Healthline

JoggerWith summer now in full swing our barbecues are all fired up and getting good use. New Year is upon us and resolutions have been made to eat healthier. The secret to a successful and stress-free Kiwi barbecue is all in the preparation. Most things can be prepared the day before, allowing you time to relax instead of slaving over a hot stove. The night before your barbecue you can boil your potatoes, cook your rice or pasta for your salads, cook the beans for the bean salad and make the marinades. If you don’t have time to cook you can always get out the can opener and open a can of beans or use a supermarket marinade.
Meat
Many Kiwi barbecues have too much meat. When deciding on the menu you only need one meat, but if you have guests you may wish to have one red meat and one white meat such as chicken. The key to good tender steak is letting it rest after cooking. Remember a meat portion should be the size of the palm of your hand. If possible avoid charred (black or burnt) meat, as it may be associated with an increased cancer risk.
Of course, the kids will want sausages.  Pre-cooking these will help to get rid of some of the extra fat that sausages usually contain. Homemade hamburgers are quick and easy. Try ham steaks and salad inside bread buns. Fish wrapped in foil cooks quickly and there is no cleaning up to do afterwards.
Serve fresh fish fillets on pieces of French bread with lettuce.
Marinade
Marinate chicken overnight in lemon juice, olive oil, pepper and fresh herbs from the garden – delicious. Try a marinade of yoghurt and herbs. Paint steak in your favourite marinade or barbecue sauce before grilling - the marinade makes your meat tastier and more tender. Marinades containing sugar may burn quickly; you’ll be surprised how delicious your favourite marinade recipe can be without the sugar. If you want a sweet taste, an artificial sweetener is a good alternative to sugar. A favourite marinade is squeezing a fresh orange and a clove of garlic over steak and leaving to sit overnight in the fridge.
Barbecues are no excuse for unhealthy eating. Use the Diabetes New Zealand Ideal Plate as a guide to the correct portions of food – at least half a plate of free vegetables, a quarter plate of a plate of carbohydrate, and a quarter of a plate of meat or meat alternative.
Further information about Diabetes and making healthy choices can be found on the Diabetes New Zealand website www.diabetes.org.nz

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