Cookouts and summer go hand in hand, however, many traditional barbecue foods — tasty though they are — tend to be loaded with excess calories, sodium and fat. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 10 healthy alternatives to calorie-laden potluck dishes worthy of your next gathering.
1. SWEET POTATO ROUNDS WITH GUACAMOLE | THE ROASTED ROOT
Topped with creamy guacamole and crispy bacon, these sweet potato rounds are arguably better than chips — and a lot healthier. Bring this ingenious appetizer to any gathering, and it’ll be gone in no time. If you can’t find cotija cheese, use feta. Recipe makes 6 servings at 2 rounds each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 112; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 3mg; Sodium: 170mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 3g
2. MEDITERRANEAN TOMATO & FETA DIP | COOKIE AND KATE
Brightly colored and full of refreshing flavors, this dip is perfect for summer parties. Made with ripe tomatoes, olives, fresh basil and salty feta, it’s a perfect accompaniment to crackers, pita bread or even eggs, grilled chicken or fish. Recipe makes 8 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 130; Total Fat: 10g; Saturated Fat: 4g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium: 287mg; Carbohydrate: 5g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 5g
3. RAINBOW VEGGIE SKEWERS | GIMME SOME OVEN
Colorful kebabs are a fun and tasty way to eat the rainbow. The naturally mellow flavors of garden vegetables get a boost from a simple vinaigrette. Recipe makes 8 servings at 2 skewers each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 122; Total Fat: 7g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 5g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 162mg; Carbohydrate: 15g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 5g; Protein: 3g
4. GREEN BEAN & CHERRY TOMATO SALAD | SMITTEN KITCHEN
Take advantage of seasonal summer veggies while they’re at their best. This fresh summer side features green beans and cherry tomatoes tossed in a shallot vinaigrette. This dish’s bright, pretty colors look great on a picnic table. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 152; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 9g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 63mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 3g; Sugar: 4g; Protein: 2g
5. 2-INGREDIENT HUMMUS DEVILED EGGS | EATING BIRD FOOD
Love deviled eggs? This recipe uses just two ingredients — hard-boiled eggs and hummus. Combining the yolks with hummus results in a flavorful, creamy filling. These are great as a snack, a dinner appetizer or to bring to a potluck. Recipe makes 12 servings at 1 deviled egg each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 47; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 93mg; Sodium: 57mg; Carbohydrate: 1g; Dietary Fiber: 0g; Sugar: 0g; Protein: 3g
6. LEMON ASPARAGUS COUSCOUS SALAD WITH TOMATOES | SKINNYTASTE
Plump, pearled couscous is a healthy alternative for when you get bored with ordinary pasta. Dress it up with plenty of fresh asparagus and tomatoes to get a veggie kick. Recipe makes 5 servings at 1 heaping cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 170; Total Fat: 4g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 2g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 10mg; Total Carbohydrate: 30g; Dietary Fiber: 5g; Sugars: 0g; Protein: 6g
7. STEAK AND MUSHROOM KABOBS | KALYN’S KITCHEN
Marinate, grill and serve — that’s all there is to these easy steak kabobs. Soak them with a simple vinaigrette to complement the naturally rich flavors. You’ll love the contrast in texture with each bite, from firm mushrooms to juicy steak. Recipe makes 4 servings at 1 skewer each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 219; Total Fat: 12g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 4g; Cholesterol: 70mg; Sodium: 405mg; Carbohydrate: 3g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 2g; Protein: 26g
8. TZATZIKI POTATO SALAD | THE FIG TREE
Plain yogurt lightens up traditional potato salad by adding protein and cutting fat. This recipe incorporates crisp cucumbers, lemon, feta cheese and dill for fresh, Mediterranean-inspired flavors. Recipe makes 6 servings.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 176; Total Fat: 1g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 1mg; Sodium: 95mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 4g; Sugar: 3g; Protein: 7g
9. STRAWBERRY MANGO GINGER-LIME FRUIT SALAD | COOKING LIGHT
Juicy, sweet seasonal fruits — strawberries, blueberries and mangoes — get a boost of extra flavor and zest with the addition of fresh lime and ginger. Add any of your favorite fruits such as diced nectarines, blackberries and grapes to this refreshing fruit salad. Recipe makes 4 servings at 2/3 cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 49; Total Fat: 0g; Saturated Fat: 0g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1mg; Carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary Fiber: 2g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 1g
10. LIGHTENED-UP NO-BAKE CHEESECAKE | MYFITNESSPAL’S RECIPES
Smooth and tangy, this lightened-up, portion-controlled cheesecake satisfies without being loaded with fat, sugar or calories. An added benefit: It doesn’t lose an ounce of decadent flavor. Cheers to eating dessert and staying on track with your health goals. Recipe makes 8 servings at 1 cheesecake cup each.
Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 128; Total Fat: 5g; Saturated Fat: 3g; Monounsaturated Fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 19mg; Sodium: 166mg; Carbohydrate: 14g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 9g; Protein: 5g
(via MyFitnessPal Blog)