Healthy (For Real!) BBQ Recipes

What better way to celebrate our nation’s birthday than with a delicious homemade meal in your own backyard? Paul Finkelstein shares his ideas for the ultimate healthy grill menu.

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A healthy BBQ feast

The barbecue is a versatile cooking tool that can prepare much more than just your main course. With a little creative thinking, you can spend your time outside making your entire meal and embracing the beauty of our Canadian summer. And who doesn’t love the easy cleanup this type of cooking offers? Just scrape the grill, close the lid and relax.

The recipes I’ve created here are great for beginners to grilling. Why not prepare them for a delicious barbecue? Remember, any dish is tastier with local produce, and summer is the best time of year to take advantage of it. There’s nothing like the aroma and flavour of just-picked vegetables. Make a weekly trip to a farmers’ market and make a connection with the person who grew your food, or look for local produce from your grocer.

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turkey kebabs_healthy canada day feast
photo credit: shutterstock

Turkey Kebabs

These appetizer kebabs are a great combination of flavours that are reminiscent of Moroccan spices. You’ll find saffron in the spice section of most grocery and health food stores; it’s expensive but you only need a pinch for most recipes, so it’ll last a long time. The dip gives these kebabs a true Moroccan flavour. While kebabs are traditionally skewered and then cooked, I like to skewer them after cooking because it’s easier and saves the wood sticks from burning.

Get the recipe: Turkey Kebabs

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healthy canada day feast_grilled asian salad in bowl

Grilled Asian Salad

This simple salad requires very little cooking time on the grill, as the vegetables have great flavour and texture. I chose watercress because I like its crunch and it’s widely available in the summer months. I’ve suggested tofu as a protein, but if you can find tempeh in your local grocery store or health food store, give it a try; it has a nuttier flavour.

Get the recipe: Grilled Asian Salad

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photo credit: shutterstock

Grilled Greek-Style Pizza

The arugula pesto in this recipe adds a delicious peppery taste to the pizza (make extra pesto and have it the next day with grilled fish or meat, or as a simple pasta sauce). The grilled whole-wheat pita resembles a thin oven-baked pizza crust and has a great crunch, but with less calories and fat. The key element to Greek cooking is to use fresh ingredients. Not only do they benefit our overall health, but fresh food makes for a better-tasting meal.

Get the recipe: Grilled Greek-Style Pizza

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