You can still enjoy the delicious fun of summertime cookouts and stay on track with your weight loss goal. We have lots of lower-calorie ideas to help you do that, such as 5 Better for You Burger Recipes You”;ll Love > and Healthier Potato Salad> But while you are choosing healthy dishes like those, be aware that sneaky excess calories are lurking in places where you might not expect them. Condiments may seem like just little dabs of flavor, but, according to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a single tablespoon of ketchup can have four grams of sugar and an equal amount of mayonnaise can come with 90 calories and 10 grams of fat. That”;s why they”;re counted as “;Extras”; in your Nutrisystem weight loss plan (Not on Nutrisystem yet? Click here to get started >). Good news: These five low calorie condiments are loaded with flavor. Better news: They are all “;Free”; foods you can enjoy to your heart”;s content.
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Here”;s what you need to know about choosing and using low calorie condiments :
The seeds from the mustard plant, a leafy green with a spicy flavor, are ground up and blended with vinegar and other ingredients to make the familiar yellow condiment. The color actually comes from turmeric, another flavorful spice. The mustard shelf at the grocery store is filled with lots of choices, from mild, smooth-textured bright yellow types to browner, grainier and very hot varieties. Dijon mustard is blended with white wine to add a tart flavor to balance the moderately spicy taste of the mustard. Beware of honey mustard, which has added sugar, and “;dijonnaise,”; which has all the excess calories and fats of mayonnaise.
TRY: Mustard is most commonly used to add zest to burgers and hot dogs, but it makes a tasty glaze for grilled chicken, fish or vegetables. You can also use it to make a low calorie flavorful salad dressing, such as our Creamy Honey Mustard topping >
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2. Lemon/Lime Juice
Your food gets a spark of bright, acidic flavor from the juice of these two citrus fruits. Both are nearly calorie-free and loaded with vitamin C. Generally, lemons are slightly more sour than limes, while for many people the latter has a lightly bitter taste. Fresh lemons and limes have the best flavor and they”;re easy to slice up and squeeze for juice by hand. You can also find packaged lemon and lime juice in supermarkets–;just be sure before you buy that they are pure juice and contain no added sweeteners.
TRY: Fresh lemon or lime juice adds a refreshing splash of flavor to calorie-free seltzer. These juices also brighten the taste of grilled fish or chicken, and they add a spark of acid to mixed and fruit salads. Briefly grill lemon or lime halves to infuse them with a smoky taste that gives many dishes a flame-cooked flavor.
3. Hot Sauce
Also known as chili sauce or pepper sauce, this spicy condiment is made from hot peppers blended with a little vinegar. Hot sauce comes in a wide range of heat options, from mildly tongue tingling to five-alarm fire. Those made with habanero or ghost peppers tend to be the spiciest. Sriracha (sometimes call “;rooster sauce”; because of the image on its label) is a popular Vietnamese-style hot sauce that”;s moderately spicy. According to BioMed Central, all hot sauces are loaded with capsaicin, the heat-bearing compound that research shows speeds metabolism and can help burn fat.
TRY: Unless you”;re an experienced hot-sauce lover, start with just a few drops on your food and add more once you”;ve tasted it. Mix a little hot sauce into ground turkey to punch up the flavor of your burgers with one of the most flavorful low calorie condiments. Sprinkle a little on grilled vegetables or seafood, such a shrimp or clams. Use hot sauce to make a zesty (and sugar-free) marinade for meats by whisking it with a little olive oil, fresh lime juice, minced garlic and chopped scallions.
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When we think of salsa, we typically picture a chunky sauce made with tomatoes, chile peppers and onions that comes in various levels of spiciness. You can also find salsas that are based on tomatillos (green or “;salsa verde”;) or fruit such as mangoes or pineapple. When shopping for bottled salsa, be sure to check the label for added sugar, which will load on extra calories. To get all the goodness and nothing more, you can use our recipe to whip up your own fresh salsa in minutes.
