Fire Up the Grill!
Memorial Day symbolizes the unofficial start to summer as well the start of the barbecue season. Along with the weekend's festivities comes all of the food which can often (although tasty) mean a ton of fat and calories added to your diet. News flash...great grilling does not have to turn into extra pounds on to a frame you have been working so hard to get summer-ready. To help you not sabotage your efforts we offer you some great alternatives to an American BBQ standard, the burger. Delicious AND nutritious these babies will not only make your barbecue a hit and satisfy your guests, but will also help you strut that bathing suit body all season long!
Turkey Gorgonzola Burgers
1 lb lean ground turkey
3 oz Gorgonzola cheese, chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin powder
2 tsp vegetable oil
6 100% whole-grain buns
6 Tbsp barbecue sauce
Shredded cabbage (optional)
1. Preheat grill to medium. Combine first five ingredients and salt and pepper to taste in a bowl. Lightly mix together and form into 6 patties. Brush them with oil.
2. Grill burgers for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until internal temp is 165°F. Toast buns for 2 minutes. Serve burgers on buns; garnish with barbecue sauce and cabbage, if desired.
Makes 6 servings . Per serving: 293 cal, 11 g fat (4 g sat), 27 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 545 mg sodium, 26 g protein
Garden Chicken Burger with Strawberry Sauce
3 tsp vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 Tbsp brown sugar
2 cups strawberries, sliced
1/2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 medium carrot, peeled
1 medium zucchini, peeled
1 lb lean ground chicken breast
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup parsley, chopped
6 flatbreads or naan
1 cup arugula or baby spinach
1. Warm 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft, about 4 minutes. Add brown sugar and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Add strawberries, balsamic vinegar, and black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Stir in mint and remove from heat.
2. Preheat grill to medium. Using a box grater or mandoline, shred carrot and zucchini, then chop into small pieces. In a large bowl, lightly mix shredded vegetables, ground chicken, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce, egg, parsley, and salt and pepper to taste. Form into 6 patties and brush with remaining vegetable oil.
3. Place burgers on grill and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until internal temperature reaches 165°F. Meanwhile, toast bread for 1 to 2 minutes per side.
4. Line flatbreads with arugula, add burgers, and top with strawberry sauce, then fold bread over burgers.
Makes 6 servings. Per serving: 387 cal, 8 g fat (2 g sat), 54 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 497 mg sodium, 27 g protein
Stuffed Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions
1 Tbsp butter
2 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
8 portobello mushrooms
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 eggplant, sliced into thin rounds
3 oz roasted red peppers
4 oz sliced low-fat mozzarella
1 loaf focaccia bread
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 4 to 5 minutes. Mix in brown sugar and balsamic vinegar. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover pan, and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Meanwhile, preheat grill to medium. Remove stems from mushrooms, brush with oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Place eggplant slices on grill, cook for 2 minutes per side, then set them aside. Add mushrooms to grill, stem sides down, and cook for 6 to 7 minutes. Flip mushrooms and cook for another 4 minutes.
4. Top 4 mushrooms with red peppers and mozzarella, then cover each with a remaining mushroom, stem side down. (Stem sides should be facing each other.) Cook for 2 minutes or until cheese has melted; set aside.
5. Meanwhile, slice focaccia bread in half lengthwise down the side, then slice each half into 4 squares. Toast squares on grill, 2 minutes per side.
6. Place each stuffed mushroom on a focaccia square; top with onions, eggplant, and focaccia square.
Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 536 cal, 14 g fat (5 g sat), 81 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 909 mg sodium, 26 g protein
Get even more bikini-friendly burger recipes and other great healthy ideas perfect for any BBQ!
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