BBQs usually consist of some kind of meat (sausages, burger, chicken, maybe even a steak if you’re lucky!). However, it is important for an individual to think about what type of meat they are eating. This post concentrates on the consumption of red meat (e.g. beef, pork, lamb).
Red meat is a good source of protein and some vitamins and minerals, for example iron & zinc, and can form part of a balanced diet. However, there is research that suggests those consuming more than 90g red meat per day are probably increasing their risk of bowel (colorectal) cancer.
To put the portion size into perspective a grilled 8 oz. steak is around 160g, whilst two standard sausages with two grilled streaks of bacon in your cooked breakfast account for around 130g. The current dietary guidelines are directed to those who consume more than 90g of red meat per day – these individuals are encouraged to reduce their intake to 70g per day.
Here are some helpful hints and tips to cut down your red meat intake whilst enjoying the BBQ season:
Reducing your portion size is a great way to start, instead of an 8 oz steak try a 5oz, or swap a double burger for a single.
Try cooking with chicken, duck or turkey, these are not red meats and come in a variety of BBQ styles, burgers, kebabs even sausages! – they are easily cooked and enjoyed on the Barbe!
Set yourself a challenge, cook only vegetarian options on your BBQ. Try corn on the cob, stuffed peppers (recipe below) or mushroom, grilled vegetables, courgette and halloumi skewers or baked potatoes!
Stuffed Peppers (serves 6):
2 tbsp olive oil
50g pine nuts
140g long grain rice
2 garlic cloves, chopped
350g vegetable stock
1 bunch spring onions sliced thinly
140g cherry tomatoes, halved
150g ball mozzarella, chopped
Handful each of parsley and basil (chopped)
3 red and 3 yellow peppers
String, for tying
Make the stuffing:
- Fry the pine nuts until lightly toasted, then add the rice and fry until the grains are glossy, stir in the garlic and stock and bring to the boil.
- Cover and cook for 10 minutes (or until rice is tender), remove from the heat and stir in the spring onions, cherry tomatoes, mozzarella, gorgonzola and fresh herbs
Stuff the peppers:
- Cut around the stalk of the pepper, remove and set aside. Remove the seeds and membrane. Spoon some filling into the pepper and place the stalk section back in place and tie securely with string (to stop the filling spilling out)
Cook the peppers:
- Barbecue the stuffed peppers over a moderate heat for 15-20 minutes, turning gently until they are evenly browned (you can also cook them in tin foil if they look like they are going to spilt and spill out).
Tuck into the peppers and enjoy a meat free addition to your summer barbecue!