Planning a South Beach Diet-style Fourth of July barbecue? There’s no need to miss out on your favorite Independence Day eats. Barbecued burgers and dogs, and grilled veggies and fruits (on Phase 2), can all be enjoyed on the South Beach Diet. We love grilling because it’s a healthy way to cook, and it makes it easy to stick to your eating plan. We’ll even throw in some classic summer-salad makeovers.
Hamburgers and Hot Dogs
South Beach Diet–style: When cooking up burgers, choose lean ground round or ground sirloin, ground turkey or chicken breast, or ground pork tenderloin. Salmon and tuna also make great patties. Starting on Phase 2, all hot dogs made with beef, pork, poultry, or soy can be enjoyed occasionally, as long as they are at least 97 percent fat-free (3 to 6 g fat per serving). Serve burgers or hot dogs on 100% whole-grain or whole-wheat buns on Phase 2. If you’re on Phase 1, use tomato slices, romaine lettuce leaves, or portobello mushroom caps as your burger “bun.” When it comes to toppings, skip sugary condiments like store-bought ketchup and go for sliced tomatoes, onions, or mustard. Or prepare your own condiments: try a sun-dried tomato mayonnaise or jalapeño salsa on any Phase.
South Beach Diet–style: Grilled or steamed corn is a cookout favorite that is rich in vitamins and fiber, but because of its natural sugars, it should be avoided until Phase 3. For a nutritious and delicious alternative, prepare grilled vegetable kebabs. Marinate chopped pieces of zucchini or other summer squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, and bell peppers, with fresh lemon juice, chopped garlic, and extra-virgin olive oil. Place the veggies on skewers, in a grilling basket, or on a grill topper so they won’t fall through the grates.
South Beach Diet–style: While summer fruit favorites like watermelon and pineapple should be avoided until Phase 3 because they contain natural sugars that can affect blood-sugar levels and cause cravings, there are many other delicious fruits that can still be enjoyed on Phase 2. Try making kebabs with peaches, plums, nectarines, and/or mangoes, and grill over medium heat. Keep an eye on the fruit and turn frequently so it doesn’t burn. If you like, melt dark chocolate for a delicious fruit fondue. Phase 1 dieters must avoid fruit but can enjoy a sugar-free Fudgsicle or popsicle as a sweet summer treat.
South Beach Diet–style: If you’re on Phase 1, you’ll need to stick with a fresh green salad or a mixed bean salad for the time being. Add a variety of vegetables, like chopped bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and tomatoes. When you’re on Phase 2, use whole-wheat or whole-grain elbow pasta instead of the white-flour varieties for macaroni salad. Be sure to stick with 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise per serving when you’re making the dressing — or use low-fat or fat-free yogurt or vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Roasted bell peppers are also a nice addition. For a South Beach Diet–friendly potato salad, use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes, and mix with nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt, scallions, chopped fresh basil, red-wine vinegar, and a touch of salt for a tasty dressing.