If it’s your turn to host this year’s summer cookout, don’t fret. Summer is filled with picnics, cookouts, and outdoor soirées — which makes it the perfect season to entertain guests outdoors with fresh and healthy ingredients. Gather your family, friends, and colleagues for a guilt-free summer cookout. You’ve worked all winter and spring to approach life with a healthier aesthetic, so don’t sabotage your efforts when summer arrives.
It’s easy to create a delicious and memorable experience, even with a healthy spread. Keep your menu interesting by adding bursts of color with fruits and vegetables, and don’t forget about textures — everyone loves the different mouthfeels that come from nuts, potatoes, and crunchy veggies. Too much texture consistency will bore your guests. We’re not suggesting a wholly vegetarian menu, but healthier options often involve plenty of non-meat options.
Instead of resorting to the same dishes for every occasion, eschew those calorie-laden classics, such as mac and cheese and heavy, sweetened dipping sauces, and opt for something fresher. Substitute leaner meats, such as chicken or fish, for ground chuck or ribs. These small tips and recipes will make a huge difference when it comes to watching those calories while letting the good times roll.
Apricot Cilantro Quinoa Pilaf
Sprinkle dried apricots into this quinoa pilaf. The chewy, sweet fruit flavors balance the crunchy toasted pumpkin seeds. Cilantro and lemon juice brighten this hearty, healthy grain salad.
Curried Corn on the Cob
Crumbled goat cheese and curry powder give an Indian twist to a typically Mexican style of corn on the cob.