Summer’s light and fresh menus serve up more foods cooked on the grill surrounded by salads. The problem is that “light and fresh” doesn’t always mean light in fat and calories.
Here’s a video of Summer Menu Slimmers and Shockers on 11 Alive Atlanta and Company with host Christine Pulara and moi cooking up solutions with low calorie sweeteners. Even BBQ ribs and a margarita!!
OK back to the story…..on slimmers and shockers.
Whether you’re tossing your own or eyeing the salad section on a restaurant menu, be wary of summer ‘blockbusters’. Many overly huge entrée salads aren’t a slam-dunk for summer slimming. Many weigh in around 1000 calories. Sides such as coleslaw, macaroni and potato salads are often loaded with mayonnaise. Mayo contains 100 calories per tablespoon. Opt for light mayo with 35 calories per tablespoon.
Most high fat salad toppings add about 100 calories per ounce. So chances are when you pile on the cheese, fried chicken, croutons, bacon bits and salad dressing you’ve probably eaten more calories than a large burger and fries.
Slimming Summer Menus:
- Look for menus that take advantage of summer’s bountiful harvest of low calorie nutrient rich produce including tomatoes, cucumbers, field peas, peaches, basil, and all kinds of berries. Did you know that the vitamin C in fruit and veggies is essential for building collagen for healthy skin? Another summer beauty tip.
- Avoid cream based cold soups and go for choices chock full of vegetables such as gazpacho. Fruit soups, from melon to strawberry are delicious and nutritious summer menu additions, too.
- Instead of ice cream or gelato, you’ll save hundreds of calories per serving by choosing frozen desserts made with low fat or fat free milk.
Sugar free frozen desserts made with low calorie sweeteners such as Sucralose are bathing- suit-friendly options as well. But watch the toppings. Choose fresh fruit when possible and skip the crushed candies.
- Think about your drink. Count 400 calories per 8 ounces of a pina colada, margarita, or fruit daiquiri. Look for the ‘skinny’ mixers made with no or low calorie sweeteners such as sucralose or stevia. Stay hydrated in the summer heat and treat your taste buds by adding a little pizzazz to bottled water with sugar free flavor drops made with stevia. Great info on all sweeteners can be found on the Calorie Control Council’s fact filled website.
Take advantage of the new innovation in computerized push button “free style” soda machines to easily find and select from a list of low and no calorie beverages choices.
At restaurants, don’t be fooled by the fire. Grilled meats and fish are often slathered with butter or oil so request that your order be brushed lightly with oil.
Leaner cuts of meat– such as a sirloin tip instead of a heavily marbled rib eye steak or pork roast instead of a pork chop- are lower in fat and calories but can be a challenge to cook. Sam Huff, chef and owner of Sam’s BBQ1 in Marietta, Georgia says, “Only rich folks ate high on the hog. Barbecue was for the tough meat cuts with long protein strands so poor folks had to figure out how to cook them slow and low.”
Another tip for tender meats is placing a pan filled with liquid in the BBQ cooker or under the meat on the grill. “It adds flavor and stops the dripping fat from causing flare ups,” say Huff. “I use whatever compliments. With pork I’d use apple juice, beef maybe some red wine and with chicken I use chicken stock.”
Billed as a 37,000-acre backyard barbecue, the weekend of Montana ranch meets fine food and drink includes activities such as fly-fishing, trails rides, and even a cattle drive.
Let the summer games begin! Have a cookie!
Here’s a yummy recipe for Peanut Butter Cookies sweetened with stevia.
Perfect with a bowl of sugar free frozen dessert topped with summer berries!
Thank you to the Calorie Control Council for the recipes and the foodie facts on sweeteners. I’m thrilled to be blogging for The Skinny on Low Cal this summer.
Share this on: