the complete BBQ survival guide: burgers, fries + sides

it’s bbq season, y’all!! and what better way to celebrate than with a few fitlosophyzed bbq sides?? you know the drill. you go to a bbq, you nibble chips, you eat mayo-drenched potato salad, you scarf down hot dog after hamburger. but this ain’t sweater weather. we’re headed smack-dab into summer, the season of the bathing suit. covering your bbq indulgences with a baggy turtleneck isn’t a viable option this time of year. so what’s a hungry gal (or guy) to do? deprive ourselves? nope. so not our style. instead, we make healthy substitutions: nutrient-dense whole foods packin’ none of the junk but with loads of flavor. check out three of our favorite healthier bbq sides:

[seasoned sweet potato oven fries]
let’s face it, we all love fries, but fried foods aren’t exactly known for being figure-friendly. which is what makes these sweet potato oven fries so genius! sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins + minerals, and because these are baked rather than fried, you can indulge without guilt.

serves 4 - 6

  • 4 sweet potatoes, peeled + cut into thin wedges
  • 1 tbsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
    1. preheat the oven to 425 degrees + line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. put your potatoes in a large bowl + sprinkle the cornstarch over the top. toss it all together so the cornstarch is coating all the potato wedges.
    3. mix together the chili powder, nutritional yeast, sea salt, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin + smoked paprika, then sprinkle it over the potato wedges, tossing to disperse evenly.
    4. drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes + give it another good toss to coat everything evenly. then arrange the potato wedges in a single layer on each of the two baking sheets.
    5. bake for 25-30 minutes, tossing halfway through, until edges are crisp + golden.

    [goat-cheese-stuffed mini bell peppers]
    these are an easy peasy crowd-pleaser. in fact, we have yet to find anyone, be it child or man-child, who doesn’t loooove these. irrefutable proof that finger foods can be tasty AND healthy!
    serves 4

  • 8 oz mini bell peppers, halved lengthwise
  • 4 oz plain goat cheese
  • sea salt + black pepper to taste
  • fresh basil for garnish
    1. set your oven to broil.
    2. stuff each pepper half with a little goat cheese + sprinkle with a pinch of sea salt + black pepper.
    3. broil about 5-7 minutes, until the cheese is getting golden + bubbly.
    4. garnish with chopped fresh basil + watch ‘em disappear within seconds!

    [grilled portobello cheeseburgers]
    we love our protein, but vegetarians tend to be a bit forgotten at a bbq - typically relegated to just a couple meatless sides, while missing out on all the more filling mains. why not throw your meatless munchers a (veggie) bone by serving up a meat-free main they can really sink their teeth into? these “burgers” are so succulent and satisfying, even the carnivores will love ‘em!
    serves 4

  • 4 large portobello mushroom caps, wiped clean + stems removed
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt + black pepper to taste
  • 4 slices sharp cheddar cheese
  • 4 thick tomato slices
  • romaine lettuce leaves for serving
    1. fire up the grill.
    2. drizzle a little olive oil all over the mushrooms, then season with salt + pepper.
    3. stick ‘em on the grill, gill-side down + cook about 5 minutes per side.
    4. during the last couple minutes of cooking, lay the cheese on top of each mushroom cap, letting it cook just long enough to melt.
    5. top each mushroom cap with a tomato slice + serve with big, beautiful romaine leaves!

    need a skinny cocktail for your bbq menu?? 

    check out our skinny jalapeño marg and be sure to download + print our  complete BBQ survival guide to help you navigate all your summertime celebrations! 

    tell us in the comments below: what’s your favorite way to beat the bbq bloat? 

    now, off to get some rays in this summer sunshine. enjoy, fitbookers!

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