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Nutritious Side Dishes: 5 Healthy Alternatives To Barbecue Staples

Nutritious Side Dishes: 5 Healthy Alternatives To Barbecue Staples

Yes, six-pack abs and barbecues slabs can coexist. Keep your body ready to head to the beach with these flavorful, healthy alternatives to potato chips and baked beans. Bring one to the next party!

Summer is here! That means poolside barbecues and six-packs at the lake—six-pack abs that is! If you're protecting that swimsuit body, then you're probably also shaking your head at that calorie-laden, delicious grub tempting you on the picnic table behind the grill. You'll eat the grilled chicken, but Aunt Edna's mayonnaise-infused potato salad just has no place in your diet.

The solution is to bring your own side dish! And, I don't mean just grabbing a head of lettuce and calling it lunch. These fresh, flavorful, simple, recipes can be tossed together quickly and enjoyed by all. If you want a healthy meal, feel free kick up the protein content by adding lean meats!

Bring any of these five healthy side dishes to the next family barbecue. I'm sure Aunt Edna would approve!

1
Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad

What the kale? Just when you thought your diet regimen couldn't get any better, we went and added some green to your sweet potato. Similar to spinach, kale contains plenty of copper and iron as well as vitamins A, C, K, folic acid, calcium, and potassium. Tuck Edna's potato salad recipe back in the cookbook where it belongs and make the switch to sweet.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix 1/2 tbsp olive oil with salt and pepper.
  3. On a baking sheet, spread sweet potatoes in a thin layer and roast for 30 minutes, or until lightly browned and tender.
  4. While the potatoes roast, heat 1/2 tbsp olive oil in a pan over medium heat.
  5. Add garlic and onions and saute until caramelized.
  6. Cut kale leaves from stem and into bite-sized pieces. Add to pan with garlic and onions. Cook until wilted.
  7. In a large bowl, pour kale and onion mixture. Drizzle mixture with balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  8. Add roasted potatoes to bowl and mix.
  9. Place bowl in refrigerator until salad as cooled to room temperature.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Serves 4)
Amount per serving
Calories 81.5
Total Fat4.3g
Total Carbs10.3g
Protein1.3g

Roasted Sweet Potato and Kale Salad PDF (103 KB)

2
Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad

What's the ingredient for the ultimate chef? Fish sauce! Add a little savory succulence with this Eastern seasoning staple. Although it sounds fishy, this salad is as delicious as it is nutrient-dense. Rich in vitamins and minerals such as C, K, E, B, and potassium, a little avocado goes a long way. This side dish is a great alternative to other thigh-curdling barbecue must-haves.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to a medium bowl.
  2. Toss gently and serve.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Serves 4)
Amount per serving
Calories 116
Total Fat7.4g
Total Carbs10.8g
Protein3g

Hearts of Palm and Avocado Salad PDF (102 KB)

3
Citrus Summer Slaw

If the Colonel's famous slaw keeps showing up at the neighborhood feast, it's time to make a change. Confect this citrus summer slaw instead. The assortment of fruits and veggies make this recipe light and summery. If you prefer oranges to grapefruit, make the switch. Both fruits pack a punch of vitamins C and A, as well as potassium and calcium. Just avoid the bucket of fried chicken and your beach body will not be bested.

Ingredients
  • 1/2 small Cabbage, chopped
  • 1/2 Red Onion, chopped
  • 1 Tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 1 Cucumber, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 Red Bell Pepper, chopped
  • 1 small Grapefruit or Orange, segmented and chopped
  • 2 tbsp Zero sodium Rice Vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp Stevia in the Raw
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl.
  2. Toss and serve!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Serves 2)
Amount per serving
Calories 179
Total Fat1.1g
Total Carbs21.9g
Protein5.9g

Citrus Summer Slaw PDF (102 KB)

4
Cucumber Radish Salad

This salad is easy on your waistline and also benefits your overall health, since both veggies contain healthy plant chemicals and fiber. Not sweet enough? Add a little agave nectar. It's a great alternative to high fructose corn syrup.

Ingredients
Directions
  1. Add all ingredients to a medium size bowl.
  2. Toss and serve!
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Serves 2)
Amount per serving
Calories 111
Total Fat7.4g
Total Carbs12.8g
Protein1.5g

Cucumber Radish Salad PDF (102 KB)

5
Shrimp Ceviche

Shrimp, shrimp, shrimp—we love shrimp! If you're looking to pack your palate with a little protein, this is your go-to side. Shrimp is low in calories, high in protein, and boasts 18 vitamins and minerals. It's also almost completely carb-free. Reap the benefits!

Ingredients
  • 1/2 lb large Shrimp, cooked, peeled and chopped
  • 1/2 cup Cherry Tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/4 Red Onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 Avocado, chopped
  • 1 Lime Juice
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
Directions
  1. Add ingredients to a medium bowl.
  2. Toss and refrigerate before serving.
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size (Serves 4)
Amount per serving
Calories 111
Total Fat4.4g
Total Carbs5.5g
Protein12.5g

Shrimp Ceviche PDF (102 KB)


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About The Author

Jillian has been associated with Bodybuilding.com for the past four years and has found her passion in the fitness industry.

