Every year someone somewhere predicts we’re going to have a ‘BBQ summer’ and it gets everyone all excited that we are going to have the hottest summer on record.
In our house (being hardened Northerners!), we don’t need it to be sizzling hot outside to spark the BBQ up but of course it helps. We absolutely love a BBQ in the garden and it definitely marks the start of summer for us. Prior to my weight loss, I wouldn’t have given much thought as to what food we cooked. Now I try to make sure a BBQ doesn’t blow all of my Weight Watchers points for the day because if we make it healthy, it means we can have them way more often and I’m not fretting over what the scales say. Of course it also might mean some points spare for a sneaky lager in the sunshine too.
So what does a healthy BBQ look like?
Go easy on the bread. BBQs are generally about all of the delicious meat you can cook and devour but then we put a small burger in a huge bun and before you know it you’ve filled yourself up on bread and carbs. If you don’t want to have a burger without a bun (which I’m sure most of us don’t), explore less filling options such as Warburton thins or a lighter brioche bun. Instead of finger buns for your sausages, why not try a healthier wrap. The thinner the bread the more you can taste the delicious meat so it’s a no lose situation! Lean meat with some spices rubbed into it is going to provide you with a high protein, low fat dish. As mouth-watering as it is, try to avoid belly pork strips as they are high in fat content as is chicken skin so if you’re having legs or wings, peel the skin off first. They’re just not worth the calories.
My absolute top tip for a super healthy BBQ dish is chicken and vegetable skewers. Using chicken breast cut into cubes and rubbed in cajun spices I then use wooden skewers and alternate a piece of chicken with mushrooms, peppers, red onion and chilli peppers. You can make around six skewers for two Weight Watchers smart points. They are 100% delicious and by far the most appetising looking thing to come off the BBQ. You can vary the flavour by using a different spice and vary the vegetables by just using what you have at hand or I imagine a Mediterranean mix would be nice. They are just so versatile.
Chop up some vegetable sticks for the table while you wait for the meat to cook and put together a big salad bowl. They are great healthy accompaniments and as I always say, they give the table a colourful and inviting look. Make a large jug of lemon water with ice cubes in to keep everybody hydrated in the heat and chop up some seasonal fruit to make a big dish of fruit salad. I find the kids eat loads of fruit when I prepare it this way. They run backwards and forwards to the table while they’re playing to grab pieces. Parenting success!
I’m really looking forward to the many BBQs we will hopefully have this summer and I think next on the to do list for me and Father Fitness is to master the homemade burger!
Do you make your own already and if so, what extra flavourings do you add?