Go to any Maltese BBQ and you’ll always find a cross section of guests who end up overindulging on classic pink sausages and juicy angus burgers. Most of the time it’s because they’re the best thing on offer. The stars of the show. If you want to elevate your BBQ game, and get a resounding applause from your guests at the next cookout, all while making things a bit healthier, then you’ve come to the right place.
1. Fish gets forgotten
Salmon, tuna and swordfish all are great options for BBQ purposes. If you’re looking for something different, then squid, shrimp or scallop skewers might work for you. Shrimp coated with smoky paprika, cumin and lime juice makes for a very interesting combination.
2. If meat has to be on the menu, go lean
Avoid processed meats high in fat and salt. Sausages and burgers are among the usual suspects. Then opt for lean cuts of beef and chicken, and take some time to remove visible fat and skin.
3. Get the vegetables in
Asparagus, aubergine, courgette, corn, squash -- when was the last time you put these on the grill? Leave the iceberg lettuce salad behind and try some of these options. All you need to do is slice them up and season with some salt and pepper.
4. Choose carbs wisely
Replace white burger buns with wholewheat and multigrain. Replace galletti and bread sticks with vegetable sticks when it comes to serving dips. Opt for more complex carbs for your sides; quinoa, barley, lentils, whole grain couscous. There are many options out there.
5. Put down the mayonnaise
Coleslaw and potato salads are firm favourites on our island but they can get heavy with all the mayonnaise we tend to pour into them. Store bought sauces such as mayonnaise are heavy in sugars, fats and salts. Instead flavour your food with olive oil, vinegars, low fat yoghurt, lemon juice, fresh herbs and spices.
6. Dessert doesn’t have to be cookies and marshmallows
Skip the processed sugars and go with the traditional favourite of fruit skewers. If you want something a bit different, try grilling fruit on the BBQ. Stone fruits like plums and peaches are pretty special. You can also flavour the fruit with fresh mint, coriander, cinnamon, cardamom, fresh ginger, or vanilla and put some honey in there to add some extra sweetness.
Editor: Cassi Camilleri