With warmer temperatures approaching, it is getting closer to barbeque season. We love to hear all about the great celebrations our patients are having with friends and family, but gathering for a grill-out can sometimes be full of pitfalls and traps. It can be a challenge to remain healthy when the foods on the grill are hot dogs, sausages, or burgers; and foods on the table are pasta salads, potato salads, chips, or desserts. Rather than decline an offer to a potentially unhealthy social gathering, plan ahead. If you plan ahead, you can still participate, have fun, and keep a healthy plate.
If you don’t feel comfortable asking the host to modify the menu or explaining that you had bariatric surgery, then ask, “What can I bring?” People bring chips and soda to a barbeque, so why not bring chicken and a green bean salad? There are endless options for bringing healthy additions to a barbeque.
If you are the one hosting the barbeque, you’d be surprised by how many people would love a healthy twist on an old-fashioned backyard barbeque. You might consider serving:
Chicken Kabobs – Cut up vegetables like peppers, onions, mushrooms. Add bite-sized pieces of chicken, and put them on a skewer to grill.
Lean Burgers – People tend to shy away from lean burgers because they are dry, but adding minced mushrooms can add moisture and flavor to your burger. Serve them in between two pieces of lettuce.
Turkey Dogs – Try serving these wrapped in lettuce leaves with Dijon mustard.
Black Bean Burgers – You can purchase pre-packaged black bean burgers (read the labels carefully) or make them at home. Check out this recipe for Mini Spicy Black Bean Burgers.
Marinated Chicken or Turkey – Grill portions about the size of the palm of your hand and marinate them in a sugar free, low fat marinade or salad dressing. You can always experiment with making your own marinades and dressings from scratch!