I imagine myself in a backyard with coolers of beer and pitchers of margaritas. I’m tempted by burgers, hotdogs, chips, and potato salad. Of course, sometimes, there are no healthy options and I’m forced to indulge in the lesser of the evils (woe is me! Cheeseburgers!!!). But just because summers are bound to have BBQ’s with these basic staples, doesn’t mean you have to be one of the basic b*tches! If you’re hosting the party, it’s up to you to up your game and make the meals both healthy and delicious.
This week’s experiment is to host a barbecue. This ain’t your mother’s BBQ… because you are going to offer more vegetables than the celery that comes with the chicken wings. No. This is your show, and being the host or hostess with the mostest, you are going to floor your guests and broaden their horizons with your tasty backyard selection.
Expanding the definition of barbecue is not about forcing veganism on your friends. It’s about experimenting and undermining the cultural norm that “Sunday barbecue” is synonymous with “cheat day”.
Navigating your twenties for your body is not always easy. You won’t always have total control over your food choices, but hosting a healthy barbecue is a good way to set the standard for your friends. I’ve included a list of mouth-watering grilled salads, low-cal summer cocktails, and fresh side dishes to add to your grilling repertoire.
- Bangin’ Grilled Salads
- Grilled Zucchini & Leeks with Walnuts and Herbs
- Grilled Chicken & Romaine Salad with Croutons and Dressing
- Grilled Salmon & Kale Salad with Avocado and Mango
- Grilled Mushrooms and Carrots with Sesame
- Grilled Corn & Nectarine Salad with Toasted Spice Vinaigrette
- Pineapple-Marinated Steak Tacos with Charred Tomato Avocado Salad
- Chopped Tandoori Chicken Salad
- Low-Cal Summer Cocktails
- Strawberry-Citrus Vodka Cocktail
- Spiked Pomegranate Lemonade
- Watermelon Limeade
- Skinnygirl Lemon Drop
- Skinnygirl Sunrise
- Jager Pom Pom
- Running in Rio
Light & Tasty Sides
- Squash Casserole
- Skinny Baked Broccoli Mac and Cheese (for extra skinny use Veggie noodles!)
- Super Healthy Coleslaw
- Quinoa Tabbouleh
- Grilled Caprese Style Portabellos
The Takeaway: Part of having a sustainable, happy life is creating an environment for yourself where you can have a blast with your friends and still meet the healthy standards you’ve set for your body. Neither skipping out on backyard barbecues or entirely abandoning your healthy food lifestyle is going to do that. Instead, experiment with hosting a healthy barbecue and set the tone for your sizzling summer.
Do you like grilled greens as much as I do? Do you have any light summer recipes to share? Have you tried this experiment yet?
Share in the comments! Happy grilling!