Everyone loves a summer cookout. From the 4th of July to Sunday Fundays, the season provides countless opportunities for al fresco eating and fellowship. But summer cookout menus are not always healthy, and it’s difficult to love the prospect when dieting. But there are plenty of ways to enjoy a traditional picnic-style meal while observing a modified eating plan.
One of the most popular outdoor barbecue menus is grilled hot dogs, burgers and of course, coleslaw and fresh baked beans. But by making a light sesame coleslaw and slow cooking vegan barbecue beans, you can make healthy fiber and great taste central to any gathering.
Slow-Cooked Vegan Barbecue Beans
- 1 bag small red beans
- 1 sweet yellow onion
- 2 fresh whole peppers (jalapeno, serrano, chile)
- 1 fresh head of garlic
- organic barbecue sauce
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Toss your peppers and peeled garlic and onion into a food processor and mince into a fine mix. Rinse your beans and put them into your crock pot with the minced veggies, 1.5 cups of barbeque sauce, several dashes of salt and pepper and a tablespoon of ground cumin. Cover the entire mixture with water and put on low for 6-8 hours, depending on desired consistency.
Also, serve these delicious beans alongside a Sesame Coleslaw. Simply use the typical cabbage and carrot medley and replace mayo or sour cream with several splashes of fresh lime and orange juice, two tablespoons of rice vinegar, a tablespoon of spicy brown mustard, and a tablespoon of toasted sesame oil. Season with salt to taste and garnish with freshly chopped green onion and finally, toasted sesame seeds. This dish is a light way to insert veggies into your meal without the heaviness of a creamy base. Especially relevant, this lighter slaw will not only save calories but up the healthy quotient of the dish.
Lastly, instead of links and patties with fattier meat, opt to grill lean poultry or fish like chicken breast, salmon, and seabass. You’ll still get great health and flavor benefits, but from leaner, lower calorie proteins. An added bonus is that these meats can be even better enjoyed without buns or bread.
In conclusion, you can still put on a fun cookout with amazing food while improving your diet. With just some tweaks to that aforementioned menu, you’ll have a delicious summer meal that stands up next to any traditional cookout fare. As a result, you’ll have guests who appreciate your creativity and lighter approach to entertaining!