Healthy Summer BBQ Menu

Originally published on ModernMom.com

It’s about that time of year again – the time when we open our barbecue grills to family and friends. Set yourself up with paper and pen because you’re about to start the planning process. Read through this, fully imagine the scene, and then procure everything you’ll need for your own healthy BBQ.

Your ideal BBQ will feature whole grains, fruits, veggies, and beans for carbs, lean proteins like fish, chicken and > 90% lean cuts of meat, and healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).

Veggies

As predicted, cauliflower is one of the hottest vegetables of 2013. Impress your friends by grilling fresh cauliflower and ears of corn. Instead of Cuban corn, you are serving up “C2” – Cuban cauliflower and corn with yummy queso. Whole Foods now carries queso… just in case you need to find it. I bet no one else will be so clever at the grill! And oh, don’t forget that Brussels sprouts are still trendy, so why not make Brussels sprout slaw or grilled Brussels sprouts on skewers?

On the Grill

Next, buy some shrimp and 90% lean grass-fed beef. Grill the shrimp on skewers brushed with lime and tequila. Serve them in a big bowl next to freshly made salsa. If you don’t want to make your own salsa, your farmers’ market or local Mexican restaurant probably has some ready for purchase.

Make mini beef sliders topped with avocado slices and fresh grapefruit flesh. Your taste buds will dance! I promise! And your guests’ bellies will be full from the lean protein and healthy fats like the omega 3 fatty acids in the shrimp and the monounsaturated fats from the avocado.

Dessert

And finally, for the après BBQ snack, bring out frozen and refreshing mini key lime pies sprinkled with wheat germ. Make one for each guest and serve them with fresh blackberries or raspberries. Your guests will be feeling a spring in their steps… and you’ll sleep well knowing you helped their hearts.

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See below for recipes…

 

Sprouts on a Skewer

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 6 metal skewers (10”)

 

Directions

Prepare grill to medium heat. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, olive oil, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Remove and allow the sprouts to cool before handling.

Add 5 or 6 Brussels sprouts to each skewer. Place on grill with cover on for about 6 minutes. Rotate and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sprouts have a nice char. Remove them from the skewers and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.

 

Cuban Cauliflower and Corn

Ingredients (Serves 6-8)

  • 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed and cut into large florets
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp ground pepper
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp chili powder
  • 6 ears of corn, husk on but silk removed
  • 1 cup queso fresco
  • Heavy duty aluminum foil

 

Directions

Prepare grill to medium heat. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower florets, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Place the cauliflower mixture on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold up the edges to create a sealed pouch. Place foil pouch over grill for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.

In another large bowl, soak the ears of corn for 15 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry. Place the corn on the grill and cover for about 20 minutes, rotating the corn 2 to 3 times. When cooked through, remove the corn and allow it to cool. Remove kernels from the cobs. When cauliflower is ready, toss the corn kernels and cauliflower together. Serve warm or cool with a side of queso.

 

Beef Sliders

Ingredients (serves 12)

  • 1 lb ground beef, 90% lean, grass fed
  • ½ cup yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing the grill
  • 3 tsp garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 12 mini size whole-wheat rolls
  • Optional toppings: lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, sliced tomatoes, pickles

Directions

In a large bowl, gently combine the beef, onion, mustard, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Form twelve 2” patties (about the size of a golf ball or 3 tbsp each).

Prepare an outdoor grill on medium to high heat. Place burgers on hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked through; learn more about food safety here.

If you like, toast rolls on the grill for a minute. Otherwise, serve the burgers on rolls with 2 tbsp avocado and 1 tbsp grapefruit! Get the younger ones involved by letting them dish out the avocado and grapefruit.

 

For more recipes, please go to ModernMom.com

Give thanks for a healthier Thanksgiving:

Are you counting down yet? In less than 22 days you will either be making or eating some yummy stuffing. Start planning now. Here are 3 recipes to make your Thanksgiving heart healthy. There is a recipe to meet everyone’s food preference –    the meat lover, the vegetarian and  of course the vegan. Use low fat, low salt broth in the following recipes to make them even healthier.

 

Low Fat Bread and Sausage Stuffing

Ingredients:

4 ounces chicken or turkey sausage, casings removed

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped celery

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 tablespoon fresh sage, finely chopped

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pound day-old artisan bread cubes

1 14 1/2–ounce can fat free, low sodium chicken broth

1 egg, lightly beaten, or 2 egg whites

 

Directions: Spray a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray. Cook sausage meat until browned, breaking it into chunks with a spatula. Remove from pan and set aside. Add 1 teaspoon canola oil to skillet. Add onion, celery and mushrooms, and sauté until tender. In a large bowl, combine bread cubes with cooked sausage, vegetable mixture, herbs and pepper. Whisk together broth and egg, and pour over stuffing mixture. Toss well to coat. Spoon stuffing into 13-inch x 9-inch baking dish and bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, or until browned.

