7 Healthy BBQ Recipes to Keep You in Shape Under Quarantine
With everyone spending much more time at home with much less things to do, it has never been so tempting to finish off an entire box of cookies or bake a whole loaf of banana bread for yourself. Just look at the kind of products that always seem to be out of stock at your local grocery store. Baking ingredients like flour and yeast are flying off the shelves in Canada, with suppliers citing an increase in cooking – and by extension, eating.
While cooking is a perfect way to spice up another day of self-isolation, too much of it can give you yet another problem to deal with… the NOSHER-19 – no, it’s not a virus, but the additional 19 pounds you put on. Yes, it’s important to indulge in your favourite foods and test run new recipes (our latest blog post is on comfort food after all) but as with anything in life, it’s all about balance.
Kidding aside, we understand that there are much more serious things to worry about right now than a few extra inches on their waistline, but we hope these nutritious BBQ recipes will help keep your mind and body healthy and happy during these difficult times.
1. Balsamic Steak Salad with Peaches
Recipe Courtesy of Delish
When you think about healthy eating, salad is probably the first type of food that comes to mind. Although the thought of salad may not be as exciting as, say, spaghetti or shortcake, you can make it more exciting by adding peaches, steak, and blue cheese.
To make this savory salad, start by marinating the steak with balsamic vinegar, garlic, and brown sugar for 20 minutes. While the meat is absorbing all the delicious flavours, preheat your BBQ to high. Right before the steak hits the grill, rub it with vegetable oil and season it with salt and pepper. Grill the steak to your desired doneness – 3 minutes per side if you like it medium rare. When you remove the steak from the BBQ, make sure to let it sit for 5 minutes before slicing.
In the meantime, prepare a simple and healthy dressing by whisking together olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper. Toss the dressing with arugula, peaches, blue cheese, and top with the steak slices.
2. Seafood, Pineapple, & Coconut Kebabs
Recipe Courtesy of Good Food
Looking to get more fruit in your diet? These kabobs are the perfect way to get protein and vitamin C in one go! With shrimp, salmon, pineapple, and coconut, you’ll get your omega 3s along with plenty of important vitamins in a snackable format.
Start by soaking 8 wooden skewers. You’ll want to do this 30 mins before grilling. In the meantime, toss prawns and salmon in a bowl with coconut milk, salt, and pepper. After, roll the seafood in shredded coconut, and thread the prawns and salmon onto the skewers, along with the pineapple chunks. Dab the kabobs with oil and grill for 3-4 minutes on each side. You can tell they’re done when the prawns become pink and the salmon is cooked through. When your seafood-pineapple skewers are fully cooked, squeeze some lime juice on top and enjoy!
3. Chicken Satay Lettuce Wraps
Recipe Courtesy of The Girl on Bloor
If you’re looking for a healthy dinner recipe that covers the central food groups, these chicken satay lettuce wraps are just the recipe you’re looking for.
To create this fresh spring dish, start by dicing chicken breasts into small cubes. Whisk together lemongrass, olive oil, lime juice, garlic, ginger, soy sauce, turmeric, chili powder and coriander and pour over the chicken. Marinate for 20 minutes – or as long as it takes for you to preheat your BBQ to high heat. As you wait, prepare the fillings and the peanut dipping sauce.
For the fillings, you could choose from veggies like red peppers, cucumbers, and cabbage, as well as grains such as vermicelli noodles, rice, or harvest snap peas. For the peanut sauce, mix together half a can of full fat coconut milk with peanut butter, lime juice, and sriracha to taste.
When the grill is ready, thread chicken onto the skewers and grill for ten minutes, flipping halfway. When the skewers are fully cooked, remove them from the grill and set them atop each romaine lettuce wrap, along your toppings of choice. Serve with the peanut dipping sauce.
4. Barbecued Asparagus with Pesto
Recipe Courtesy of Sprouted Kitchen
When it comes to healthy eating, the greener a dish is, the better it is for you – in most cases at least. However, it can be difficult to incorporate greens in your meal and still feel satisfied with it. But this asparagus side dish is anything but bland. Served with homemade pesto and garnished with extra goodies, this recipe accomplishes the seemingly impossible task of making it fun to eat your veggies! Plus, asparagus is packed with tons of nutrients like vitamin a, c, e, k, and it’s also a great source of fiber and folate.
