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Brighten up your barbecue meals this summer

Mediterranean Couscous
Mediterranean Couscous - Submitted

FOODWISE By Terry Daley

It’s the best time of year – barbecue season! Who doesn’t love a delicious, barbecued meal on a beautiful summer day?

People often see the summer months as a time to forgo their healthy eating plans and indulge. But why can’t we do both? Nutritious can also be delicious, and with a little attention to some meal balancing, a seemingly unhealthy and indulgent meal can become a healthier option.

One of the best guidelines to follow for healthy eating is to make your plate colourful. This goes for a barbecue just like any other meal. Barbecue meals often are thought to consist of a meat and potatoes and are often planned with few or no vegetables.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Fill half your plate with vegetables. For the rest, a quarter should be reserved for a protein source and the other quarter a whole grain or starchy vegetable, like potatoes or corn. For variety, use spinach or baby kale for salads, buy or make different slaws such as broccoli or beet. Grill peppers, onions, zucchini, eggplant or endives. The possibilities are endless, just be sure to include different kinds and colours of vegetables for maximum flavour and nutrition.

Make it a point to also try new foods or recipes when you are barbecuing! Variety really is the spice of life and the key to maintaining a healthy diet. There are plenty of vegetarian grill options such as vegetarian burgers, grilled vegetable sandwiches or grilled tofu. Whole grain or starchy sides can be anything from pasta to rice, to corn, to breads. So, experiment!

Our taste buds are constantly changing, so do not count out a food you have tried in the past and thought you did not like – or, try it a new way. For example, you may not like fresh peppers chopped in a salad, but perhaps you’ll like them grilled with some herbs and spices.

Try this Mediterranean Couscous as a side at your next barbecue. President’s Choice Axiany Cherry Tomatoes, which are brand-new in store and have a crisp, juicy bite and delicious sweetness, make a great option for the cherry tomatoes called for in the recipe (or for any summer salad).

Mediterranean Couscous

Ingredients:

1 cup (250 mL) PC MEMORIES OF Marrakech Couscous

1/4 cup (50 mL) PC Roasted Garlic Olive Oil

1 cup (250 mL) chicken stock

1 cup (250 mL) cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, cut in half

1/2 cup (125 mL) green onions thinly sliced

2 tbsp (25 mL) fresh oregano finely chopped

1 tbsp (15 mL) lemon juice

In small saucepan, bring stock to a boil. Place couscous in large bowl. Pour hot chicken stock over. Let stand 10 to 15 minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork. One at a time, stir in tomatoes, green onions, oil, oregano and lemon juice.

Makes 4 servings

Per Serving: Calories 240 Cal, Fat 14 g, Sodium 120 mg, Carbohydrate 24 g, Fibre 2.2 g, Protein 4.5 g

Recipe source: pc.ca

Have a nutrition question? Want to book an appointment or educational store tour for yourself or your community group or business? Contact me by phone at (902) 921-0700 or by email at terry.daley@loblaw.ca.

Terry Daley is a Registered Dietitian with Atlantic Superstore in New Glasgow.

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