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Abby Ixer’s Nutritious Food: Have A Healthy Barbecue

Published on: 13 Jun, 2015
Updated on: 13 Jun, 2015
Dietician Abby Ixer.

Dietician Abby Ixer.

Abby Ixer is a registered dietician with a passion for food and nutrition. She moved to Guildford four years ago and is currently working in the area of health promotion, delivering healthy lifestyle programmes and giving dietary advice to groups around west London. This month she looks at food for the barbecue.

Nothing says summer more than a barbecue, and with Father’s Day just around the corner, what better way to celebrate than with burned sausages and dodgy looking burgers. Doesn’t sound too appealing does it? But barbeques don’t have to be a complete disaster or an unhealthy meal either! Here are my top tips for a stress free (and healthier) barbeque.

Include some vegetables.

When I say vegetables, I don’t mean a bowl of limp lettuce leaves that are always ignored. Try some haloumi and vegetable kebabs – a real crowd pleaser! This is great fun for the kids too as they can pick whichever vegetables they prefer.

Courgette, mushroom and pepper work really well, but be adventurous with your choices! Prepare the kebabs by adding chunks of haloumi and your chosen veg onto skewers and cook on the barbecue until browned. If using wooden skewers, remember to soak them in cold water first to stop them burning.

Make your own burgers.

For 4-6 burgers, all you need as a base is 500g extra lean beef mince, a handful of breadcrumbs, 1 egg, a bunch of chopped parsley and some black pepper.

Mix all ingredients together and make into burger shapes. You could even experiment with different flavours for a modern twist. Add a chopped fresh chilli for some heat or smoked paprika and ground cumin for a Mexican inspired flavour. Making burgers from scratch ensures there will be no additives or hidden salt.

Also, extra lean mince can have roughly 15% less fat compared to standard beef mince, making this a much healthier alternative to packaged and highly processed burger.

Choose chicken.

Not only is chicken incredibly versatile, it’s a good source of protein and provides a range of essential vitamins and minerals.

Always make sure chicken is cooked all the way through, the flesh shouldn’t be pink and the juices should run clear. Why not experiment with spices and give tandoori chicken a try?

It’s really easy to make and tastes much better than the highly processed, salt laden options in the supermarket. Marinade boneless chicken thighs in a mixture of low fat plain yoghurt, ground cumin, turmeric, chilli flakes, garam masala and fresh coriander in the fridge for a few hours.

This can even be prepared the night before to save time on the day. All you need to do now is cook on the barbeque and there you have it!

So why not treat dad to a tasty barbecue this Father’s Day. You might not be able to promise good weather but you can guarantee tasty food!

Don’t miss Guildford Farmers’ Market on the first Tuesday of each month to pick up your freerange eggs and locally sourced meat, along with lots of other tasty treats.

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