Summer is finally here! I love the l-o-n-g-e-r days, afternoons spent at Zuma Beach and of course, Dodger games. But what I’m most excited about this summer is the fact that I bought a new grill and I’ve challenged myself to one lean cookout a week that doesn’t send taste and flavor up in smoke!
It appears I’m not alone. New research shows that nearly 90 percent of Americans say they plan to enjoy grilled food in their own backyard this summer. A few weeks into this challenge, I’ve realized it’s quite easy to cook healthfully on the barbie. The intense heat brings out the flavor of food, requiring little added fat or sodium.
While most people opt for cheeseburgers, brats, pasta salads and potato chips, I’ve made some simple, yet significant calorie-saving swaps to help keep my calorie intake in-check and my body bikini-ready for the beach.
Here’s a some of my “Bikini” BBQ basics:
Leaner Protein: Choose 94% fat free hamburger or ground sirloin. Or, I go for ground turkey breast, veggie burgers or seafood.
Veggies: Portobello mushrooms, corn-on-the cob, veggie kabobs (peppers, summer squash and zucchini) and asparagus
Sides: Green salad with low fat dressing, multigrain tortilla chips with guacomole and sweet potato fries (spiced with paprika, cumin and cayenne pepper).
Dessert: Strawberry shortcake with low fat whip cream or a glass of wine
To Build a Better Burger: My best burgers start with lean ground beef, a slice of Sargento low-fat swiss cheese, tomato, pickle, onion and avocado on a whole grain bun. Can you say YUM?!