For the grilled asparagus, preheat your BBQ to medium heat and grill, covered, for 7-9 minutes – simple as that. To make the delicious pesto, combine garlic, toasted pepitas, sea salt, jalapeno, chipotle, cilantro, and lime juice in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients are thoroughly combined. To serve, set asparagus on a bed of pesto and top with red onion and toasted pepitas.
5. BBQ Salmon with Avocado Salsa
Recipe Courtesy of The Girl on Bloor
Barbecued salmon with a rich creamy sauce is no doubt tasty, but if you’re looking for a healthier version, consider topping your next grilled salmon with avocado salsa for a fresh citrus twist.
This healthy recipe starts by preheating the BBQ to medium high heat. Prepare the salmon by brushing sockeye filets with olive oil, rubbing them in brown sugar, and sprinkling some salt and pepper on top. Then grill the salmon, skin-side down, for 10-12 minutes. Make sure to pay close attention to your BBQ as you don’t want to be left with dry salmon – especially when you can’t drench it in a creamy sauce!
When your salmon is perfectly cooked, prepare the salsa by chopping up peppers, an avocado, and red onions. Toss the ingredients with lime, cilantro, salt, and red chili flakes. (Note: if you’re not a cilantro fan, opt for basil or parsley instead). Serve atop your salmon and enjoy!
6. Grilled Chicken with Lemon-Cucumber Relish
Recipe Courtesy of Better Homes & Gardens
Not only is chicken a lean source of protein – it’s also full of important nutrients like calcium and phosphorus. There are also endless ways to prepare chicken, including this delicious mediteranian dish, so you can add some variety to your healthy recipe plan.
Start by cutting chicken breasts in half (this will help them quick faster and more thoroughly) and brush each side with olive oil. Sprinkle with cumin, salt, and pepper and grill, covered, for 12-15 minutes over medium heat. Turn once.
As your chicken is cooking, prepare the lemon cucumber relish by tossing together chopped cucumber, tomato, onion, lemon peel, lemon juice, and garlic. In a separate bowl, stir yogurt, honey, and milk together. Top both atop your finished chicken for a mediterannian twist.
7. Barbecued Squid Salad
Recipe Courtesy of Good Food
Unless you live on Canada’s coastlines, squid is not likely something you cook often, if at all. But with most of us having extra time on our hands, now’s the time to experiment with new ingredients. After all, it’s not like you’re entertaining guests at the moment so it’s the perfect time to perfect new recipes. Plus, squid is low in saturated fat and high in protein, making squid salad the perfect healthy dish to test out under quarantine – unless you plan on making it into calamari, but that’s a recipe for another blog.
To make this unique salad, first slice squid tubes into bite side pieces and marinate with lime juice, olive oil, garlic, and peppercorn for 30 mins to 4 hours. In the meantime, you can prepare the salad by chopping 1 mango, 1 red onion, and 3 ripe avocados. Toss with black beans, chili, lime juice, and salt.
When your BBQ is heated to medium, grill the squid tubes for around a minute and a half, or until the pieces become opaque and start curling up. Remove from the grill and set atop your prepared salad, along with some olive oil and cilantro.
8. Bonus: Homemade Healthy BBQ Sauce
Recipe Courtesy of Eating Bird Food
Look at the side of a jar of barbecue sauce and you’ll likely see a bunch of ingredients you can’t pronounce, along with a shockingly high sugar content. That can’t be good for you, right? But giving up BBQ sauce altogether – that can’t be good for you either, right?
However, if you make your own BBQ sauce, you can control what goes into it for a more nutritious result. This recipe uses reasonable amounts of maple syrup and molasses, along with plenty of tomato sauce, onions, garlic, and spices, to pack a flavour punch. If you want to lower the sugar content even more, you could swap the maple syrup with stevia or monkfruit.
9. Extra Bonus: At-Home Exercise Ideas
Another way to keep healthy under quarantine is by adding some at-home exercises to your daily routine. There are plenty of free workout routines on YouTube that you can follow – no treadmill required! Here are a few we recommend:
- Planet Fitness: This channel posts 20 minute full-body workout routines daily, perfect for developing a consistent workout schedule.
- Scola Dondo: Who said fitness isn’t fun? Scola Dondo’s channel involves dance-based exercise routines to get you movin’ and groovin’.
- Yoga with Adrienne: Yoga-lovers can enjoy plenty of different yoga routines on Adrienne’s channel.
- POPSUGAR Fitness: If you enjoy switching up your workout routine, this channel offers a wide variety of exercise options.
- MadFit: No weights? No problem! This channel offers plenty of different bodyweight exercises you can use to build strength.
- Taylor Mitchell