with macadamia nuts:

In a large bowl combine: Organic spinach leaves, sliced strawberries, thinly sliced red onion, chopped unsalted macadamia nuts (almonds or walnuts work as well), crumbled feta cheese (optional)

Dressing:

Balsamic vinegar, raspberry vinegar, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper (Whisk together slowly in small amounts to create desired taste...watch the honey though ;))

Coconut Pear Salad with Arugula

In a large bowl combine: Organic arugula, sliced pear, diced cucumber, unsweetened flaked coconut, and sunflower seed

Dressing: 

Water, sunflower oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, small amount of honey to taste

Enjoy!