5 Healthy Dishes to Bring to a BBQ

1. Edamame Veggie Dip A low-fat, high protein option to eat with your veggies. Veggies and dip is always a perfect snack to munch at a bbq.

1 12 oz bag of unfrozen edamame
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup of water
I cup chopped parsley leaves

Place edamame in a food processor. Add olive oil, vinegar, sea salt, and water. If the consistency is too thick add more water. Finally add the parsley leaves for a brief blend.

Serve around a plate of fresh veggies. Options carrots, celery, broccoli, tomatoes, and/or some pita chips.

2. Berry Poppy Seed Salad Fresh fruit salad with a light poppy seed dressing is always a great side to bring along.

1/3-cup olive oil
2 tbsp white vinegar
2 tbsp of sugar or splenda
1 tbsp poppy seed
¼ tsp black pepper
1 bag of mixed greens
1-cup blueberries
1-cup chopped strawberries
1-cup mandarin oranges

Mix olive oil, vinegar, sugar, poppy seeds, and blackpepper into a container and shake vigorously.

Add blueberries, strawberries, and oranges to the mixed greens and place the dressing lightly on top or serve on the side.

3. Baked Sesame Tofu Bites A fun, different dish that will leave your friends asking you for the recipe.

1 lb extra firm tofu
1 cup apple juice
¼ white miso
1 tbsp rice vinegar
¼ cup reduced sodium soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp sesame seeds
2 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp chopped ginger
3 cloves garlic

For the tofu, combine juice, soy sauce miso, sugar, vinegar, sesame seeds, ginger, oil, and garlic in a food processor and process until smooth to make a marinade. Transfer marinade to a wide, shallow dish, add tofu and turn to coat well. Cover dish and refrigerate for 2 hours, or preferably overnight. 

Preheat the oven to the lowest setting, about 185°F. Spray a large nonstick skillet with vegetable oil and heat over high heat. Drain tofu and reserve the marinade. Transfer tofu to skillet and cook, flipping once, until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer tofu to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven.

4. Sweet Potato Pancakes a delicious healthy side to go with any burger or chicken breast at your BBQ.

2 medium sweet potatoes or yams, peeled and shredded (about 4 cups)
2 tablespoons white or brown rice flour (wheat flour can be substituted)
Sea salt
1 teaspoon granulated garlic
1 teaspoon dried fines herbs
1/2 cup minced yellow onion
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 to 3 tablespoons coconut oil or high-heat sunflower or safflower oil

Place shredded sweet potatoes in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle with rice flour, salt, garlic granules and fines herbs. Mix well. Toss in minced onion. Pour in egg and mix until egg completely coats sweet potatoes.

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet. Working in batches, and using more oil as needed, use 1/2 cups sweet potato batter to make each pancake.

Cook, covered for 5 minutes on each side or until brown.

5. Strawberry Shortcake Trifle
a low-fat, low-cal dessert that will keep your sweet tooth satisfied along with your waistline.

Angel food cake
2 containers of chopped strawberries
1 box fat free vanilla pudding
1 container of fat free cool whip

Cut angel food cake into squares in a big serving bowl. Follow the directions on the instant pudding. Add berries and mix pudding in the bowl. Pour the cool whip all over the cake.

-Shannon Flanagan