This post was originally written during my 2 1/2 year tenure as a blogger for Health Goes Strong. The site was deactivated in July 2013, but you can read blog here.
DON’T OVERLOOK THESE HEALTHY SIDE DISHES AT YOUR NEXT BARBECUE
Barbecues are not known for their healthy side dishes, but there are some exceptions. The best of the lot feature seasonal vegetables that are minimally dressed — meaning not wearing mayonnaise like a winter coat. Look for these sides to fill your paper plate, or add to the grill to make your own healthy sides.
Healthy Side Dishes: Baked Beans: Yes, beans are vegetables! They’re also a good source of protein, but much lower in fat than any meat on the grill, so they can be a side dish that replaces the beef, pork, or poultry on the menu.
Healthy Side Dishes: Salsa: Typically used as a dip for greasy chips, salsa is at its best when paired with barbecued meats and fish since it means “sauce.” Skip the chips and spoon it onto your plate to enjoy as a spicy side dish.
Healthy Side Dishes: Grilled Corn: Brush it with olive oil before grilling to savor the toasty corn flavor without any butter. The extra time it takes to eat it off the cob helps you feel more satisfied by the time you’re done.
Healthy Side Dishes: Garnishes & Condiments: Make your own salad from the burger toppings and garnishes found on the other salad platters. Make a base with lettuce and tomato, then pile on the radishes roses, pepper rings, carrot curls and cucumber slices.
Healthy Side Dishes: Coleslaw: Crunchy raw cabbage beats potato and macaroni when sizing up the nutritional merits of the 3 most popular mayonnaise-coated salads. Serve yours with a slotted spoon to leave some of the dressing behind.
Healthy Side Dishes: Grilled Crudité: Gather raw vegetables from the crudité and add to the grill for a flavorful side that needs no dip. Try carrot sticks, zucchini strips, green beans, asparagus, mushrooms and more for a flavorful side dish.
Healthy Side Dishes: Roasted Peppers: Salvage some peppers before they end up tossed with the sausage and turn them into a side dish. The more colorful the better.
Healthy Side Dishes: Sauerkraut: This pickled cabbage can be eaten hot or cold and deserves to be more than a frankfurter topping with just 27 calories per cup. The high salt content isn’t for everyone, but can help replace sodium lost in sweat by those who are more active.