It’s that time of year again, when millions of us seize the rare opportunity to enjoy some warm weather in style. It’s fruity cider, beer garden lunches, and sizzling barbecues galore – but all of those goodies can have an unwanted impact on your waistline.
Barbecues are particularly culpable – just having one hot dog and one burger can fill you with over 1000 calories! Don’t worry though, we’ve come to the rescue with some barbecue recipes that’ll keep you looking trim, without sacrificing any flavour!
Chicken tikka skewers
A classic recipe that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser – this is really easy to prepare, and serving it with some flatbread and salad makes for a much healthier alternative to a fatty sausage in a bun.
150g pot low-fat natural yogurt
2 tbsp hot curry paste
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
250g pack cherry tomatoes
- Mix the yogurt and curry paste together in a bowl, then stir in the cubed chicken (For best results, you’ll want to leave this to marinate for an hour).
- Shake off any excess marinade, and thread the chicken pieces and cherry tomatoes onto skewers (if you have wooden ones, don’t forget to soak them in water beforehand, to stop them from burning up on the BBQ)
- Cook over the barbecue, turning from time to time, until the chicken is cooked through and nicely browned.
Prawn & salmon burgers
This is a fantastic substitute for a quarter pounder – seafood has far fewer calories than beef, whilst a spicy mayo topping keeps things really tasty! To make things even healthier, you can always forego the bun in favour of a naked burger.
180g pack peeled raw prawns
4 skinless salmon fillets, chopped into small chunks
3 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
small pack coriander
60g mayonnaise or Greek yogurt
4 tsp chilli sauce
4 seeded burger buns, toasted, to serve
- Whack half the prawns, half the salmon, the spring onions, lemon zest and half the coriander in a food processor, and give them a quick blitz until the mixture forms a coarse paste. Then, tip the lot into a bowl, and stir in the rest of the prawns and salmon. Season well with salt and pepper, then shape into four patties. Chill in the fridge for 10 minutes.
- Mix the mayo (or greek yogurt) and chilli sauce together in a small bowl, season and add some lemon juice to taste, then set aside.
- Grill the burgers over the barbecue for 3-4 mins each side, until the patties are cooked through. If you’re having trouble this, you can always sear the burgers in a frying pan for 1-2 mins before transferring to the flames.
- Once cooked, add them to toasted burger buns, adding a big dollop of the spicy mayo.
Honey and mustard glazed vegetable kebabs
These sticky, colourful kebabs are really simple to put together, and will brighten up any barbecue. They’re also a great vegetarian option, and you can even swap the honey for an agave syrup to make them vegan friendly. Everyone’s a winner!
1 tbsp clear honey
1 tsp grainy mustard
2 tbsp oil
1 courgette, thickly sliced
1 small aubergine, cut into chunks
1 small red onion, cut into wedges
8 cherry tomatoes
1 orange pepper, cut into chunks
- To make the glaze, grab a bowl and mix the honey, mustard and oil together, along with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Thread the chopped vegetables onto your skewers, and brush them with a healthy coat of the glaze.
- Barbecue until the veg is cooked through and nicely browned, then brush them with any remaining glaze before serving.
Cauliflower faux-tato salad
A barbecue is only as good as its side dishes, and normally a potato salad is an instant winner. Unfortunately though, the carbs in the potato really drive up the calorie count, so give this lighter alternative a try instead – you won’t believe it’s not potato salad!
1 head cauliflower, cut into small chunks
4 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
40g dill pickles
1/2 diced red onion
1 tbsp yellow mustard
Pinch of paprika
1 tsp lemon juice
- Steam the cauliflower until tender-crisp, which is about 5 minutes, then pop it into a large bowl to let it cool.
- Add in the eggs, mayonnaise, pickles, red onion and mustard, and then season with a little salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate for two hours, and sprinkle with paprika and lemon juice before serving.