It’s grilling season, but are you in a recipe rut? It happens to the best of us. We get busy or we get tired of our signature dishes, and then when a BBQ is around the corner, we despair. What to bring? What to serve?
The trouble is, when you’re short on inspiration, it seems so much easier to turn to pre-packaged foods. Why slave over veggie prep when you can pick up a tub of potato salad and burger patties?
Summer is all about easy, right? Well, here are summer BBQ tips that are both healthy and simple. You won’t find lengthy lists of ingredients here, because let’s face it: you need to be spending more time on the back deck, and less time in the grocery store.
These are not so much “recipes” as guidelines or tips for making your BBQ fare extra delicious, without extra work. We hope they spark your inspiration!
Chimichurri Veggie Grill
Chimichurri is an Argentinian condiment made from garlic, parsley, vinegar, oil and spices. It’s one of the few condiments that you can buy pre-prepared without guilt, and yet with great taste. Chimichurri is available in most grocery stores, without preservatives or other baddies. It has big flavour, and feels a little exotic.
Chimichurri enhances the flavour of almost anything savory you can imagine grilling. Try eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tofu or another protein.
Simply marinate whatever you’re grilling in this magic sauce. Then, when your veggies, meat or fish are done on the BBQ, top with a little more sauce.
Chimichurri makes easy look and taste gourmet.
Trying to cut back on meat? We all should. Portobellos have a nice meaty texture, and mushrooms are so healthy. Dr. Joel Fuhrman recommends mushrooms as one of the most important plant foods you should consume regularly.
To make portobellos delicious, soak them in balsamic vinegar, a bit of avocado oil (it has a high smoke point, so is good for the BBQ), and any other flavours you like: garlic, maple syrup, dried herbs. Marinate for up to a day in the fridge, then toss on the BBQ.
These are amazing in a crunchy, whole grain bun with arugula and sundried tomato spread.
Grilled Avocado with Salsa
Have you tried avocado on the BBQ? We’re guessing not, because it’s one of those little-known tricks with a well-loved veg (well, fruit, technically).
Slice an avocado in half, take out the pit, and gently grill it until warm. Then top with a good quality salsa, filling the indentation left by the pit. If you’re feeling fancy, add some chopped cilantro.
You can serve this with whole-grain crisps, flatbread or tortilla chips.
Quinoa Lettuce Wraps
If you have a rice cooker and you love quinoa, you’ve no doubt discovered this time-saver. Throw your quinoa in the rice cooker and add an organic, MSG-free bouillon cube for flavour. You can also use a healthy, low-sodium broth in place of water in the quinoa, or throw in some chopped garlic.
When the quinoa has finished cooking, add nuts or seeds, cooked beans, lentils, or chopped herbs. You can even stir in a bit of chimichurri for a bold taste.
Then, use iceberg lettuce leaves as ‘wraps’. Simply scoop the quinoa pilaf into lettuce leaves and eat as you would a rice wrap or tortilla.
It’s a super healthy, high protein main, and gluten-free!
This is the perfect summer dessert. BBQing sliced, ripe pineapple brings out the sweetness. No added sugar, no guilt, and yet no fuss.
Simply slice and grill until warm.
If you’ve ever been disappointed with an overripe watermelon, don’t toss it out! Scoop the flesh into freezer bags or containers and save for making sorbet.
About an hour before serving, remove watermelon from freezer. Toss slightly softened, but still frozen watermelon into a food processor. Blend until smooth. You can add a bit of mint to make this extra fancy.
Kids and adults alike can enjoy this pure fruit refreshment as an alternative to sugary sorbet.
That’s it for now! Let us know if you have any super-simple, super-healthy BBQ solutions. We’d love to hear from you.
In the meantime, enjoy every minute of patio season!