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Healthy Summer BBQ Ideas

What would summer be without a great backyard BBQ?

Make your soiree even better with delicious, healthy dishes that everyone can enjoy! Below, our team shares their favorite things to throw on the grill + BBQ side dishes that won't undo all of your hard work at the gym. The best part? No skimping on taste!

We'd love to know what you're cooking up this summer! Share your healthy eats with us on Instagram by tagging @sportandhealth and using the hashtag #fitsummer!

Avocado Potato Salad

Kristen Kidd, Membership Consultant

To keep things healthy, Kristen substitutes mashed avocado for mayonnaise in her BBQ potato salad for a fresh, creamy flavor and added nutritional benefits.

Your traditional mayonnaise-based potato salad calls for one to one and a half cups of mayo. By substituting one cup of mashed avocado for each cup of mayonnaise, you could save nearly 1200 calories! Not to mention a boost in fiber, potassium, and vitamins C and B6. If your recipe calls for one and a half cups of mayonnaise,  try mashing 2 ripe medium-sized avocados with a tablespoon of lemon juice.

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Grilled Pineapple

Grills aren't just for meat and veggies! Grilling a whole pineapple not only enhances the flavor, but also makes for a great presentation at the end of your meal.

  • 1 whole pineapple

  • Cinnamon

  • Vanilla Ice cream

Cut the rind off of the pineapple and sprinkle cinnamon on all sides. On a hot grill, heat each side of the pineapple for 2-3 minutes. Remove from the grill and cut into one-inch slices. Serve warm with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream.

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Grilled Brussel Sprouts

Bridget Feeney, Director of Recruiting

“Grilled brussel sprouts are low in calories and fat, and add tons of fiber and Vitamin C to the meal!”

In a microwave-safe bowl, add one pound of clean brussel sprouts and an inch of water. Microwave for 3 minutes. Carefully drain water from the bowl and add 2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic, 1 tsp dry mustard, 1 tsp smoked paprika, fresh ground sea salt and black pepper to taste, mixing until lightly coated. When sprouts are cool enough to handle, add to a metal skewer, leaving ½ inch between each. Place on hot grill for 5 minutes, rotate, and finish cooking for another 5 minutes.

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Quinoa + Black Bean Salad

This light and satisfying salad is a great make-ahead dish that will allow you spend more time enjoying your BBQ.

1 cup of quinoa, cooked
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of corn, drained and rinsed
1 cup of grape tomatoes, sliced
1 lime, juiced
1 tbsp of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tsp of fresh garlic, chopped
½ tsp of cumin
2 tbsp of red wine vinegar
2 tbsp of olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 avocado, cubed

Combine all ingredients except the avocado, mixing well. Allow salad to rest in the fridge for 30 to allow the flavors to marinade. Mix in the avocado immediately prior to serving.

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Grilled Salmon + Zucchini

Terrie Lambert, General Manager

“My favorite healthy BBQ meal would have to be fresh zucchini and salmon! Grilling adds great flavor without needing a ton of seasoning or oil.”

Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil on a plate and place clean salmon filets skin-side down. Season with fresh salt and pepper. Slice zucchini length-wise or into spears, depending on the size of the zucchini, and spray with an olive oil or light cooking spray.

On a medium-hot grill, lay salmon skin-side down and arrange zucchini around the fish. Cover and let cook for 5 minutes. Open the grill and rotate zucchini onto its opposite side, grilling both the veggies and salmon for another 3-5 minutes. If the fish begins to flake when you gently prod it with a fork and the zucchini is tender, then it’s ready! Finish fish with fresh squeezed lemon and enjoy!

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Grilled Peaches with a Balsamic Reduction

Impress your guests with a sophisticated dessert that takes only minutes to make!

Cut clean peaches in half, removing the pit. Grill flat-side down on indirect heat for 3-5 minutes. Rotate peach 90 degrees (this creates nice grill marks) and grill for 3 more minutes. Add a balsamic reduction before serving.

Make-ahead balsamic reduction: Add double the amount of balsamic vinegar that you want to end up with to a small saucepan (1 cup will produce ½ cup of balsamic reduction). On medium-high heat, bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, simmering for 25-30 minutes. Check the progress of the reduction by dipping in a spoon. If spoon comes out coated in a syrup, then remove from heat. Otherwise allow it to simmer a few minutes more until you achieve a syrupy consistency. Allow reduction to cool and store in an sealed container at room temperature.

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Grilled Chicken Breast

Grilled chicken breasts are a great lean protein to incorporate into any meal! Consider making extra to have on hand for easy meal prep during the week. Some ideas for the week: 

  • As a great addition to salads

  • Sliced and added to a wrap with hummus, sprouts and veggies

  • Chopped up for chicken salad (try replacing mayo with avocado!)

  • Shredded for tacos

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The Perfect Steak Rub

Chang Yi, General Manager

As a guy with big muscles, protein is always on Chang's mind! “Steak, chicken, burgers... any type of meat.”

Try this simply rub the next time you throw steaks on the grill:

Mix equal parts garlic powder, salt, pepper and chili powder.

Rub on both sides of the steak, allowing it to rest for 30 minutes prior to grilling.

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What are you throwing on the grill?

Share your healthy BBQ ideas with us on Instagram by mentioning @sportandhealth and using the hashtag #fitsummer!


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