With Summer winding down, we are looking for every excuse to fire up the grill and enjoy an outdoor barbecue. Barbecues are guaranteed to bring laughs, stories, and full bellies. This summer Elizel and I have taken a healthy approach to the classic BBQ and want to share some of our favorite recipes with you! We have made some Pilates of Charleston approved swaps to some summer night classics like baked beans, loaded potatoes and juicy burgers. Enjoy these recipes and share in the comments some of your guilt free BBQ faves!
Swap Baked Beans for our 3 Bean Salad:
Beans are packed full with amazing benefits. Not only are they a great source of protein and fiber, but they also reduce blood sugar and improve cholesterol levels, making this easy 3 bean salad a no brainer. We like to make ours with kidney beans, chickpeas, and cannellini beans. Add in some chopped celery and season with salt and pepper. Keep dressing simple with a little bit of olive oil and a fresh squeezed lemon…does it get easier than that??
Swap Loaded Potatoes with our Stuffed Sweet Potato:
Like beans, sweet potatoes are rich in fiber, and contain a ton of vitamins and minerals including iron, calcium, and selenium. This stuffed sweet potato is one of our go-to’s. Set the oven to 450 degrees and prep the sweet potato with olive oil, salt, pepper, and cinnamon…trust us, it’s amazing! Bake the sweet potato for 40-45 minutes depending on the size and let cool. Cut the sweet potato down the middle and stuff with your favs! We do ours with quinoa, chickpeas, pomegranates and sliced avocado! Take it to the next level and drizzle some Taziki sauce on the top…our mouths are watering just thinking about it!
Swap a Beef Burger for a Portobello Patty:
Mushrooms are another nutrient filled favorite of ours. They are low in calories, and are a great source of protein for both meat eaters and vegetarians. Of course a classic burger at a BBQ is about as good as it gets, but our portobello patty is a close second! We like to give the patties a quick marinate with balsamic, soy sauce, and our favorite steak sauce to get that meaty taste. Throw the patty right on the grill and let cook for 5-7 minutes on each side. Melt some swiss cheese on top and add tomatoes, avocado, and lettuce!
Swap a Cocktail with our Simple Tequila Drink:
Believe it or not, tequila does have some pretty impressive health benefits compared to other alcohols out there. Made from the agave plant, its been found that tequila can lower blood sugar and cholesterol…bottoms up! Another reason we like it, is because it doesn’t need much, meaning you don’t have to add on sugary mixers. Our drink of juice is a good blanco tequila on the rocks, with a hefty amount of limes and some agave syrup.
At Pilates of Charleston we strive to live a balanced lifestyle. Switching up some of the traditional BBQ options is a great way to mix up your weekday dinners and have you staying healthy. However, just like everyone else, we love to treat ourselves and living in Charleston has made that way too easy! When our health focused BBQ isn’t going to cut it we love stopping at these local favorites:
Lewis’s Barbecue: Nothing beats Lewis’s brisket. Come here on a Saturday for lunch and enjoy their adorable outdoor picnic tables and their renowned BBQ.
Rodney Scotts: Get your fix of Carolina style BBQ at Rodney Scotts. Their pitt master has been cooking since he was 11 years old and you can totally tell! After shopping on King Street make your way down here and see what all the hype is about.