Instead of just sticking with sausages in bread, liven up your summer barbecue with some yummy treats. Bridie Kersten* shares some of her favourites.
In true Aussie form, as soon as the weather warms up, out come the barbecues. We celebrate by the beach, the pool or in the backyard and, for many people, it is an easy dinner on a balmy summer evening. We salivate at the thought of chargrilled meats, served with creamy salads and fluffy white bread, but it’s great to have some lighter alternatives on the barbie as well.
Eating too much meat can make us feel bloated, and while a portion of meat holds a range of necessary vitamins or minerals, over-consumption can harm our digestive system and body. The solution? Mix it up! Know your portion sizes (red meat and chicken = the size of your palm; fish = the size of your smartphone), and substitute the rest with some alternatives.
A veggie burger
Veggie burgers can be bought at the supermarket, although these are usually full of not-so-great additives, so try making your own. Grate vegetables such as zucchini, carrot and sweet potato. Add cooked rice or quinoa; crush cooked beans such as kidney beans, herbs, spices and an egg. Mix together well, form into patties and cook on the hotplate part of your barbecue.
Cut vegetables such as capsicum, zucchini and carrot into thin rounds/squares. Skewer onto soaked wooden skewers. Adding pineapple gives them a yummy, tropical twist. Marinate or brush them with oil, herbs and a little salt. Reduced soy sauce makes them even better for you!
Keep it corny
Last but not least is the easiest idea yet: just grill some whole corn on the barbecue and serve with a light sprinkle of salt. It tastes smokey, sweet and delicious and goes with almost every meal. Just take care to remove the outer leaves and silk before grilling.
Now that you have smaller portions of meat and fish on the barbecue, and you have some vegetable-filled (yet still yummy) options, you need something to serve them with. Avoid the creamy pasta and coleslaw salads, and instead make a big fresh salad with as many different coloured vegetables as possible. Dress it simply with a little lemon juice and some good olive oil and a sprinkle of roasted seeds or nuts.
Try some of these healthy alternatives at your next barbecue, and you’ll do your stomach—and tastebuds— a world of good. Happy eating!
*Bridie Kersten is a registered nutritionist with an interest in holistic and alternative health who blogs at facebook.com/thenutritionistnanny.