it’s bbq season, y’all!! and what better way to celebrate than with a few fitlosophyzed bbq sides?? you know the drill. you go to a bbq, you nibble chips, you eat mayo-drenched potato salad, you scarf down hot dog after hamburger. but this ain’t sweater weather. we’re headed smack-dab into summer, the season of the bathing suit. covering your bbq indulgences with a baggy turtleneck isn’t a viable option this time of year. so what’s a hungry gal (or guy) to do? deprive ourselves? nope. so not our style. instead, we make healthy substitutions: nutrient-dense whole foods packin’ none of the junk but with loads of flavor. check out three of our favorite healthier bbq sides:
[seasoned sweet potato oven fries]
let’s face it, we all love fries, but fried foods aren’t exactly known for being figure-friendly. which is what makes these sweet potato oven fries so genius! sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins + minerals, and because these are baked rather than fried, you can indulge without guilt.
serves 4 - 6
4 sweet potatoes, peeled + cut into thin wedges
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- preheat the oven to 425 degrees + line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
- put your potatoes in a large bowl + sprinkle the cornstarch over the top. toss it all together so the cornstarch is coating all the potato wedges.
- mix together the chili powder, nutritional yeast, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin + smoked paprika, then sprinkle it over the potato wedges, tossing to disperse evenly.
- drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes + give it another good toss to coat everything evenly. then arrange the potato wedges in a single layer on each of the two baking sheets.
- bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until edges are crisp + golden.
[goat-cheese-stuffed mini bell peppers]
these are an easy peasy crowd-pleaser. in fact, we have yet to find anyone, be it child or man-child, who doesn’t loooove these. irrefutable proof that finger foods can be tasty AND healthy!
8 oz mini bell peppers, halved lengthwise
4 oz plain goat cheese
sea salt + black pepper to taste
fresh basil for garnish
- set your oven to broil.
- stuff each pepper half with a little goat cheese + sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt + black pepper.
- broil about 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is getting golden + bubbly.
- garnish with chopped fresh basil + watch ‘em disappear within seconds!
[grilled portobello cheeseburgers]
4 large portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean + stems removed
extra virgin olive oil
sea salt + black pepper to taste
4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
4 thick tomato slices
romaine lettuce leaves for serving
we love our protein, but vegetarians tend to be a bit forgotten at a bbq - typically relegated to just a couple meatless sides, while missing out on all the more filling mains. why not throw your meatless munchers a (veggie) bone by serving up a meat-free main they can really sink their teeth into? these “burgers” are so succulent and satisfying, even the carnivores will love ‘em!
- fire up the grill.
- drizzle a little olive oil all over the mushrooms, then season with salt + pepper.
- stick ‘em on the grill, gill-side down + cook about 5 minutes per side.
- during the last couple minutes of cooking, lay the cheese on top of each mushroom cap, letting it cook just long enough to melt.
- top each mushroom cap with a tomato slice + serve with big, beautiful romaine leaves!
need a skinny cocktail for your bbq menu??
check out our skinny jalapeño marg and be sure to download + print our complete BBQ survival guide to help you navigate all your summertime celebrations!
tell us in the comments below: what’s your favorite way to beat the bbq bloat?
now, off to get some rays in this summer sunshine. enjoy, fitbookers!
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