Expert shares BBQ recipes with healthy twist for cookout

CHICAGO (WLS) -- As many Americans prepare to grill and hold gatherings during 4th of July, Karina Heinrich, nutritionist and celebrity health coach, offered some ways to make your holiday meals healthier.

Most people will substitute turkey for ground beef when making burgers, but Heinrich suggests going a step further and making salmon burgers with a whole wheat bun or lettuce wrap.

Veggie shish kabobs, or simple grilled vegetables from a local farmer's market make for healthy and easy side options.

Henrich said her favorite way of snacking on veggies is putting a twist to an American Classic -- mac and greens.

"You can finely chop up steamed or baked broccoli, spinach, asparagus, parsley -- whatever your favorite greens are," Henrich said.

Another incredible side dish is grain-free minty tabbouleh. Tabbouleh is a lemony Middle Eastern parsley and grain salad that is traditionally made with bulgur wheat. This gluten-free version uses quinoa instead, which is super high in protein. It complements many foods and that is what makes it such a wonderful and healthy side dish.

Grilled fruit is a great dessert option; Henrich suggests grilling stone fruits like peaches, plums and nectarines.

Lastly, adding flavors to sparkling water is a quick and easy way to keep guests hydrated.
Copyright © 2021 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.