We love Friday-night pizza or lazy-Sunday Thai delivery as much as the next guys — but we can’t say the same for our waistlines. Luckily, we have a few tricks up our sleeves. By remaking your favorite take-out foods at home, you can get all the pleasure…with none of the guilt. All it takes is a few switch-ups.
We’ve remade everything from pizza and hot wings to chicken pad Thai, but with summer right around the corner, this time we’ll be focusing on the backyard BBQ.
Check out our top secrets to making just-as-delicious Summer BBQ Fake-Outs:
Creamy Potato Salad
The secret: Keep the skins on and use fat-free Greek yogurt & fresh herbs
Cook baby red potatoes with the skin on — the skin packs most of the nutrients. Next, swap most or all of the mayonnaise out for protein-packed fat-free Greek yogurt and add in chopped scallions and fresh dill for tons of flavor without the calories. Taste and season with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper.
The secret: No mayo! Make a vinegar-based dressing instead
Vinegar-based slaws are tangy, flavorful substitutes to the fat-packed creamy slaw we’re used to buying from the store. Try honey, cider vinegar, and olive oil for tons of flavor without the guilt. This recipe even adds in a few vitamin-rich spinach leaves and toasted sesame seeds.
The secret: Add in vitamin-packed greens & swap fatty bacon for lean smoked ham or turkey
Baked beans are delicious, but we find most recipes are packed with bacon and brown sugar. This version uses diced smoked turkey or ham and packs in whole tomatoes, Swiss chard and tons of fresh herbs.
BBQ Chicken & Pork
The secret: Choose the right cuts of meat & control the sodium and sugar with a homemade barbecue sauce
Chicken breast and pork tenderloin may be healthier, leaner cuts of meat, but that doesn’t mean they have to be bland. Brush them with a homemade barbecue sauce during grilling. Bonus: You can control the flavor and spice level. This easy mango bbq sauce is made with fresh mango, jalapeño and lime. This tangy coffee sauce uses freshly brewed coffee, balsamic vinegar and lower sodium soy-sauce. For a thicker, sweeter sauce, try this Memphis-style recipe made with ketchup, brown sugar and Worcestershire.
The secret: Mix in veggies & use lean ground meat and lower-fat cheese
For an added boost of vitamins, mix grated or chopped veggies like onions, garlic, bell pepper, carrots or zucchini into 90%-95% lean ground meat (like chicken, turkey or beef). Serve on lightly toasted whole grain buns topped with lettuce, tomato and red onion. If using cheese, add a naturally lower-fat variety — try a thin slice of Swiss or a few crumbles of feta.