It’s National Barbecue Week, celebrating all that’s delicious and fun about eating in the great outdoors. However, it’s also a great excuse to try some new recipes rather than just resorting to the traditional barbecue staples of meat burgers and bangers!
With so many delicious and nutritious grills and sides to choose from, why not explore some barbeque alternatives?
Clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer offers five suggestions for changing things up on the barbie!
If you’ve never tried this, regardless of whether you’re vegetarian or not, then you’re missing an absolute treat. Halloumi cheese is even more delicious on the barbecue because the smoked flavour comes through. It’s easy to cook as it stays whole and can be put into a burger bun (if you can’t resist) or simply added to delicious salads.
As with all cheeses, halloumi is high in fat and also protein so you won’t need a huge portion to feel satisfied, but it will help you resist the urge to snack, which we all often do at barbecues. Additionally, halloumi is rich in calcium to help keep your bones and teeth strong.
Quinoa and bulgur wheat salad
This super-healthy salad is great as a barbecue side because it’s loaded with protein and delicious flavours. And for those who get bloated at barbeques with all the bread and rolls on offer, this provides some lighter carbs.
The quinoa and bulgur wheat can be cooked together and then added to some onion, sun-dried tomato, chives, parsley, and feta cheese. It tastes even better with some fresh mint, which is great for the digestive system and gives the salad a really summery feel.
Skewers are, of course, a barbecue favourite. Chicken is high in protein but lower in fat than red meat (especially the chicken breast), and the flavours really come alive on the barbecue. However, why not change up the flavouring so it’s not the same old recipe with a tasty marinade?
For my favourite marinade, mix some natural yoghurt, curry powder, lemon juice and freshly chopped coriander. Coriander, just like most herbs, is loaded with goodness. Specifically, it’s great for digestive health, helps fight infections and is good for the heart, plus it always partners very well with chicken. Coat the chicken skewers in the marinade and leave in the fridge for as long as you can before grilling.
You don’t need to be vegan to enjoy jackfruit; it’s the vegan answer to pork and pulled jackfruit has a remarkably similar texture. Equally it can be used in recipes in exactly the same way as pork and works really well in curries.
As with most fruits, jackfruit is a great source of immune-boosting vitamin C and heart-loving potassium, helping reduce blood pressure and manage cholesterol levels. It’s certainly a great food choice right now.
Simply marinade the jackfruit in some barbecue sauce with garlic and onion and then place on the barbecue. Serve in a bun with sliced avocado and tomato for a really tasty treat!
Green salads don’t need to be dull. The fresh flavours of green leaves work so well alongside spicy dishes – just don’t prepare it too early to avoid the inevitable wilted leaves.
This green salad is made with chopped celery – great for reducing blood pressure because it works as a natural diuretic. Try to use fresh, crisp lettuce rather than the pre-packed varieties and add some spring onions, cucumber, and avocado, plus your choice of dressing.
This green salad is a powerhouse of antioxidants, and avocado is especially rich in vitamin E, also great for the immune system. It’s worth remembering that even though we have a bit more freedom with the easing of some lockdown measures, it’s still just as important to keep your immune system supported to protect the body as much as possible.
So, enjoy these easy-to-prepare barbeque recipes and give yourself a health and taste boost at the same time!
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