Healthy BBQ Tips with bonus recipe: Italian Veggie Chickpea Pasta Salad
Happy Memorial Day! I am thankful for all the service men and women that have fought for our country so we can have freedom and live in our awesome country of America. Our pastor said it so well yesterday, “So many complain about how bad our country is, but we have so many people coming over from other countries to live here.” Think about it, we have so much in this country. If you are reading this, you have access to the internet—may it be a smart phone, computer, laptop, tablet, etc. It may not be the newest edition, but you still have access to anything on the internet!
Memorial day weekend is a big weekend filled with BBQs and parties to also kick of summer. Summer parties are often filled with high calorie and poor quality foods. I encourage my clients to bring a healthy dish so they know they can have at least one healthy item to pick from. I also don’t want my clients (or myself) to feel deprived, so here are some BBQ tips to make sure you stay on track this summer and enjoy it at the same time:
Fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables
- For example: green leafy salads, roasted veggies, raw veggies with hummus or Greek yogurt dips, fruit
- Have a balanced plate with fruits, veggies, whole grains, protein, and healthy fats
- Skip the bun for a lettuce wrap or a burger salad (I’d rather use my carbs for tortilla chips or dessert—personally)
- Bring a healthy dish (like this pasta salad)
- Have a spoonful (or 2) of something that you really enjoy at BBQs but are still higher in calories
- For example: white pasta salads, mayo based salads, cheese filled dishes, sour cream or cream cheese dips/desserts, chips, white flour buns or rolls
- Add everything to your plate so you can visually see what you are eating
- Sit away from the food table
- Chat away with people you love
- Drink water between drinks (Watch out for the calories you drink as 1 beer can be around 150 calories!)
- Get active with games or swimming
- Enjoy the day, don’t let stress get in your way!
Italian Veggie Chickpea Pasta Salad
Plant based, refreshing pasta salad filled with protein and fiber to keep you full during your BBQ!
8.8oz box of chick pea pasta
1/4 green zucchini, sliced in halves
1/4 yellow zucchini, sliced in halves
1 tsp olive oil
1/4 red onion, thinly chopped
2 small radishes, thinly sliced
1/4 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cucumber, sliced in halves
1/4 cup sliced black olives
1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- Ingredients for dressing
1 tsp basil, dried
1 tsp oregano, dried
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp lemon juice
3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- Cook pasta according to directions, drain, and rinse with cold water. Set aside to cool.
- In a medium skillet, add olive oil and heat on medium heat. Add zucchini, salt, and pepper (to taste). Cook for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- Add cooked zucchini, onion, radishes, red pepper, cucumber, black olives, and parsley to cooled pasta.
- Mix all dressing ingredients together. Drizzle on top of pasta salad and mix together.
- It is best when all marinated together for a couple hours before serving.
- Enjoy cold next to a burger salad
I would love to hear some ways you all stay on track while enjoying your summer! Feel free to comment below or reach out to me!