I’ve lost 100 pounds by cutting calories and controlling portions. Holidays are the hardest time. So I use food swaps. Here are sinfully delicious, low-fat, low calorie Memorial Day picnic recipes, summer BBQ and grill alternatives.
* Swap vegetable for animal fat. Cut saturated fats cooking with olive, sesame, walnut, canola, safflower, sunflower even coconut oils for grilling.
* Skip processed meats and fish or fresh. Buy lean cuts of beef and pork. Trim fat and remove skin from chicken.
* Avoid foods with transfats, hydrogenated fat. Look for foods with omega-3 and MUFA (monounsaturated fatty acids)–almonds, avocados, zucchini, olives.
* Grill, bake or broil rather than fry or roast. Tenderize cuts of meat. Add ice chips to burgers to keep them from getting dry.
* Tenderize by pounding rather than seasoning or marinating. These processes add needless sodium, fat, sugar, calories.
* Swap tempura coating for breading on fried chicken or fish. Buy packaged tempura or make your own with crushed saltines or oyster crackers.
* Swap steaks for chicken breast. Pound chicken breasts to fillets. Dress with non-stick cooking spray, lime juice, Cajun pepper blend, bay leaf, oregano, garlic and paprika.
* Switch chops for fish. Season salmon, trout, marlin, yellowfin tuna, swordfish, Pollock with cooking spray, lemon juice, dill, celery salt and paprika.
* Swap hamburgers for veggie burgers. Cook quinoa and cubed winter squash. Season with garlic, Bragg’s Liquid Amino, lime juice, liquid smoke. Finely chop and add any combo–onions, scallions, leeks, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, cauliflower, kale. Form into patties.
* Swap meat for falafel. I use Ziyad packaged falafel. Make into patties according the the directions. Grill lightly in olive oil. Check their website for other healthy recipes and foods–perfect if you follow the Mediterranean Diet as Mayo Clinic suggests.
* Trade burgers for mushrooms and peppers. Clean green pepper halves or Portobello mushrooms (remove stem and gills). Blend light varieties of shredded, feta, Parmesan and cream cheese. Add minced onion, shallots, garlic, marjoram, sage and cracked pepper. Fill cavities. Grill till cheese is melted.
* Grill shrimp skewers. Clean and place large shrimp on metal skewers. Spray with butter-flavored cooking spray. Season with garlic, paprika, Parmesan cheese, sea salt.
* Swap hot dogs and brats for kebabs, souvlaki, kafta or shwarma. For shwarma or souvlaki kebabs, cube and skewer chicken breast or lean pork loin. Add veggies if desired. Make light marinate with olive oil, lemon juice, rosemary, oregano, sea salt and garlic. For kafta, chop beef and season garlic, pepper, shallot, sea salt and onion. Roll into logs.
These recipes offer halal, kosher, vegan or vegetarian/pescatarian choices. Memorial Day picnickers who follow those diets can enjoy these!