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8 tasty cookout dishes you can feel fab about

 
Summertime means lotsa cookouts, so you’re fillin’ up on yummy cheeseburgers, chips, potato salads and pies. Too bad none of that sounds particularly healthy. No worries, though! Here are eight tricks to make your backyard bash a little better for your bod.

 

 

Skip creamy dips

Your mom set out the appetizers for your party already, so while you’re waitin’ for your besties to arrive, you munch on some chips and dip. But that heavy cheese or sour cream dip is already givin’ ya tons of calories, and you haven’t even started dinner yet! So for your next backyard barbeque, ask mom to buy some fruit- or veggie-based dip, like salsa, that’ll be less dense and less fatty.

 

The skinny on potato salad

There are a few ways you can make this tasty dish guilt-free. First, leave the skins on the potatoes when you’re making the salad so that you’re not skippin’ out on all the fiber and vitamins. Also, don’t use fatty mayo to hold this baby together. Try mixing your salad up with some non-fat Greek yogurt instead, or make your own vinaigrette for a different, lighter flavor.

 

On meatier subjects…

Whatever meat you’re grillin’, always be sure to go for the lean cuts and trim off any fat ya see. That way, you don’t have to stick to chicken and turkey just to stay healthy. A li’l red meat is good for you every once and a while (as long as you nix as much of the fat as possible) because it has lots of iron, which lots of girls are missin’ in their diets.

 

It’s not what’s on the outside that counts, right?

In the case of burgers and hot dogs, the outside is actually pretty important. You can instantly make these main dishes healthier by wrapping ‘em up in some whole-wheat buns. That way, you’re getting the fiber and heart-healthy whole grains that your body needs.

 

French fries, minus the “fry”

Usually, the first thing you think of to munch on with burgers is French fries, but ya know that anything fried is bad news for your bod. So take advantage of that lovely grill! Cut each potato into four strips, and then put a little canola oil and seasonings on them before headin’ outside. You can grill up regular potatoes, or try sweet potatoes for a bit of a twist.

 

Bye-bye, butter

Most people think that the only way to eat corn on the cob is covered in butter, but they just haven’t gotten very creative. Without butter, corn is actually extremely healthy and full of good-for-you fiber. So try adding a li’l flavor to this summer staple by brushing on some herbs or lemon juice. You can even rub it down with a lime and then add some chili-pepper seasoning for extra taste.

 

The wonders of watermelon

Watermelon has always been a fave summer treat, but you probably didn’t know just how good this sweet fruit is for your bod. It’s packed with vitamins that help your eyes, arteries, teeth, brain, muscles, and immune system stay healthy. And more good news: out of all fruits and veggies, watermelon has the most of the antioxidant lycopene, which decreases your risks of heart disease and a few cancers. So for dessert, grab some juicy slices, and enjoy!

 

Hey chicas, what’re some of your fave summertime foods?
 
 

BY CARRIE RUPPERT ON 7/2/2012 12:00:00 AM

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