Healthy Tips to Enjoying a Summer Barbecue

Jun 9, 2015 / Nutrition

Grilling season has started! This means the beginning of lots of burgers, hot dogs and all the other tasty fixings that come along with a barbeque.   How are you going to stay on track?  Here are some simple tips to keep you satisfied but happy with your healthy choices.

  1. Plan ahead.  I am sure you have heard this before, but it truly is the key to success.  You may have an idea what types of foods will be at the barbeque.  If you do, then think about which foods you will and won’t stay away from.  Plan to include some of the foods that you consider a splurge, that way you won’t feel as though you are depriving yourself.
  2. Remember portions. Allow yourself to have some of the foods that you enjoy, but follow the MyPlate Method.  Save half of your plate for fruits and vegetables, one quarter of your plate for starch or starchy vegetables and one quarter of your plate for protein. Click here to see what MyPlate looks like.
  3. Offer to bring something.  Not only will your host likely be grateful for the help, but this allows you room to bring food that fits into your plan for eating.  Choose a healthy barbeque recipe that you really enjoy.  Look for a healthy alternative to what you know may be your downfall.  As a result, you may not be as tempted by the other foods.
  4. Food safety.  Make sure that you choose foods that have not been sitting out for a while and if you are not sure about them, don’t eat them. For more information on food safety click here.

Here is a recipe that will help keep you cool while helping you stay on track.  Gazpacho is a soup from Southern Spain that is made of raw vegetables and is usually tomato based.  It is served cold and is wonderful on hot summer days.

Gazpacho with Lime Chicken

Serves 4


1 large shallot, minced

Juice of 2 limes, plus wedges for serving

1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

1 1/4 pounds chicken cutlets

1/2 cup large-cut croutons

3 large tomatoes, diced

1 small cucumber, peeled, seeded and diced

1 bell pepper (any color), stemmed, seeded and diced

1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh cilantro


Preheat a grill to high. Soak the minced shallot in cold water, about 10 minutes. Meanwhile, mix 1 tablespoon lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste in a shallow dish; add the chicken and turn to coat. Grill the chicken until golden and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Let cool, then slice.

Crush half of the croutons; set aside. Soak the remaining croutons in 1/4 cup water, 5 minutes, then squeeze out the water and put in a blender. Drain the shallot and add to the blender along with half each of the diced tomatoes, cucumber and bell pepper. With the motor running, drizzle in the remaining 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add 2 cups ice and blend until smooth. Stir in half of the cilantro and the remaining lime juice; season with salt and pepper.

Divide the soup among bowls. Top with the chicken, the remaining tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper and cilantro and the crushed croutons. Drizzle with olive oil and serve with the lime wedges.

Per serving: Calories 383; Fat 23 g (Saturated 4 g); Cholesterol 78 mg; Sodium 105 mg; Carbohydrate 14 g; Fiber 3 g; Protein 31 g

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Magazine


© 2015 Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved.

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