With Labor Day and the last official cookout of the summer right around the corner, I figured I would pull together some healthy food ideas for a fun and flavorful outdoor BBQ. To me, the best BBQ food always centers around real simple cooking. And by real simple I mean barely any measuring, super fast prep and zero indoor cooking required.
When taking dinner outdoors, instead of complicating matters, I like to take advantage of super fresh produce to come up with ingredient combinations that are rich in flavor and nutrition. The truth is, the key to healthy food ideas for a BBQ (or any get together for that matter!) is produce-centered recipes. But when it comes to a BBQ, produce-centered dishes are a particularly good fit because they always taste right at home eaten outdoors on a paper plate.
Simple, Healthy Food Ideas for a Delicious BBQ
We recently took our boat and a small group of friends to Peanut Island, a teeny little dot on the map with plenty of public grills. The food below is what we brought along for our BBQ. Unlike a traditional “recipe”, you really do not need to measure the ingredients for any of these dishes. It’s really just a little of this and a little of that….
Black Bean, Corn & Mango Salad (see photo above): Combine rinsed and drained canned black beans, thawed frozen organic corn, chopped mango, chopped cherry tomatoes, chopped cilantro, chopped red onion, cumin, lime juice, unrefined sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Toss ingredients together and that’s all there is to it.
Wild Rice, Garbanzo & Cranberry Salad (see photo above): Combine cooked wild rice, rinsed and drained canned garbanzo beans, dried cranberries, shredded carrots, lemon juice, chopped parsley, chopped shallots, unrefined sea salt and extra virgin olive oil. Toss ingredients together and your salad is done!
Grilled Asparagus & Carrots with Lemon Marinade (see photo above): Combine fresh lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, minced garlic, splash of Srirachi Sauce, unrefined sea salt and freshly ground black pepper in a large zip top bag. Add asparagus and carrots and marinate for at least 30-minutes before grilling.
Turmeric-Marinated Chicken (or Tofu): Combine turmeric, lime juice, extra virgin olive oil, peeled garlic, paprika, coriander, unrefined sea salt, freshly ground black pepper and a few pinches of coconut palm sugar in a large zip top bag. Add the chicken and marinate for 4 to 5 hours before grilling. Note: for the best-tasting BBQ chicken, be sure to pound chicken with a mallet and rub both sides well with unrefined sea salt before marinating.
Basil-Lemonade with Zero Refined Sugar (see photo above): Along with “Whole” Watermelon Juice, lemonade is one of my favorite drinks for serving at a BBQ. But unlike traditional lemonade, I make this one with zero refined sugar. To get it just right though, measuring does help a bit with this particular recipe. Click HERE for my basic lemonade recipe and then just add chopped fresh basil (no need to measure the basil though!)