Serves 12

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 134 Calories; 2.7g Fat; 0.6g Sat Fat; 21.8g Carbohydrates; 6.5g Protein; 1.6g Fiber; 23mg Cholesterol; 341mg Sodium

http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/holidayrecipes/r/breadstuff1104.htm

 

 

Vegetarian Thanksgiving Stuffing

Ingredients:

8 slices whole wheat bread

1 1/2 cups vegetable broth

1 1/2 cup chopped onion

1 1/2 cup chopped celery

¼ cup granny smith apples (finely chopped with skin on)

1/3 cup fat-free liquid egg substitute

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 tablespoon fresh sage

2 tablespoons light butter

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Directions: Start by drying out your bread. You can either do this by toasting in the oven, or by leaving the bread sit out at room temperature overnight. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a medium pot, combine chicken broth, onions, celery, apples, butter, salt, pepper, rosemary, thyme and sage. Cook for about 15 minutes over medium heat. Meanwhile, break up your bread into small ½” pieces by chopping or just breaking apart with your hands. Put bread into a large oven safe dish. When broth mixture is ready, slowly pour onto bread, making sure to cover all the pieces. Next, mix in the egg substitute and make sure to cover all pieces. If bread cubes do not seem wet enough (they should be moist, but not saturated), add a tablespoon or two of warm water until appropriate texture is reached. Season with more salt and pepper if desired. Cover dish with foil and transfer to over. Cook for about 25 minutes. Then, take out stuffing, mix it around and fluff it a bit and put back in the oven, uncovered for about another 15 minutes.

Serves 4
Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 229 Calories; 5.1g Fat; 2.4g Sat Fat; 32.5g Carbohydrates; 13.8g Protein; 5.7g Fiber; 8mg Cholesterol; 637mg Sodium

http://www.laaloosh.com/2009/11/20/low-calorie-thanksgiving-stuffing-recipe/#ixzz1csvpvywI

 

 

 

Brown-Rice and Cranberry Stuffing

Ingredients:

2 tablespoon olive oil

3 medium carrots cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 medium fennel bulbs, cored and cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 stalk celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 medium onion, chopped

3 cup long-grain brown rice

1 can (14 1/2 ounces) chicken broth

4 cup dried cranberries

1 3/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

 

Directions: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. In 12-inch skillet, heat oil over medium heat until hot. Add carrots, fennel, celery, and onion, and cook 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender and lightly browned, stirring frequently. Stir in rice, chicken broth, cranberries, salt, thyme, pepper, and 4 1/4 cups water. Cover and heat to boiling. Pour rice mixture into 13- by 9-inch glass baking dish; cover with foil and bake 1 hour 15 minutes or until liquid evaporates and rice is tender

Serves 6

 

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 135 Calories; 2g Fat; 0g Sat Fat; 28g Carbohydrates; 3g Protein; 2g Fiber; 0mg Cholesterol; 265mg Sodium

http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/recipefinder/brown-rice-and-cranberry-stuffing-2947

Need a new and healthy chicken recipe?

Chicken Marsala: THE MODERATE MAMA WAY

Ingredients:

1/8 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 cup whole wheat flour

4-6 thin organic, thin, chicken cutlets

1 tbspn olive oil

1/2 cup dry Marsala wine or Cabernet Sauvignon Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup low fat, no added salt chicken broth

1/2 lemon, juice

2 cups sliced mushrooms (can use different varieties)

MAKING THE MAGIC:

1. In a Ziploc bag, shake the pepper, salt and whole wheat flour together. Then add the chicken cutlets and shake until they are evenly coated.

2. Heat the olive in a non stick sauté pan (I love Caphlon). Brown the chicken cutlets on both sides. Remove from pan and set aside.

3. Add wine, lemon juice, and chicken broth to the sauté pan. Stir until heated and then add the mushrooms. Simmer about eight minutes.

4. Add the browned chicken back to the skillet and simmer in the sauce for the next 5- 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Idea: serve over steamed spinach with quinoa for a side.

 

Move over TV dinners and say hi to this microwave meal.

It’s the end of August and we are all scrambling to get everything ready for the new school year. Sometimes meals become second priority. If you are lacking time and want something tasty, try Kashi’s Pesto Pasta Primavera. Add one half cup of beans (rec. no added salt) to this microwave meal and you have a balanced vegetarian lunch option with 18 grams of vegetarian protein and 14 grams of fiber.