TRY: Skip the cream-based dips and instead slip your veggies into a bowl of one of our favorite low calorie condiments: Salsa. Make quick and healthy guacamole for dipping by blending salsa and lemon or lime juice with mashed avocado. Hold the ketchup and top your burger with a spoonful of salsa. Fruit-based salsas turn plain grilled fish into tropical treat.
According to the Journal of Evidence-Based Integrative Medicine, vinegar is made, like wine, by fermentation, which in this case produces acetic acid rather than alcohol. While vinegar generally has a tangy flavor, you”;ll see a variety of types made with such ingredients as apple cider, red wine, and even champagne, each with slightly different tastes. Balsamic vinegar, made from grapes leftover from wine-making, is dark-colored and tends to be thicker and more flavor-intense than other types. Vinegar has long been used in cooking as well as a folk remedy for many conditions. One recent study even found that vinegar may prevent spikes in blood sugar, which can be very beneficial for people with diabetes.
TRY: Vinegar infused with herbs such as tarragon or basil make a flavorful (and calorie-free) salad dressing. A trick many chefs use is to splash roasted or grilled meats or vegetables with a little vinegar while they”;re still warm, which brings out the full flavor of the ingredients. Use apple cider vinegar in place of the creamy dressing in coleslaw or potato to reduce their fat content.
Interested in learning more about low-calorie options? Check out more recipes here >
The post 5 Low Calorie Condiments to Use at the BBQ appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com
Summer is party time, when we gather with friends and family to celebrate the warm weather, long days and a slower pace of life. And it”;s the best season for enjoying good food outdoors, where everything seems to taste better. There’s no better time to get creative in the kitchen and whip up delicious recipes for the BBQ.
You can join the fun and stay on track toward your weight loss goals with delicious dishes you make yourself.
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Here are 20 healthy recipes for the BBQ you”;ll be proud to share at home or bring to a party:
1. Patriotic Booze-Free Sangria >
Raise a toast to our great country, summer days, or whatever inspires you with this sweet and fruity drink. It has just 53 calories per serving and counts as only half of a SmartCarb, which makes it one of our favorite recipes for the BBQ.
2. 7-Layer Southwest Dip >
Turn your party into a fiesta when you and the rest of the gang dig into the zesty flavors of beans, avocado, salsa, onions and more. The creamy texture is the perfect complement to crunchy carrots, cucumbers and other veggies.
3. BBQ Chicken Nachos >
You can make a classic appetizer in minutes that is sure to be a hit with everyone. Start with Nutrisystem”;s BBQ Seasoned Chicken atop baked whole wheat tortilla chips, then add cheese, diced peppers and onions, and fresh cilantro. It”;s meaty, cheesy and so, so satisfying.
4. Crab-Stuffed Cucumber Cups >
These crunchy bites bring sophisticated flavors to any gathering, but they”;re ready to eat in just three simple steps–;no cooking necessary. The crab provides you with lean protein (one PowerFuel), plus you get two servings of non-starchy vegetables and the summery taste of fresh seafood.
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5. Heirloom Tomato Salad >
Tomatoes are at their peak during BBQ season, so it”;s the perfect time to savor the extraordinary flavors and vivid colors of old-fashioned varieties. Chickpeas bump up this salad”;s protein and fiber content, while fat-free feta cheese adds a delightful bit of creaminess and tang. Whip up this fresh salad and enjoy one of our favorite recipes for the BBQ.
6. Broccoli Slaw With Cranberries and Lime >
The classic slaw gets a flavorful and nutritious makeover with crunchy broccoli and jicama (aka the “;Mexican potato”;), tangy cranberries and lime, and a hint of sweetness from honey. Eat it as a side salad or add it to a sandwich or wrap.
7. Southwestern Sweet Potato Salad >
This dish is sure to become the new favorite at your BBQ. Start with sweet potato noodles (you can make or buy) and blend in corn, tomatoes, peppers and onions. The zingy flavor comes from the sauce of Greek yogurt seasoned with Southwest spices.
8. Gluten-Free Maple Cornbread >
Everyone can enjoy this sweet and savory cornbread, the perfect companion to barbecued meats. It”;s lower in calories, fats and sugar compared to standard recipes, but still has that homemade taste and crumbly good texture. Each serving is just one SmartCarb.
