When we think about food served at a BBQ, meat is almost always the first image that comes to mind. However when you take a closer look, you will notice that the meat is always accompanied by a slew of carbohydrates. You may see pasta salads, macaroni and cheese, rolls, hamburger and hotdog buns, corn, potatoes, and beans. Carbohydrates, which include bread products, grains, rice, and starchy vegetables, are an important part of a balanced meal and a successful BBQ. Nevertheless, healthy, whole grain carbohydrate choices are important. They provide more fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while allowing one to feel satiated faster, stay full longer, and decrease the chance of over eating.
Bread Tip: Choose whole grain hamburger and hot dog buns for the BBQ. A great way to reduce carbs is to use only half of a bun with your meat.
Pasta Salad, hold the Mayo please: Pasta salad is swimming in hidden calories that’ll hinder you from keeping your summer shape. Here is great recipe to add to any outdoor festivity that incorporates a whole grain pasta choice and vegetables.
Rainbow Butterfly Pasta Salad
1 cup bow tie whole grain, whole wheat, or rice pasta
3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped red pepper
1 cup chopped green pepper
2 medium carrots, shredded (about 1/2 cup)
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
Cook the pasta as the label directs. Drain and toss with 1 teaspoon olive oil to prevent sticking; let cool.
In a large bowl, toss the cooled pasta with the bell pepper, yellow squash, and carrots. Drizzle with the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Add the parmesan and 1/4 teaspoon salt; toss again and season to taste.
Starchy Vegetables: Instead of serving a pasta salad or baked potato, substitute a sweet potato or yam as a healthy nutrient rich side. Roasted corn on the cob or squash are also delicious starchy sides that will satisfy your guests without adding to their waist line. Try this delectable dish!
Roasted Squash Medley
2 Peeled and Chopped Butternut Squashes
2 sliced white onions
1 chopped Zucchini
1/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 Tbs Salt
1 Tbs Pepper
- Chop up vegetables, squash should be in cubes. Place all vegetables in a bowl, add olive oil and spice; mix.
- On a baking sheet, lay out the vegetables.
- Grill or bake at 375°F for 20 minutes. Vegetables should be tender.
Beans: Beans a healthy carbohydrate packed with protein and nutrients, and can be added to many different dishes at an outdoor event. Instead of a pasta salad, make a bean salad or black bean dip. Canned beans are certainly convenient for summer cookouts and parties; unfortunately they can be a deceivingly high-calorie side dish. Make your own flavorful, lighter version with these recipes and tips.
- Start with canned beans like pinto or cannellini, look for the low sodium options, and rinse and drain them; this removes up to 40 percent of the sodium. Place the beans, flavorings like ketchup, Dijon mustard, and/or fruit juice in a bowl. Transfer the mixture to a baking dish and bake until bubbly. To add a zing, stir in fresh rosemary or thyme. Instead of pork fat, add a sprinkle of smoked paprika or some spicy chipotle pepper to create that smoky flavor.
Vegan Baked Beans
- 1 (16 ounce) package dry navy beans
- 6 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups chopped sweet onions
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 4 (8 ounce) cans tomato sauce
- 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Directions (10 servings)
- Place beans and water in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium, and continue cooking 1 hour, stirring occasionally, until beans are tender. Drain, and transfer to a large casserole dish.
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C).
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in the onions, and cook until tender. Mix in garlic, and cook until golden brown. Mix onions and garlic into casserole dish with the beans. Stir in the tomato sauce. Mix in vinegar, bay leaves, mustard, pepper, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
- Cover and bake 3 1/2 hours in the preheated oven, stirring frequently and adding water if necessary. Remove cover, and continue baking 30 minute
Post your favorite carbohydrate side recipe!