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Planning A Healthy Summer Barbecue

Planning A Healthy Summer Barbecue

Enjoying summer soirees can have a negative impact on your waistline if you indulge in too many high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. However, you can make a few simple tweaks to create light, satisfying, nourishing dishes. 

Better Protein

Swap out red meat, which is high in saturated fat, with leaner sources of protein, such as chicken and fish. To ensure that leaner options are juicy and flavorful, marinate them in something acidic, such as lemon juice or apple cider vinegar. 

Va-Va Vegetables

To maximize the nutritional content of your grilled vegetables, boil them first. Carrots cooked in hot water before you slice them, have higher levels of carotenoids, according to a study in the Journal of Agricultural Food Chemistry. Similarly, when you cook asparagus in boiling water, you may double the levels of phenolic acid, which some studies have linked to lower cancer rates. 

When preparing for the grill, only precook for three to five minutes. To get the smoky flavor, cook vegetables over high heat briefly, then move to the cooler side of the grill to finish cooking. Dense vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, cook well in foil packets, too. Season, wrap in aluminum foil and steam for about 25 minutes. 

Just Desserts

Enjoy a sweet finish to each meal with seasonal summer fruits. Grilled peaches, pineapple and strawberries (use skewers) are delicious on their own or served over Greek yogurt. 

Argentinan Chimichurri Sauce

Makes 12 servings

This South American-inspired sauce is a delicious way to add flavor to your menu. 


  • 1 cup flat-leaf parsley (lightly packed and chopped without the stalks)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons green onion, minced
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse until well chopped but not pureed. Place in a glass container. 
  2. Spoon the sauce over grilled meat, poultry, seafood or vegetables. This sauce can also be used as a marinade.