Guilt Free Twists to BBQ Favorites


For some, Labor Day may be the last chance to enjoy grilling outdoors with family and friends. But let’s face it, some of our favorite grilled foods can get heavy. So, instead of nixing what could be the final outdoor reunion of the year in efforts to preserve your waistline, we thought we’d take some of the staples and offer not-so-guilty versions you can slap on the grill without the bulge!

Meat is typically the center of attention at any barbecue, but to keep things light and healthy, opt for switching your typical beef burger with portobello mushroom burgers. Typically, small sized beef patties (3 ounces) can run over 400 calories and 16 grams of fat, not to mention the cheese, condiments, and bread that will accompany the patties. A portobello burger, on the other hand, is typically under 300 calories-condiments, cheese, and bread included. Pair the patties with heirloom tomatoes, goat cheese, and multigrain buns for a delicious twist on the classic burger-you’ll still get all the flavor, without all the fat!

Remember, what you put onto your patties is just as important as what the patties are made of! Instead of sugar heavy and fat heavy sauces, check out these alternatives to achieve bold flavor, without sacrificing your physique:

   •   Worcestershire sauce: 2 tablespoons contain 30 calories
   •   Chili sauce: 2 tablespoons contain 40 calories
   •   Tomato paste: 2 tablespoons contain 30 calories
   •   Molasses: 2 tablespoons contain 120 calories
   •   Reduced-sodium soy sauce: 2 tablespoons contain 20 calories

Now that the entrée is set, here are some mouthwatering side dishes that are sure to be a hit!

Grilled vegetables are always great at barbecues, especially corn, squash, and zucchini. Simply season the vegetables with salt and pepper then place on the grill. Red, white, and sweet onions along with bell peppers, eggplant, and mushrooms are also delicious grilled.

We all know how yummy deviled eggs can be, but the amount of fat they can pack should be considered a sin! To take the devil out of traditional deviled eggs, remove the yolks and use only half of the yolks, adding cottage cheese and a touch of mayonnaise and mustard. Blend the mixture in the food processor and spoon about 2 teaspoons into each egg half, sprinkling with paprika and tarragon for a spicy kick. These eggs will come in at about 34 calories a pop–now that’s heavenly!


Finally, for the best part–dessert! Ice cream is always great any day, but typical ice creams tend to be jam packed with calories because of all the sugar and dairy. For a lighter option that will still satisfy your cravings, try Skinny Cow’s line of frozen treats! Whether you’re looking for fudge pops, or the staple cookies and cream, most Skinny Cow treats contain 80-110 calories. You’ll never have to feel guilty about eating dessert again! If you don’t mind nixing some of the creaminess of traditional ice cream, check out Arctic Freeze’s line of ice creams, weighing in at 150 calories for the entire pint–yes, the entire pint! Choose from flavors like mint chocolate chip, coffee, vanilla maple, peanut butter chocolate, and, my personal favorite, cookies and cream!

Happy Labor Day, and we hope you enjoy!

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