With the temperature heating up, some of you may be starting to get excited about the recipes that you’re going to create in the summer months ahead.
The great news about summer is that you’ll have plenty of selection when it comes to fresh produce offerings, so it’s quite easy to lighten up your diet and shed any excess weight that you’ve packed on during the colder winter months.
And, you don’t have to sacrifice on taste to do it. This doesn’t mean you still don’t have to watch what you’re eating as there is plenty of summer fare that ranks in very high on the fat and calorie scale, but with so many healthy options to choose from, it tends to be much easier to make wiser decisions.
To get you started on your quest for healthier summer cooking, here are three delicious low-fat summer cookout recipes that are easy to prepare and high on taste. These work well with just about any diet plan provided you keep your portion sizes under control so you still maintain your target calorie intake.
Prepare these any time you need a change of pace or are just feeling a little more creative.
Think pizza can’t be healthy? Think again! This is a completely unique cookout recipe to try and takes you away from the standard grilled chicken or steak dishes that you’re likely so used to.
Grilled pizza is great because you’ll quickly get all four food groups in, ensuring that you have a healthy mix of nutrients to fuel your body while you burn fat.
The pita bread used as the crust also helps to reduce the total calorie and carb count as well.
1 large whole wheat pita, not separated
¼ cup low-sodium tomato sauce (or salsa for something really unique)
2 cups finely diced vegetables
1 grilled chicken breast
10 pre-cooked shrimps
½ cup low-fat Mozzarella cheese, shredded
Begin by smearing the tomato sauce over the whole wheat pita until fully covered. Next, top with diced vegetables until evenly spread out. While doing this, grill one chicken breast on the grill and then slice into bite sized pieces. Place over the crust.
To that, top with pre-cooked shrimp and then sprinkle on the shredded cheese. Sprinkle with oregano and then place on the grill for 5-6 minutes or until cheese is melted and crust is slightly crispy.
If you’re struggling to get enough vegetables on your fat loss diet plan, the following recipe will make things far easier. Some people often overlook cooking vegetables right on the grill, and instead, simply choose to serve up vegetables raw on the side.
As great as raw veggies and dip can be however, sometimes you definitely need a change. The following recipe will provide not only a high dose of dietary fiber and antioxidants to your diet plan, but the sweet potatoes will provide some complex carbohydrates, and the olive oil will help you get your healthy fat intake up higher.
Pair this together with a good source of protein also prepared on the grill and you’ll be all set.
2 large carrots, cut into large strips
1 cup diced portabella mushrooms
3 red peppers, cut into large strips
2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into long wedges
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tbsp. Italian salad dressing
½ tbsp. basil
1 tsp. minced garlic
Begin by washing and slicing the vegetables as indicated. Next, combine the oil, salad dressing, basil, and garlic in a large sealable bag. Add the vegetables, seal, shake and then let sit for 2-3 hours to marinade.
Once finished, place the vegetables on the grill with the tongs and cook for 2-3 minutes per side. Remove when slightly crispy and serve with your main dish.
Apples On The Grill
If you’re seeking dessert for a special BBQ occasion, this one is sure to please. While you can grill a number of different fruits right on the barbeque, this one adds a slight twist to the mix by keeping the fruit whole and filling it with tasty ingredients that will burst in flavor when served.
You could also prepare a similar dessert technique using pears as well with a little sugar, shredded coconut, and dried cranberries.
Don’t be afraid to get creative – sometimes the best recipes come when you detour off the actual recipe plan.
3 medium apples, core removed
½ tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. sweetener
¼ cup raisins
1/8 cup slivered almonds
Core the apples to start. Next, combine the cinnamon, brown sugar and sweetener, raisins, as well as slivered almonds. Place into the cored apples. Wrap the apples in foil so they’re fully covered and then place on the grill. Cover and cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the apples are tender.
Let stand for 5 minutes or so before removing the toil and unwrapping them.
So consider any one of these three great tasting cookout recipes this summer. The nice thing about grilling is that the fat will drip right off the grill as the food cooks, so it works great for preparing meats on the grill.
Remember to always make sure that you practice good sanitation while barbecuing however as some people do tend to let their otherwise good habits slide. Especially when you’re out grilling raw chicken or fish fillets, you must be sure that you are staying safe at the same time.
Come up with at least one new grilling recipe to try this summer and by September, you’ll have created your very own BBQ cookbook.