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Better-For-You BBQ Favorites

Posted on Saturday, May 26th, 2012 at 9:00 am under Eat Well.

Banh mi hot dog from Eating Well

Memorial Day weekend has long been the “kick-off” of summer BBQ and picnic season.  While this food-filled time of year is notorious for being delicious, the offerings are not always healthy.  And when they are, they’re not necessarily the crowd’s favorite item on the picnic table.

This year, give your guests the best of both worlds with these healthy yet satisfying versions of classic BBQ food. Odds are no one will know this stuff is healthier — it’s that good!


1. Banh mi hot dog.  Classic grilling item meets exotic Vietnamese sandwich.  Yum!  Use an organic, grass-fed beef hot dog to make it even better.

2.  Lemon & Herb Potato Salad.  The creamy, crunchy combo that you’re looking for, without the post-meal heavy feeling.

3.  Beef-less Burgers.  Whether you choose a Quinoa Black Bean Burger, Crab Burger with Red Pepper Dressing, or an Open-Faced Falafel Burger, your crowd will love these mouth-watering burger alternatives.

4.  Island (Spiked) Limeade.  An outdoor summertime meal is not complete without a fruity cocktail, but these can tack hundreds of calories.  Not these lightened summertime cocktails.  Blueberry margarita anyone?

5.  Tuscan Baked Beans with Fresh Tomatoes.  Baked beans aren’t the worst thing on the summertime BBQ menu, but they’re usually loaded with sugar.  This recipe gives you that soupy bean satisfaction along with summer’s best tomatoes.  Mmmm.

6.  Mojito Peach Salsa.  Potato chips with dip: move aside.  In comes fresh stone fruit salsa!  Serve with the usual tortilla chips, or spoon over grilled fish or chicken for a colorful entree.

7.  Sliced melon.  Hardly a new idea, but it doesn’t get better than fresh, sweet, juicy watermelon, cantaloupe, and honeydew.  These fruits are only in season for a few months, so enjoy while you can.

The Big Question: 
Any other favorite healthy summer treats you can’t live without?