Healthy Hollywood: Fab Food Friday — BBQ Slimdown!

BBQ season is here! It’s time to fire up the grill and invite friends and family over to feast. FUN!

But, for those of us trying to watch our weight, BBQs can be a diet disaster.

“The average BBQ meal can add up to 2,000 calories and 120 grams of fat, so trimming the fat is key to keeping calories under control,” states Dr. Melina Jampolis, author of “The Calendar Diet.”

Dr. Melina reveals chips & dip, cheeseburgers, potato salad and apple pie a la mode are some of the biggest calorie bombs.

“If you are hosting a BBQ, you can serve lower calorie, lower fat options for everything so that you don’t feel at all deprived. If you are attending a BBQ, offer to bring healthier options so you can balance out less healthy offering, with the better choices you bring,” suggests Dr. Melina.

Dr. Melina, who hopes folks enjoy celebrations without sabotaging their diet, shares a few of her slimmed-down BBQ recipes from her book.

“Instead of a cheeseburger, try this amazing edamame burger recipe from my new book, ‘The Calendar Diet,’” advises Dr. Melina.

Edamame Burgers

(serves 2)


3/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed

1/3 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup panko

1 egg white

1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger

2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce

Pinch pepper

Non-stick cooking spray

2 whole-wheat deli or sandwich flats

4 teaspoons reduced-fat canola oil mayonnaise

1/4 teaspoon prepared wasabi or wasabi paste, or to taste

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

2 thin slices onion


In a food processor pulse edamame, onion, panko, egg white, ginger, soy sauce and pepper until smooth, about 2 to 3 minutes. Divide and form into 2 tightly packed burger patties.

1. Spray a large sauté pan or griddle with non-stick spray. Heat over medium-low heat. Add burgers and cook for 10 to 12 minutes, carefully flipping halfway. Remove from heat.

2. While burgers are cooking whisk together mayonnaise and wasabi.

3. Spread wasabi mayonnaise on deli flats. Layer with burgers, spinach and onions.

1 Burger (bun included) = 284 calories & 6g fat

“Instead of potato salad, try this tasty broccoli slaw recipe. Not only is it 75% less fat and calories, broccoli is packed with disease fighting phytonutrients and vitamin C to keep you looking and feeling fabulous,” suggest Dr. Melina.


Slimmed Down Slaw

(serves 5)


1 bag of broccoli slaw (available in the produce section of most grocery stores or you can make your own with by putting broccoli and carrots in a food processor)

1/2 cup chopped red onion

1/4 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt

1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

2 Tbsp. rice wine vinegar

2 Tbsp. sugar

Salt and pepper


1. Place broccoli slaw in a bowl and add red onion.

2. In a separate bowl, add yogurt, mayonnaise, lemon juice, rice wine vinegar, sugar, and a dash of salt and pepper. Whisk to combine.

3. Add dressing to broccoli slaw mixture and toss to coat. Chill until serving.

Total calories per serving: 110 /Total fat per serving: 5 g

For more recipes and tips, check out

-- Terri MacLeod

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