Monday, June 16, 2008

What's on the Menu, [BB]Cutie?

Tis the season for outdoor barbecues. Many will involve sizzling grills, chilled cocktails, and desserts with Cool-Whip, and most of these same gatherings will feature bikinis, shorts, strappy sundresses, and other skin-baring threads.

Summer attire and nutritional know-how need not cause you to forgo the festive fare. Instead, simply incorporate a few healthy options into your next backyard BBQ. Here's a sample menu including some of my favorite go-to dishes:

Garbanzo, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad: Toss one can garbanzo beans with 1 small carton grape tomatoes (or a few chopped Roma tomatoes), and 1 large cucumber (chopped) with balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, and ground pepper to taste.

Whole Wheat Corn Bread: I've adapted this recipe from the Brand Name Light & Natural Cookbook, and it is scrumptious. Enjoy a slice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It even gets raves from O.G.'s S.O., who's never met a grilled slab of meat he didn't like and is a reliable barometer of whether I'm able to pull off healthy revisions to recipes without sacrificing flavor.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Mix together the following dry ingredients:

1 c. cornmeal
1 c. whole wheat flour
1 tbs. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

Add the remaining ingredients:

1/4 c. honey
1/4 c. oil
1/4 c. unsweetened, all natural applesauce (or use oil)
1 c. skim milk
2 eggs

Beat all ingredients together, vigorously, for two minutes ("Holy forearm workout, Batman!"). Pour into a greased 8-inch square pan. Bake for 25 minutes. Heavenly when served warm.

Main Course
Turkey Burgers: Click here for the recipe.

Tofu Chocolate Pie: I never throw a party without it.

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