Summer Snack Series: BBQ’s

Welcome to week two of the Summer Snack Series! This week we are focusing on barbecues, because chances are you’ve already been to one or five and have a couple more planned in your near future. What most of us love about a good BBQ is the wide spread of appetizers, main dishes, meats, sides, desserts, drinks, etc. Let’s be honest, summertime has some of the best seasonal foods. The pitfall of barbecues is sometimes there are limited healthier options, so this week Carly is going to share with us one of her favorite BBQ dishes that is flavorful, mouth watering and nutritious!


Summer barbecues are one of my all time favorite activities. The fresh air of being outdoors, the sunshine, the yummy foods, the great company… what’s not to love!?  Because both my husband and I are from families that enjoy to cook and eat, I usually find that our barbecue snacks are more exciting than the main dish! From homemade guacamole and chips, to a marinated hummus plate, a zucchini tart, and fresh oysters, You name it- we try it.

The snack that I want to highlight for this week is the marinated hummus plate. To me, this screams summertime. The recipe inspiration is below and is from one of my favorites: the Barefoot Contessa- but you can definitely make this your own!  DISCLAIMER: I am OBSESSED with Ithaca hummus, and If you are following along with me on my Instagram (@healthanchor.nutrition) you already know this.  But I didn’t use that for this meal pictured, as I think that it is too tasty to use in this recipe.

What do I look for in a barbecue appetizer? A few different things that help to keep me on track for my goals of weight maintenance and feeling the most confident in my skin:

  • Vegetables. So for this app, there are marinated veggies on top of the hummus which is a fun way to incorporate more veg (low cal, high fiber) into your day. Everyone has had a veg tray at a BBQ and how many times do you throw most of it out?? (most of the time). But with this app, there is more appeal to eat those raw veg—namely: chips and dip!
  • Hummus. This low calorie spread is both delicious and nutritious (ha) but really though if you don’t like hummus (you should try Ithaca Hummus) or try making it yourself.  A standard serving (2 Tablespoons) of hummus provides you with 50 calories, 2g of plant based protein, and 1 g of fiber. Which is more protein and fiber than your typical French Onion dip at a party.
  • FLAVOR. This recipe has marinated veggies, so they have some flavor and PIZAZZ! The fresh herbs on top of the veg give a fresh feeling in your mouth and FYI- herbs pack a powerful nutrition punch, they loaded with vitamins and minerals that work overtime for our body’s.
  • One Bite.  Ever been to a bbq and have had a mouthful of something when someone wants to talk to you? I hate that.  I look for one-bite apps so I don’t get caught.  Over the weekend, we served this hummus plate with pita chips to implement the one bite rule.
  • Visual Appeal. We eat with our eyes first. Frank (my husband) and I are all about the presentation. This looks so beautiful when assembled, especially when using the multi colored cherry tomatoes. IT WAS GORG!

Here are a few other tips for staying healthy during summer barbecues:

  • Have a healthy meal prior to the meal you will have at the BBQ (I call this Piggy-Backing)
  • Drink at least 1 water during the party
  • Stick with one type of alcoholic beverage (if you are drinking)
  • MOVE around, play cornhole, kan-jam or bocce whatever you are into during the party.
  • Enjoy yourself!! Life is for the living! Your journey will not be sabotaged by one BBQ. Consistent work towards your goal will get you there. Keep going!

I have a group accountability program running this month and next month for the summer. If you’re looking for some more guidance on your nutrition journey, send me or Michella a message on Instagram!

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