Nothing says Summer in Australia like a barbecue! This season, mix things up beyond the standard fare – whilst avoiding the heat of the kitchen! – with these healthy barbecue dishes. Spoil your loved ones with these easy options, served family-style alongside a fresh salad or two and some crusty wholegrain bread. Enjoy!
Middle Eastern-style eggplant. Incredibly simple, slice your eggplant into rounds and grill for a few minutes on each side until tender (ensuring they’re not undercooked!). Keep things simple with some hummus on the side, or for a special touch, drizzle over a tahini-yoghurt dressing and finish with a scatter of pomegranate. Serve alongside some grilled lamb, tabbouleh and a couscous salad.
Grilled beef with chimichurri. Lean beef is a great source of protein and (more easily-absorbed) haem iron. Once cooked and rested, serve in thick slices and spoon over a generous amount of chimichurri (a fresh, herbed salsa of Argentinian origin – and fail-safe crowd pleaser!); we love this recipe.
Squid. A fantastic candidate for the barbecue, squid is at its best when cooked quickly over a high heat, and works well with different flavours. Try scoring and slicing your squid into strips, flavouring with Sichuan-style spice (like in this recipe) before barbecuing. Alternatively, for a classic Greek-inspired take, try barbecuing a whole squid (like in this recipe) – much less intimidating than a whole fish! Ask your fishmonger to prepare it for you to keep things simple. Once cooked, transfer to a large serving plate and finish with a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil and a generous squeeze of lemon. It works beautifully alongside classic Greek and Cypriot-style grain salads.
Thai-style red curry salmon parcels. This one is inspired by Chin Chin’s delicious iteration! It can be as simple as placing each salmon fillet onto a baking paper-lined square of foil, and spooning some good-quality store-bought red curry paste, mixed with a little extra virgin olive oil. Fold each parcel to enclose, and cook with the barbecue lid down for anywhere from 8 to 12 minutes, depending on the size of each fillet, and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime.
Grilled corn. A delicious starter or side, grilled corn is incredibly simple – just place whole corn cobs onto the barbecue and cook, turning every minute or so. Brush over some extra virgin olive oil – flavoured with lime zest and black pepper, or paprika, if you like! – once almost cooked, to prevent burning.
Skewers. Chicken, prawns, beef and lamb all work beautifully! Incredibly versatile, skewers can be easily adapted to seamlessly cater for those of us unable to eat meat. Try tofu, mixed veggies like mushrooms, zucchini and capsicum, or haloumi to meet vegetarian and vegan requirements.
Herbed chicken burgers. Fresh and fragrant, it takes just a little effort to put this one together! Combine lean chicken mince with finely-chopped herbs such as Thai basil, mint, coriander or kaffir lime leaf, and your preferred combination of aromatics like spring onions, garlic, ginger, lemongrass, chilli or lime zest. Season with a little tamari, fish sauce and black pepper, and shape the mixture into burger patties. Once cooked, serve with a crunchy slaw, some sliced cucumber and fresh lettuce leaves in a wholegrain bun, or as an open sandwich.
For expert dietary support to meet your unique goals throughout Summer and beyond, book your first appointment with one of our wonderful Accredited Practising Dietitians today.
Written by Caitlin Branch, Student Nutritionist, and Amanda Smith, Accredited Practising Dietitian.