Diet Detective: Healthy Summer Barbecue Recipes

Summer is the season for barbecues, but it's also beach season. Enjoy your next barbecue guilt-free with these healthy recipes.

Grilled Chili Burgers

Healthy Recipe from Diabetes Meals by the Plate by Diabetic Living Editors (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014)

Serves 6 (1 burger, 2 pita quarters, and 2 tablespoons topping each)

1 recipe Chimichurri Topping (below)
1 pound 95% lean ground beef
8 ounces lean ground pork
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 whole wheat pita bread rounds, quartered and toasted
3/4 cup bottled roasted red sweet peppers, drained and cut into strips

Prepare the Chimichurri Topping and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, chili powder, onion powder, cumin, and salt. Mix well. Shape into six half-inch-thick patties.

For a charcoal grill, place patties on the grill rack directly over medium coals. Grill uncovered, turning once halfway through the cooking time, for 10 to 13 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the side of each patty registers 160 degrees F. For a gas grill, preheat and reduce the heat to medium. Place patties on the grill rack, cover, and grill as directed above.

Place a grilled patty on top of two of the pita quarters on each of six serving plates. Top with roasted pepper strips and Chimichurri Topping.

Chimichurri Topping: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup finely snipped fresh Italian (flat-leaf) parsley, 1/2 cup finely snipped fresh cilantro, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, minced, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper.

Nutritional Information (per serving): 306 calories; 13 g total fat (4 g sat. fat); 73 mg cholesterol; 390 mg sodium; 21 g carbohydrates (4 g fiber, 0g sugars); 27g protein

More: Basic Tips for Grilling Safety

Apple Spinach Salad

Serves 6 (1 cup each)

6 cups fresh baby spinach
1 large green-skinned apple, such as Granny Smith, cored and sliced
1/2 cup thin wedges red onion
3 tablespoons snipped dried tart red cherries
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white or regular balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon snipped fresh thyme or 1 4 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
1 2 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese or blue cheese

In a large bowl, toss together the spinach, apple, onion, and cherries. In a screw-top jar, combine the olive oil, vinegar, thyme, mustard, and salt. Cover and shake well. Drizzle over the salad and toss gently to coat. Divide the salad among six plates and top each serving with about 1 tablespoon of cheese.

Nutritional information (per serving): 130 calories; 7g total fat (3g sat. fat); 11 mg cholesterol; 244 mg sodium; 14 g carbohydrates (3g fiber, 9g sugars); 4g protein

Meal Total (per serving): 435 calories; 20 g total fat (7 g sat. fat); 84 mg cholesterol; 633 mg sodium; 35g carbohydrates (6g fiber, 9g sugars); 30g protein

More: This One Ingredient Makes Your Salad Even Healthier

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