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9. Mega Beet Burger >
When you”;re craving a hearty burger with cheese, whip up a batch of these moist and meaty veggie patties. The lentils, walnuts and beets fill you up with healthy fats and fiber while the cheesy dressing hits your happy spot. The easy recipe makes eight servings, so they”;re ready to share.
10. Marinated Greek Chicken Skewers >
Simple yet sophisticated chicken skewers give you that fresh-from-the-grill flavor, and fill you up with plenty of lean protein and fiber from the seasoned meat and veggies. The skewers come together in minutes and pair perfectly with a serving of brown rice to make a complete meal.
11. BBQ Jackfruit Sandwich >
One bite of this sweet and savory sandwich and you”;ll see how satisfying meatless barbecue can be. When shredded, the tropical jackfruit (available fresh or in cans) has a consistency similar to pork or chicken. Sauce it up with a blend of sweet and tangy ingredients, top with slaw and dig in.
12. Chicken Sausage and Peppers Sandwich >
Skip the same-old hot dog and instead go for savory chicken sausage with grilled peppers and onions on a high-fiber, whole wheat bun. You get two PowerFuels, one SmartCarb and one serving of vegetables, but only 300 lip-smacking calories.
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13. Old Bay Salmon Cakes >
Fish such as salmon are naturally low in fats and high in protein. Add breadcrumbs, egg whites, Greek yogurt and veggies to form these salmon cakes seasoned with Old Bay, the traditional seafood flavoring. Make them in advance of the party and they”;ll be ready to serve in just 20 minutes.
14. Air Fryer Honey Garlic Chicken Drumsticks >
With the honey-garlic marinade, these drumsticks really are finger-licking good. Cook them in the air fryer and they”;ll be crisp on the outside and moist on the inside. Be sure to make plenty–;everyone will be clamoring for more.
15. Lemon Garlic Shrimp Kebabs >
No matter where you are, eating grilled seafood outside feels almost like a day at the beach. These shrimp are brushed with a blend of butter, lemon and herbs that brings out the seafood”;s natural sweetness. While your family and friends rave about the flavor, you”;ll love that two kebabs count as just one PowerFuel and one Extra.
16. Skinny Brownies With Cream Cheese Filling >
Yes, you can bring a plate of brownies to the party and enjoy one yourself. With cream cheese filling and chocolate-y cake, these seem way too indulgent when you”;re trying to lose weight. But they”;re made with smooth mashed sweet potato, whole wheat flour and unsweetened cocoa powder, so they”;re totally Nutrisystem-approved.
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17. 5-Ingredient Watermelon “;Cake”; >
Forget baking on a hot day and turn a sweet watermelon into an instant cake instead. All you do is slice up the melon, decorate it with whipped topping and berries, and look for happy faces to break out around the table.
18. Cannoli Stuffed Strawberries >
If you think a cannoli is the perfect dessert, wait until you try this easy-to-make version to add to your recipes for the BBQ. The filling has real ricotta cheese, vanilla and chocolate chips, but it comes inside of a juicy, sweet strawberry. You get six strawberries and only 165 calories in a serving.
19. 2-Ingredient Fresh Fruit Popsicles >
Kids and adults alike will smile as they cool off with these sweet and fruity treats. They”;re so simple to make and easy to customize–;just choose a couple of fruits to include or make a variety so everyone gets their favorite. Best of all, they”;re naturally sweet and have just 85 calories so you can treat yourself and stay on track toward your weight loss goals.
20. Summer Fruit Salad with Honey Lemon Dressing >
Take ordinary fruit salad to the next level with a sweet and tangy dressing that brings out the flavors of melon, peaches and berries. Add a few snips of fresh basil or mint, and wait for the questions about what your secret ingredients are!
Check out 23 more delicious recipes for the BBQ >
Also, check out the rules to our awesome summer giveaway >
The post 20 More Recipes for the BBQ appeared first on The Leaf.
Read more: leaf.nutrisystem.com