This summer, instead of the standard greasy supermarket burgers and burnt chicken leg combo normally associated with barbecue season, opt for healthy and nutritious recipes and turn your alfresco dining into a celebration of health and wellness!
Say goodbye to tasteless and calorie-laden coleslaw or potato salad on the side, and instead take your pick of our delicious and healthy alternatives.
When it comes to barbecuing, preparation is key. A simple marinade left to infuse for just half an hour will turn meat, fish, seafood or vegetables into a taste sensation.
That’s right, it’s not just about the meat. There are so many vegetables that taste amazing when barbecued. It’s worth experimenting, brush your chosen veg with olive oil, season with salt and pepper and either thread them onto skewers, or just put them straight on the barbecue.
Try asparagus, romano peppers, sliced aubergine, courgette and cherry tomatoes still on the vine.
Chicken tikka skewers
An incredibly tasty alternative to burgers, marinade the chicken for at least 15 minutes, ideally for an hour, as this makes the meat extra tender. Mix the marinade ingredients in a bowl and add the chicken pieces. Cover and chill in the fridge for up to 24 hours. Thread onto skewers (if using wooden skewers, soak them to avoid the ends burning). Barbecue on a medium heat, turning, until the chicken is firm and no longer pink inside.
- 3cm piece of ginger, grated
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tsp garam masala
- 1/2 tsp teaspoon chilli powder
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 140 g natural yoghurt
- chicken breast chopped into 3cm chunks
King prawn skewers
Mix the ingredients together in a bowl and leave to marinade for 30 minutes. Spear the prawns on skewers, discarding the remaining marinade. Cook on the barbecue on a high heat, 2-3 minutes per side. You can also use scallops or monkfish with this marinade.
- Olive oil
- Juice of half a lemon
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- chopped parsley
- Chilli flakes (optional)
- 700g king prawns
Cut the stems off and place the mushrooms gills up in a dish. Make a marinade, with 2 crushed garlic cloves, a teaspoon of chopped thyme leaves, 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.
Pour the marinade over the mushrooms and leave to infuse for 20 minutes. Grill them on the barbecue for around 3 minutes each side or until they are soft all the way through.
Mexican corn on the cob
Remove any outer leaves, boil the corn for 15 minutes, and drain. Brush with olive oil, and place on the barbecue, turning regularly until slightly charred. Serve sprinkled with sweet paprika and a squeeze of lime juice.
Make a quinoa, freekeh or bulgar wheat salad as a side dish and your barbecue is bound to sizzle. These grains work well with chopped tomatoes, spring onions and fresh herbs. Dress with olive oil and lemon juice.
Tangy summer slaw
Grate or slice the vegetables finely mix together and pour over the dressing, then add the herbs and mix well.
- 4 carrots
- ½ a red cabbage
- 1 fennel bulb
- 1 large red onion
- large handful fresh coriander, chopped
- large handful fresh mint, chopped
- For the dressing:
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 tbsp sesame oil
- juice of 1 lime
- 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
A thick yoghurt raita makes a perfect accompaniment to barbecued meat. It also works well with Portobello mushrooms or any grilled meat. You can add some minced raw garlic to give it a powerful kick if you like it spicy.
Peel and grate the cucumber, and leave it to drain in a sieve. Finely chop the mint leaves and mix all the ingredients together.
- 300g natural yoghurt
- 1 cucumber
- handful of mint leaves
- pinch of sea salt
- ½ tsp of cumin
Grilled peaches with vanilla yoghurt
A delicious dessert with a difference, these grilled peaches are super easy and will look delicious on your alfresco platter. Skin and halve the peaches (or nectarines), removing the stone. Brush with olive oil and place on a low heat on the barbecue for 2-4 minutes on each side.
Mix a few drops of vanilla extract with some plain yoghurt. Serve the peaches warm with the yoghurt and a drizzle of honey. Enjoy!
Need a protein fix? Try these protein rich summer recipes!