Summer BBQ Food Cheat List

What does a nutritionist eat at a BBQ?

Summer BBQs don’t have to be based on processed and additive full sausages on white guaranteed-to-make-you-bloat-bread. Get out of the hot kitchen and take your taste buds with you with these Summer BBQ delicious dishes that won’t leave you full of regret

Vinaigrette Slaw

Simply switching up the mayo-based dressing in coleslaw can turn an otherwise fat-laden side dish into a superfood salad. Cabbage, a member of the cruciferous vegetable family, helps protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer. Using a vinegar based dressing helps boost satiety (a feeling of fullness) and suppress body fat accumulation. Team shredded cabbage with a dressing of apple cider vinegar, freshly squeezed orange, grated ginger root and minced garlic to liven up the party


Grilled Corn

A rich source of fibre, grilled corn is a summer favourite of mine. Rub a teaspoon of olive oil on it and wrap it in aluminium foil. No need to slather it with butter, the sweet summer taste will when you over and with other beneficial nutrients like folate, thiamine and vitamin A, grilled corn is a regular at my BBQs.


Whole grain Pasta Salad with Veggies

How you make a pasta salad can make or break it. A mayonnaise based pasta salad with refined white pasta is loaded with fat, useless carbohydrates, and sodium but sparse on vegetable power and fibre. Turn that around with a wholegrain pasta base, try spelt, add a generous amount of Mediterranean vegetables such as zucchini, artichoke, tomato and fresh spinach and finish it off with a lemon vinaigrette and you have a pasta salad with style and benefit.


Lean Meat Protein

BBQs don’t have to be about processed, sodium and saturated fat rich snags.  Lean cuts of lamb, beef, chicken, kangaroo and turkey provide protein, iron, zinc and B12 without blowing your calorie budget up. Choose lean cuts and season with garlic and rosemary, Cajun spices, cumin or lemon and cracked pepper. Slice it up and add to a salad or serve on skewers. Got a vegetarian in your group? BBQ tofu or tempeh and Mediterranean vegetable skewers


Seasonal  Salads

Summertime bursts with plenty of seasonal produce –so make use of it! Start with a mixed green salad and add some pizzazz. Think hazelnuts with figs, roasted vegetables with a tahini dressing, beetroot and fetta. Try a Vietnamese inspired salad of cucumber, bean sprouts, mint, cabbage, and carrot or take a page from the Greek with olives, tomatoes, capsicum, plenty of spinach and a drizzle of olive oil. Salads should be rich in flavour with healthy fats and antioxidants – a wholegrain mustard dressing or dried Italian herbs in olive oil and apple cider vinegar.


Potato Salad with a Lighter Dressing

Potato salad is quintessential BBQ food. Swap white potatoes for their healthier sweet potato relative which is high in vitamin C and beta-carotene – a strong antioxidant. Add colour with chopped red onion, fresh parsley or mint leaves, cherry tomatoes, capsicum or grated carrot and finish it off with few spoonfuls of Greek yoghurt, pesto, chives and a lemon juice.


Grilled Vegetables

So often I hear “how can I get more serves of vegetables every day?” It’s simple, replace nutrient lacking carbohydrates like bread with good old fashioned vegetables. Baste freshly sliced vegetables with a brush of lemon juice, garlic, herbs and olive oil and grill them until they are golden brown. Only grill them minimally – just until they are tender – as the nutrients are heat sensitive.


Bunless Burgers

Not just a new foodie trend, nutritionists have been enjoying their bunless burgers for years. Lean burgers in between lettuce pieces allows you to enjoy the BBQ favourite without wasting calories on refined white bread. Serve with slices of tomato and whole seeded mustard. Bonus points if you make the burger patties yourself


Raw fruits and vegetables

Summer is all about enjoying the harvest of Spring, so be sure to include plates of freshly cut up produce. Strips of carrots, zucchini, capsicum and cucumber will keep you and your guests cool and it isn’t a Summer BBQ without a juicy wedge of watermelon