Take-Out Fake-Outs: 5 Summer Barbecue Recipes Lightened-Up

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Photo by Don LaVange
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.

See also:
-Take-Out Fake-Outs: 5 Favorites Lightened-Up
-Take-Out Fake-Outs: 5 More Favorites Lightened-Up

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.

Coleslaw
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.

Baked Beans
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.

Grilled Burgers
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.



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1 comments
MadMac
MadMac topcommenter

Thanks, on the tip-side, Ms. Viggiano. I would suggest watching the recipes for tomatoe based BBQ sauce, too. Most call for a cup of brown sugar, added to ketchup. Ketchup is 20-28% corn sweetener already. I substitute pureed tomatoes, add a chipotle pepper or two along with lime juice for zing and honey instead of sugar which makes for a better glaze. The potato salad sounds really good and I might even get my Mrs. to try the slaw.

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