Warm weather has arrived and it’s time to fire up your grill! While grilling is a low-fat method of cooking, some barbeque and cookout dishes are overloaded with calories, fat, and added sugar. Don’t worry. This Memorial Day, you can save up to 1,400 calories and 116 grams of fat by simply swapping some high-fat ingredients at your cookout for some healthier substitutes.
A Memorial Day cookout isn’t complete without hamburgers, so let’s start there. The average hamburger can contain up to 750 calories and 47 grams of fat. Instead, try grilling up a healthier beef hamburger you don’t have to feel guilty about. Mix 1¼ pound extra lean beef with ½ cup chopped portabella mushrooms, ¼ cup minced yellow onion, 2 cloves minced garlic, 3 egg whites, and a dash of sodium-free steak seasoning. Grill the hamburgers and serve on whole-grain buns. These hamburgers are just as delicious but contain about 500 fewer calories and 40 grams less fat. Instead of lean beef burgers, you can also try ground turkey burgers, skinless chicken breasts, or vegetable burgers.
Next, whip up a lower sodium alternative to traditional baked beans. A ½ cup serving of canned baked beans contains about 160 calories and 680 mg of sodium. Instead, try a black bean dip that has 90 fewer calories and 640 grams less sodium per serving. Puree one can of black beans, ¼ cup of nonfat sour cream, and 1 tablespoon of chili powder. Top the mixture with low-fat shredded cheddar cheese and melt in the microwave. Mix in some tomatoes, red and green onions, and then serve. A ½ cup serving contains only 70 calories and 40 mg of sodium. Other lower calorie sides include grilled vegetables and corn on the cob.
Another cookout staple is potato salad with a mayonnaise dressing, which contains up to 290 calories and 22 grams of fat per 1 cup serving. Try whole-wheat pasta salad as a substitute. It will save you 130 calories and 20 grams of fat per 1 cup serving. To prepare, toss whole wheat pasta with colorful garden vegetables such as broccoli, zucchini, roasted red peppers, and portabella mushrooms. Mix in a little Romano cheese and fat-free Italian dressing and it is ready to serve.
Keep sugary drinks in check by serving water, seltzer, and unsweetened iced tea flavored with cut-up fruit and fresh herbs. For a dessert that will keep your guests cool and satisfied, try homemade popsicles. Simply puree ripe fresh fruits such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas, and peaches in a blender, pour into a popsicle mold, and freeze. Serve once completely chilled. You can make a creamier version by adding some low-fat yogurt and skim milk to the blender before pouring into the mold.
It’s easy to cook up a nutritious and delicious Memorial Day cookout. All it takes are some simple twists to old favorites. This Memorial Day, celebrate the start of summer in good health.
Did you know ShopRite offers complimentary nutrition services from registered dietitians? Registered dietitians are credentialed nutrition experts and ShopRite dietitians provide free nutrition counseling, cooking classes, grocery store tours, and more! Contact your ShopRite dietitian for more information:
ShopRite of Niskayuna: Sarah Ender, MS, RD, 491.0050
ShopRite of Albany: Adrian Allen, RD, 708.3445
ShopRite of Colonie: Amy Imler, RD, 598.4970
ShopRite of Slingerlands: Kristin Caponera, MS, RD, CDN, 708.7815
Grilled Broccoli-Sesame Noodles
Make this recipe a meal and serve with grilled red potatoes and fresh pineapple slices.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
• ¼ cup low sodium soy sauce
• 2 tbsp. fresh lime juice
• 4 tsp. dark sesame oil, divided
• 4 tsp. minced fresh garlic, divided
• 1 lb. broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
• ½ large red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 2 tbsp. ShopRite light brown sugar
• 1 tbsp. peeled, minced gingerroot (optional)
• 8 oz. soba noodles or whole wheat spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
• 3⁄4 cup sliced green onions
• 1½ tsp. sesame seeds
1. Preheat grill to high (400-450°F). For the marinade, in a large resealable plastic bag combine the soy sauce, lime juice, 2 teaspoons of the sesame oil, and 3 teaspoons of the garlic. Add broccoli; seal bag and turn to coat. Let stand 10 minutes.
2. Using a slotted spoon, transfer broccoli to a grill basket; reserve marinade. Place basket on grill. Grill, covered, 10 minutes turning occasionally.
3. Meanwhile, add bell pepper to marinade; seal bag and turn to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer bell pepper to grill basket; reserve marinade. Grill 5 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender.
4. Pour reserved marinade into a large bowl. Stir in sugar, remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil, remaining 1 teaspoon garlic and (if desired) ginger. Add grilled vegetables, noodles and green onions; toss to combine. Sprinkle with sesame seeds just before serving. Serve warm or chilled.
Nutrition Per Serving: 315 calories, 7g fat, 1g saturated fat, 425mg sodium, 57g carbohydrate, 6g dietary fiber, 11g protein