(NC) Whether you’re having the kids’ friends over for a lunchtime playdate or entertaining family over dinner, spending time outdoors and cooking with a barbecue is a sure summertime hit. To make sure your event is a success, be sure to have options for diverse dietary preferences and restrictions.
Mix things up by including plant-based proteins like soybeans or lentils alongside your favourite meat dishes. Remember to incorporate nutritious whole grains, as most Canadians (56%) don’t feel that a gluten-free diet is a healthier option?, according to a recent survey by the Grain Farmers of Ontario. In fact, whole grains aid in healthy digestion and can even reduce the risk of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
While it’s easy to think of meat staples for barbecues like burgers and hot dogs, take inspiration from the recipes below for food that meat and non-meat-eaters will all enjoy.
Barley and Black Bean Burgers
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
- 1 can black beans (or ½ cup dried black beans, soaked overnight and boiled until soft)
- ¼ cup dried pearl barley, soaked overnight and cooked on stove
- ¼ green onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup carrots, finely diced
- ½ cup leafy greens (tougher greens like kale work best)
- 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
- 1tbsp olive oil
- Soak barley overnight and cook on the stovetop.
- Sauté leafy greens, green onion and carrots in olive oil in a pan. Once cooked, set aside.
- Process black beans in a food processor first, then add barley until everything is mixed through.
- Add cooked vegetables and breadcrumbs to the food processor and pulse until completely incorporated. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Form patties. If you want to cook them fresh, pan-fry until both sides are brown and finish heating through in a 350°F oven for about 15 minutes. If you want to cook them on the barbecue, it works best if you freeze the patties first.
Wheat Berry Salad
Prep time: 10 minutes
- 3/4 cup wheat berries
- 2 ¼ cups water
- 1 cup diced orange pepper
- 1 cup diced zucchini
- 2 tbsp minced chives
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp white balsamic vinegar
- Put water and wheat berries in a saucepan, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer approximately 45 to 60 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and cool.
- In a large bowl, combine cooked wheat berries, pepper, zucchini and chives.
- To make the dressing, whisk together oil and balsamic vinegar in a small bowl.
- Pour dressing over wheat berry mixture and stir well. Serve.