Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Myth: It’s impossible to eat healthy at a BBQ.

Answer: BUSTED!

As you start planning your Memorial Day barbecue menu, you can make some small changes for good health for you and your friends and family. In addition to the tips below, remember to keep portions small. Drink water to keep you cool and refreshed. And include some physical activity as part of your barbecue plans.

Grilling shishkabobs with chicken and vegetables
  • Is corn on the cob the only vegetable you tend to grill? Consider these other veggies, which also taste great grilled: sweet onions (really any kind of onion will do), whole mushrooms or portobello mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers and zucchini. Cut these veggies into pieces that are the same size. Brush them with a little olive oil or canola oil or spray them with vegetable cooking spray and season them with herbs and spices that you enjoy before putting them on the grill.

  • Use healthier versions of recipe ingredients. Does your recipe call for cheese? Buy lower fat cheeses. Are you using soy sauce in your BBQ sauce? Pick up the low sodium version. Looking for buns? Get the whole wheat option.

  • Choose low fat and low calorie condiments with high flavor. Instead of ketchup or mayo, use mustard or salsa for a big flavor boost with less calories, sugar and fat.

Try this recipe for Vegetarian Barbecue Quesadillas – something different and unexpected yet delicious!

Contributor: Ellen Schuster, M.S., R.D., Associate State Specialist, University of Missouri Extension,, 573-882-1933

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