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thePLANEfxr

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thePLANEfxr

Great suggestions for the BBQ season

Article Rated:
Jun 17, 2013 9:30pm | report
 
MassiveMelis

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MassiveMelis

Looks amazing!

Jun 17, 2013 10:17pm | report
 
Lindstorm

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Lindstorm

The first two salads;
1.) Roasted Sweet Potato And Kale Salad
2.) Hearts Of Palm And Avocado Salad

Look really great to me. They look fresh, healthy, and affordable!

Article Rated:
Jun 17, 2013 11:33pm | report
 
Joggin Jill

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Joggin Jill

Those were my two favs!!!! So delicious. I used the hearts of palm salad throughout the week by mixing it with some high quality canned albacore, added some lime juice, Bragg's liquid aminos, red chili flakes, and a tiny bit of rice vinegar. Just an idea for ya :)

Jun 18, 2013 8:01am | report
JoshMarks

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JoshMarks

I love Bragg's liquid aminos...your variation of the dish sounds so much more amazing than these. I am a bit picky but I feel like I have very much higher "substance needs" so i would have to do something like using albacore or another healthy, high omega-3 fish or lean protein

Jun 18, 2013 3:19pm | report
JTumminello

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JTumminello

Great ideas. Going to give the Citrus Summer Slaw a try this weekend.

Jun 18, 2013 8:54am | report
 
hargainer

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hargainer

Jillian the shrimp ceviche ROCKS.

Jun 18, 2013 1:03pm | report
 
DaveDadof3

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DaveDadof3

Wow! I will definitely try these!

Jun 18, 2013 2:11pm | report
 
JoshMarks

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JoshMarks

I think that there could have been a lot more creativity brought to this article rather than just throwing 4 salads and a ceviche together and calling it a day. Don't get me wrong, I love a good salad, but while they are absolutely wonderful ideas and they are probably fantastic, I feel like there should have been some sort of variation. For instance, you're writing an article about how to incorporate healthy alternatives into a grilling event; try one or two awesome salad options, an amuse-bouche or two such as the ceviche, and then find a way to incorporate a protein or entree of sorts, like a Braggs liquid amino-ginger marinated and grilled skirt steak or grilled salmon marinated with lime, honey, and cilantro (by no means am I a culinary expert, I actually suck at cooking and my wife does it all for me, but I do have a good understanding of food and these are just theoretical options). Also throwing in multiple barbecue vegetable options like grilled seasoned asparagus, leeks, artichokes, etc., and a few high-protein, healthy carb choices would have been nice (i.e. Great Northern bean and black bean Hoppin' John with fresh cilantro, quinoa, and lentils and white onion) and that would have made this more balanced.

Jun 18, 2013 3:29pm | report
 
Blazerboy777

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Blazerboy777

CEVICHE, HELL YA!

Jun 18, 2013 5:02pm | report
 
Maiku1

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Maiku1

I don't think you have to use cooked shrimp for #5 Ceviche. Isn't the lime supposed to cook the shrimp?

Anyways, amazing recipes and I'm gonna have to try these sometimes! Thanks!

Jun 24, 2013 8:18pm | report
 
Joggin Jill

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Joggin Jill

You are right! In traditional ceviche the lime cookes the shrimp. In my recipe I just chose to cook with cooked shrimp for a quicker version. :)

Jun 28, 2013 1:22pm | report
Joggin Jill

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Joggin Jill

You are right! In traditional ceviche the lime cookes the shrimp. In my recipe I just chose to cook with cooked shrimp for a quicker version. :)

Jun 28, 2013 1:22pm | report
CRich13

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CRich13

The cucumber radish salad was great. I plan on making the shrimp ceviche tomorrow.

Jul 5, 2013 10:23pm | report
 
ViSports

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ViSports

Cool! I have not tried any of these combinations but do like the first one. Kale had a ton of benefits in your diet.

Jul 27, 2013 10:41pm | report
 
ViSports

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ViSports

Cool! I have not tried any of these combinations but do like the first one. Kale had a ton of benefits in your diet.

Jul 27, 2013 10:41pm | report
 
arghbowl

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arghbowl

These look awesome! I wish I'd seen them sooner.

Aug 9, 2013 12:37pm | report
 
pvJohanna

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pvJohanna

Recipes are amazing!

Aug 13, 2013 10:55am | report
 
pvJohanna

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pvJohanna

Recipes are amazing!

Aug 13, 2013 10:55am | report
 
Erica135

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Erica135

Cant wait to try the Hearts of Palm Avocado Salad! and Shrimp Ceviche. YUMMM

Aug 14, 2013 10:27am | report
 
sjaleksic

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sjaleksic

I can't wait to try so many of the recipes that are posted here. Right now we are on HCG diet so are food limited, but I can make the Shrimp Ceviche work for us. After only 7 days on diet I am trying to keep us from getting bored with our meals. This will certainly help!

Aug 23, 2013 7:40am | report
 
IslandPrincess

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IslandPrincess

I'm gonna try all these yummy recipes :)

Aug 29, 2013 11:28pm | report
 
MassiveMelis

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MassiveMelis

These look amazing, Jillian.

Sep 10, 2013 1:45pm | report
 
Showing 1 - 23 of 23 Comments

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