Lighten Up Your Summer Barbecues

We’re at the peak of summer barbecue season, which typically involves getting together with friends and family over big food gatherings. I’ve had many patients asking me recently for tips to eat healthier at parties, especially with the 4th of July coming up. The abundance of

© jillchen - Fotolia.com

© jillchen – Fotolia.com

calorie-dense foods poses a constant challenge if you are trying to lose or even maintain your weight.

This 4th of July – and beyond – here are a few ways to host a summer barbecue gathering that is both tasty and cancer-preventive.

The Main Dish: add some color
Instead of the traditional cheeseburgers and hotdogs served with white bread, get creative and add some color to the main dish. I’ve been loving kabobs lately – they are a great way to combine lean protein, vegetables (and even fruit). Here are some ideas:

For protein options try chicken, shrimp, heartier fish — like salmon, tuna or swordfish — or extra firm tofu. Mix up the vegetables: try peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant or mushrooms. Use pineapple to add a sweet touch.

Thread your skewers, then top with a light marinade. Marinating the skewers adds flavor and helps reduce the carcinogens created when grilling foods. Right now, my favorite is tuna kabobs with onion, red pepper, and peach or pineapple. I marinate the whole skewer with a soy and ginger mix for about an hour then grill. Continue reading


Treat Dad to Brazilian Chicken

brazilian-chicken cropped2Even the pickiest Dad will enjoy the unique combination of cancer-preventive ingredients in our Health-e-Recipe for Brazilian Chicken with Black Beans. It’s a hearty alternative to red or processed meat on Father’s Day.

Red or processed meat can increase risk of colorectal cancer, according to AICR’s Continuous Update Report findings. So combining chicken with delicious black beans in this recipe yields 32 grams of protein, balanced with five different vegetables. The Brazilian flavor comes from nutmeg, fresh orange, parsley and cayenne pepper.

Serve it up with brown rice or another whole grain, plus a salad of dark leafy greens, tomatoes and carrots, dressed with olive oil-balsamic vinaigrette and topped with some chopped avocado to continue the South American theme.

Find more excellent cancer-preventive recipes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.


Packing Whole Grains for Lunch, Recipe

If you’re trying to eat healthier at work — after all, its National Employee Wellness Month –  packing a lunch that’s high in fiber can give you lasting energy for the workday while helping you prevent cancer. Take our Health-e-Recipe for Lemon Brown Rice Pilaf.canstockphoto8528856

Toss this rice with a little tuna or salmon (buy it canned in water, then drained) plus some leafy greens and salad veggies for a complete meal. You can make a batch for a weekend meal then divide the leftovers into single portions and refrigerate or freeze them for lunches throughout the workweek.

Roasting lemon slices make brown rice tangy, and it’s an easy step that only takes a little time. When coated with olive oil and roasted, lemons’ natural sugar caramelizes into a rich dark brown that coats the rind. Continue reading