So, I’m going to be totally cliché here and say, “Where the heck has August gone!?”
I mean, for real. This weekend is Labor Day and I swear I was just celebrating Memorial Day and the 4th of July. I just can’t wrap my head around it!
That being said, while I’m sad that the summer is coming to a close, I am looking forward to another weekend that I get to spend with my family and friends doing what we do best when we get together…having a party! I’m sure there are many of you out there with the same plans for the weekend that will include grilling out, swimming, playing fun yard games, and closing the night out with a bonfire! Outdoor BBQ’s are always a good time and the perfect reason to gather your favorite people together!
My outdoor parties always include the basics: hot dogs, hamburgers, baked beans, cold salads, finger-food appetizers, and kid-friendly and adult-only beverages. And, even though I love these basic essentials, I am always looking at ways that I can put a healthy spin on my favorites and, today, I want to share some of those tips with you! Most of them are super easy and just require a little thought and planning when it comes to ingredients!
- Substitute ground turkey or chicken for your burgers.
- Grill chicken breasts along with your burgers for a second option.
- Ditch the canned baked beans and make your own. A lot of canned options can contain extra sodium and preservatives that we don’t need and many recipes can be thrown in a slow cooker to make your life easy!
- Try using grains in your cold salads instead of pasta or potatoes. I like to use quinoa, couscous, and bulgur, and, if I want to use a pasta, I always make sure it is whole-grain. Also, use vinegar/olive oil-based dressings or yogurt instead of ones that use mayonnaise or sour cream.
- Make salads that consist of vegetables or fruit like a three-bean salad, a watermelon with feta and mint salad, or a shaved beet and carrot salad. Pinterest is my best friend when looking up new ideas!
- Add more to the grill than your meat! Throw some chopped up veggies in a grilling basket or grill some corn on the cob. Cooking vegetables in foil packets is, also, quick, easy, and mess-free!
- For beverages, try serving light spritzer-type drinks with a carbonated water and clear liquor if you’re serving for adults. Also, a fruit sangria is always a great option, as well! Oh, and, as always, have a lot of water on hand!
Finally, for my last tip, I will share one of my new favorite things…
I, recently, found these dips at my local grocery store and couldn’t wait to try them! They are made with Greek yogurt, real vegetables, and only natural ingredients. With only 25 caloriies per serving, they contain 80% less fat and 65% fewer calories than the leading hummus. They come in four flavors that include Roasted Red Pepper, Three Pepper Salsa, Chili Lime, and Smoked Onion and Parmesan. So far, the Chili Lime is my favorite but they are all super yummy!
I have served these dips at a few summer get-togethers and they are always a hit with my guests! I like to serve them with plenty of raw vegetables, whole-wheat crackers, or pita chips. Setting these dips out with some healthy dipper choices is a great way to get your healthy BBQ started! I highly recommend adding these to your next summer BBQ…which, I hope is this upcoming weekend so you don’t have to wait long to give them a try!
Here’s to Happy and Healthy BBQ’ing, friends!!
Share a healthy BBQ/party tip!
What is your favorite BBQ/picnic food?