With the scorching weather making a surprise visit this summer, we’re eating BBQ burgers with all the trimmings every night - and maybe indulging a little bit too much.
Luckily, one of Belfast best fitness personalities, Stefanie McCluskey, AKA Steffie Loves has shared her fool-proof guide to summer-cooking so we can stay well-nourished in the sunshine.
Steffie says: “Of course we want to make the most of the sunshine and enjoy our time with friends and family with good food. We need to remember that it’s not what we eat that makes us put on weight, it’s the amount of food we eat.
"Moderation is key which is good news because that means we can enjoy the BBQs and the ice-cream, even the beer.
“When it comes to BBQs and traditional summer eating occasions, small changes will make a world of difference.
"Choose reduced-sugar dressings and low-fat cheese – the taste is the same, I promise!
"If you really want to make a difference you can opt for sandwich-thins instead of big burger buns which are widely available now. If you’ve had one too many burger buns of late, why not fill up on veg and protein instead and forget the bread?
"Finally when it comes to alcohol, you can reduce calorie intake by picking a light beer or turning your glass of wine into a spritzer.”
Steffie’s top healthy BBQ recipes:
Honey Mustard Chicken
Steffie says: “This dish is ideal for summer garden parties as you can have it ready to go in advance. It’s low-stress and low-skill so you can turn your attention to your guests. I always pre-bake my chicken in the oven and finish it off on the BBQ so you still get that smoky flavour but can rest assured it’s cooked through.”
Ingredients (Serves 3-4)
- 3 chicken fillets sliced into strips
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 tsp wholegrain mustard
- 1 tsp honey
- 1/2 juice of a lemon
- 1/2 zest of a lemon
- salt & pepper
- Mix all of the ingredients, bar the chicken together.
- Coat the chicken and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
Low-Carb Beef Burgers
Steffie says: “Often-times when we make our own burgers we use egg and breadcrumbs and even milk. This recipe gives all the flavour without the calories and focuses on herbs and spices.”
Ingredients (makes 10 small or 5 large)
- 500g lean mince
- 2 tbs reduced sugar ketchup
- 1 tsp garlic paste
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- ½ tsp chipotle chilli flakes
- optional salt & pepper
- Mix all of your ingredients together, form into patties and place directly onto your BBQ.
- Cook until meat is cooked through.
Steffie says: “Summer and sweet treats go hand-in-hand so a proper BBQ wouldn’t be complete without a few desserts but these can be healthy too. Nice cream is like ice cream but with half the calories. It’s guilt-free, the answer to our dessert prayers.
"I like to use coconut milk for this recipe for an extra taste of summer but it works just as well with full-fat, skimmed or soya. Again, this is a good one for entertaining because it can be eaten straight away or kept for later.”
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 3 frozen bananas cut into slices
- 200mls of your milk of choice.
- 1 scoop of vanilla protein powder (Optional)
- Pop all ingredients into a blender and mix until it becomes creamy.
Steffie says: “This is a real treat – after all, is there a better combination than chocolate and strawberry? This is surprisingly low-calorie so don’t be afraid to indulge. I like to serve it up with homemade nice cream or a dollop of Greek yogurt.”
Ingredients (serves 2)
- 400g fresh strawberries
- 4 squares of 70% dark chocolate.
- Make four parcels out of tin foil.
- Quarter the strawberries and place into the tin foil.
- Chop up the chocolate and sprinkle on top of the strawberries.
- Place the parcel onto your BBQ for 10 minutes and let the strawberries stew.
Stefanie will be hosting the Steffie Loves Treehouse HIIT Fit and Bohemian Brunch at AM|PM this July 29th from 9:00am – 11:00am.
Tickets cost £19.45.