Healthy Recipes

Just because you’re following a healthy menu doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a 4th of July barbecue. Because grilling food brings out its most vibrant flavors, it’s very easy to come up with healthy alternatives to classic fare without resigning yourself to a bland mess. Below are some recipes suitable for heart-health, low-carb and diabetic-friendly diets.

Heart-Healthy Recipe: Grilled Tuna Steaks with Corn and Avocado Relish (serves 4)

Fish is a natural for a heart-healthy diet. This recipe also uses very little salt, and the only fats are the natural and health fats found in olive oil and avocado.

For the Corn and Avocado Relish:

1 ear corn, shucked

2 tbsp. lime juice

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tbsp. rice vinegar

2 tbsp. chopped red onion

2 tbsp. chopped scallions

1/2 tbsp. seeded, chopped jalapeo pepper

1/2 tsp. chopped, fresh cilantro

1 small avocado

salt to taste

freshly ground black pepper

For the tuna:

4 tuna steaks, 6-8 oz. each

1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

To prepare the Corn and Avocado Relish:

  1. Preheat the grill or oven to 450?F.
  2. Roast the corn on the grill or in the oven until golden, about 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, mix the lime juice, olive oil, vinegars, red onion, scallions, jalapeo and cilantro in a small bowl.
  4. When the corn is cool, cut the kernels from the cob and add to the bowl. Skin and chop avocado and add it to the bowl.
  5. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

For the tuna:

  1. Brush the tuna steaks with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Go light on the salt!
  2. Grill over a medium hot fire, turning once, about 4 to 5 minutes for rare or 6 to 7 minutes for medium rare.
  3. Serve immediately, topped with the relish.

Low-Carb Recipe: Grilled Salmon Burgers with Dill Sauce (serves 6)

While any old burger can be low-carb, here’s a flavorful recipe that will make you forget about that sesame seed bun. These are great with slices of fresh cucumber on the side.


1 pound salmon fillets, skinned and cut into 2-inch pieces

2 tbsp. red onion, minced

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 tsp. lemon zest, grated

1 egg

1/4 tsp. salt

1/2 tsp. black pepper

1/4 tsp. dill


4 ounces cream cheese

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 1/2 tbsp. fresh dill, chopped

1/4 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

vegetable oil for grill

  1. Preheat grill to high heat.
  2. Place salmon in a food processor and pulse until well-chopped, about 30 seconds. In a medium bowl, mix salmon with onion, juice, zest, egg, salt, pepper and dill until just-combined (do not over-mix). Form into six patties and chill in the freezer while preparing the sauce.
  3. For sauce: In a small saucepan on medium-high heat, melt cream cheese with heavy cream, about 3 minutes. Turn off heat and stir in dill, salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Rub grill rack with a wad of oiled paper towels to prevent sticking. Grill patties until just cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Serve immediately, topped with sauce.

Diabetic-Friendly Recipe: Barbecued Chicken (serves 6)

While you can find a number of diabetic-safe barbecue sauces on the market, most of them taste far sweeter than those with sugar. Because this quick homemade sauce isn’t nearly as sweet, feel free to increase the sugar substitute to suit your own tastes.

For the sauce:

1 can tomato puree (10 3/4-ounce)

1/2 onion, chopped fine

3 tbsp. whole-grain mustard

3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

1 medium clove garlic, minced

sugar substitute equivalent of 1 tablespoon sugar, or to taste

1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

1 tbsp. hot sauce (optional, or add even more to taste)

1 tsp. liquid smoke (optional)

1/4 tsp. ground allspice

1/4 tsp. ground ginger

1/3 cup water

freshly ground pepper

6 chicken breasts, bone in, fat and skin removed

olive oil cooking spray

To make the sauce:

  1. Place the tomato puree in a sauce pan.
  2. Add the onion and garlic. Simmer covered for 5 minutes.
  3. Uncover and add the mustard, lemon juice, sugar substitute, Worcestershire sauce, hot sauce, liquid smoke, allspice, ginger and water. Simmer slowly for about 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.
  4. Add pepper.

This recipe for BBQ sauce makes about 2 cups that can be frozen, refrigerated for up to 4 days, or served warm immediately.

When ready to grill, prepare a medium-hot fire.

  1. Lightly coat the chicken breasts with cooking spray. Pat with freshly ground pepper and salt lightly. Place them on the grill, bone side up.
  2. Grill, turning frequently, for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Brush both sides with barbecue sauce. Continue to grill until the chicken is cooked through, checking the thickest part with a knife.
  4. To serve, return the barbecue sauce to the stove and bring to a rapid boil for at least 2 minutes. Transfer chicken to a platter or plates and spoon some sauce over each piece. Serve immediately with remaining sauce on the side.