Tips for eating healthy during summer cook-outs

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Friday, June 23, 2017
Healthy options for summer cook-outs
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Nutrition and health coach Sarah Baker talked about healthy options for summer cook-outs on Windy City Live on June 23, 2017.

It's officially summer and that means it's time for cook outs, picnics, and BBQs, but that doesn't mean you have to break your diet. Nutrition and health coach Sarah Baker stopped by to tell us how many calories we can save by simply swapping certain foods!

1: Make your burgers healthier (save 500 calories) - Cut down on your meat consumption by using half meat (turkey meat + and half quinoa + kale) - this way you are reducing your meat consumption and adding some extra nutrients from the quinoa and kale. This is the perfect recipe for those who want to add more veggies into their diet, but still want to eat poultry or meat.

2: Say bye to Mayo and buttercream (save 250 calories) - A lot of summer recipes call for fattening ingredients like buttercream and mayo, instead of drenching all of your side dishes in this, add different ingredients that still add savory flavor like pesto, lemon, and even vinegars.

3: Cut sugar with healthier BBQ sauce (save 20 grams of sugar): Store bought brands can be packed with sugar and additives. Instead of using ketchup, use fresh tomatoes and pasta sauce

4: Indulge in something sweet with a festive dairy-Free + healthier trifle dessert (save 150 calories): Great festive dessert made with dairy free banana pudding, gluten free "pound cake" made with coconut flour, and blueberries + strawberries.




1 lb of ground turkey

1 cup of kale

1/2 cup of carrots

1 cup of quinoa (cooked)

1/2 cup onion

Garlic powder

1/4 cup Coconut amino acids


1. Chop the kale and carrots into thinly diced pieces.

2. Chop the onion into thinly diced pieces.

3. In a large mixing bowl mix together the turkey, kale, quinoa and carrots until well blended. Do this with your hands.

4. Add the onion, garlic powder, and coconut amino acids to the bowl and mix together again.

5. Heat a skillet with coconut oil.

6. Shape each patty with your hands into a fist size portion and place 2 or 3 of them in the skillet.

7. Cook on each side for about 5 or 6 minutes (or until well cooked through).

8. Serve on a whole wheat or gluten free bun, or on lettuce wraps. Top with dijon mustard, coleslaw, or BBQ sauce for taste!


This is a very intuitive recipe so all you do is cook the pasta according to package instructions. Once the pasta is cooked, drizzle it with olive oil, add about 1 cup of store bought (just look for healthier versions) pesto, a handful of sun-dried tomatoes, and 3 cups of slightly sauteed spinach together with some onion and garlic powder - and voila!



1/2 teaspoon olive or coconut oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/4 cup yellow onion, chopped small

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

2 Tablespoons tomato paste

3 Tablespoons maple syrup

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon of liquid aminos

A sprinkle of cayenne pepper, paprika, sea salt, and chili powder

Blend all ingredients in a blender, and serve.



For the white cake:

1 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cups coconut flour

1 cup brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/3 cup coconut oil

1 tbsp vanilla extract

1 tsp apple cider vinegar

For the cream filling:

1 can of coconut cream

1 cup of cashews soaked

Pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 dates

For the rest:
2 packages of blueberries

2 packages of strawberries

DIRECTIONS for the cake:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Add the dry ingredients together in a bowl: coconut flour, sugar, salt, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk together until well blended.

3. Add the wet ingredients into the bowl: vinegar, milk, coconut oil, vanilla extract. Whisk again until well blended and thick.

4. Coat a 9 x 12 baking pan with coconut oil, and place the batter into the baking pan.

5. Bake for 30 minutes. Check to see if the cake is done by placing a fork in the cake to see if it come out clean. If it does, it means it's done.

6. Move to a cooling rack to let cool, then cut into 2 by 1 inch squares.

DIRECTIONS for the cashew cream:
1. Soak your cashews in water in a bowl for about an hour (do this while cooking other recipes)

2. In a blender, blend the cashews and 1 can of coconut cream together.

3. Add the vanilla, salt, and dates and blend for about 4 minutes until thick and creamy.

*AFTER your cake and cream is completed, follow these directions:
1. In a clear bowl, layer the bottom of the bowl with your cake squares.

2. Create a new layer of blueberries

3. Create a third layer of cashew cream.

4. Create a fourth layer of strawberries.

5. Repeat these layers until you fill up the bowl.

6. Thinly slice strawberries and place them on top of the layered trifle in a circle formation until you fill up the center. Serve and enjoy!