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Healthy Summer BBQ Recipes

You don't need to sacrifice flavor to eat well this summer

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Memorial Day kicks off the summer grilling season, and there's no reason to feel obligated to serve those sodium-heavy and fat-laden meats that are often cooked up at backyard barbecues. Try seafood or vegetarian options such as tuna burgers or grilled tempeh, and swap a heavy side made with mayonnaise, for instance, for a light slaw flavored with mint and lime juice.

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Grilled scallops on skewers, Healthy Memorial Day grilling (Charlotte Tolhurst/the food passionates/Corbis)

A healthy summer BBQ can feature seafood, like grilled scallops on skewers. — Charlotte Tolhurst/The Food Passionates/Corbis

Scallop Skewers
by Katie and Leeann Chin

Scallops are an indulgent-but-healthy grilling alternative to burgers and bratwursts. Make sure not to overcook them — only grill long enough to heat and color the outsides.

Per serving: 50 calories, 0g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 8g protein, 0g fiber, 189mg sodium

Grilled Tempeh With Mustard Greens
by Sandy Pukel

Tempeh is a high-fiber protein made from fermented soybeans. In this Asian-inspired recipe, the tempeh is marinated in shoyu (a fermented soy sauce), plum vinegar and sesame oil.

Per serving: 210 calories, 2g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrates, 17g protein, 3g fiber, 554mg sodium

Wasabi Tuna Burgers
by Andrew Schloss

Served rare on the inside, these are as scrumptious as beef (and as easy to make) but better on the nutritional front. They can be served bunless, or on ciabatta or whole wheat rolls for a heftier meal.

Per serving: 305 calories, 3g saturated fat, 44g protein, 0g fiber, 159mg sodium

Grilled Bread With Olive Oil, Garlic and Tomato
by Marcella Hazan

This traditional bruschetta recipe requires crusty, country-style bread to start, grilled on both sides and rubbed with mashed garlic, then topped with tiny cubes of fresh tomatoes and fresh basil. Drizzle with good olive oil to finish.

Per serving: 138 calories, 1g saturated fat, 16g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 434mg sodium

Grilled Summer Peppers With Fresh Bay Leaves
by Michel Nischan and Mary Goodbody

Large red and yellow bell peppers are charred on the grill to develop their sweet, rich flavor. Use fresh bay leaves or shredded fresh basil to season the blackened peppers.

Per serving: 102 calories, 1g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 4g fiber, 248mg sodium

Grilled Mushroom Banderilla
by Ana Sortun

Banderilla is Spanish for "little skewer." The skewers in this recipe are stacked with wild mushrooms marinated in saffron, onion and garlic.

Per serving: 116 calories, 1g saturated fat, 7g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 2g fiber, 126mg sodium

Slaw With Mint, Lime Juice, Chiles and Peanuts
by Suvir Saran

This flavorful alternative to traditional coleslaw is made with no oil or mayonnaise, and pairs beautifully with many grilled dishes.

Per serving: 61 calories, 0g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrates, 2g protein, 3g fiber, 434mg sodium

White Bean Dip With Garlic Scapes
by Diane Morgan

Garlic scapes are the curled flower stalks that shoot up from garlic bulbs, often available at farmers markets. They shine in this easy dip recipe, alongside cannellini beans, olive oil and lemon juice. Serve with crudités, baked pita chips or grilled bread.

Per serving: 71 calories, 0.4g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrates, 3g protein, 75mg sodium

Sweet Cucumber-Pepper Piccalilli
by Sarah Huck and Jaimee Young

This relish is delicious served with any kind of burger. Sweet, tangy and peppery, it hits all the right condiment notes.

Per serving: 29 calories, 0g saturated fat, 6g carbohydrates, 1g protein, 1g fiber, 38mg sodium

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