Low carb BBQ? Absolutely! The meat you’re grilling is the easy part of your low-carb diet, but what about the sauce? Most marinade and sauce recipes call for sugar, and American barbecue is notoriously sweet. Sticking with your low-carb eating plan during grilling season can be tricky, but you can indulge in smoky, saucy grilled deliciousness and still keep your carbs in check. Here’s how.
1. Rethink BBQ
If eating ribs sticky-sweet with sauce is your idea of barbecue, reeducate your taste buds to enjoy new flavors and textures.
- Spices of India chicken. This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of yogurt. Generally, yogurt is a low-carb no-no, however it is actually the whey that provides the carbs. A workaround is to use Greek yogurt, which is lower in whey. You can substitute with sour cream and a splash of vinegar. Mix yogurt with ginger, garlic, cumin, coriander, cayenne pepper, cardamom, black pepper and salt. Rub over 1 pound of chicken and marinate overnight. Grill.
- Spices of Greece. Combine marjoram, cumin, garlic, salt, oregano, coriander and paprika with olive oil. Rub into meat (chicken, pork or lamb). Marinate at least an hour or overnight. Grill.
2. Dry Rub
Lose the high-carbohydrate sauces; add the flavor using a dry rub. A dry rub is a great way to make your grilled food delicious without all of those carbs. Let your imagination set your free.
- Rub meat with Chinese Five Spice and grill.
- Smear a mixture of tomato powder, garlic powder, salt, basil, paprika and cayenne pepper into chicken and grill, for a Mediterranean twist.
- Try mixing spices you don’t usually think of:
–rosemary and nutmeg for lamb
–mace, turmeric, cinnamon and paprika for a Moroccan-style chicken grill
If you still like a sweet flavored BBQ, try substituting:
- Tomato paste instead of ketchup.
- Low-carb/zero-carb sweetener instead of sugars.
- Spices that have a sweet flavor such as cloves and cinnamon.
4. Different Techniques
Putting meat on a hot grill can dry it out. Cooking with sauces will keep your meat moist, but the carbs can get you off track. Instead, try different techniques to keep the meat moist and preserve the flavor.
- Clay. Make a clay pot grill and cook kebabs in it.
- Rotisserie. If you have a type of grill that has a rotisserie accessory, try a dry rub of rosemary, then cook.
- Beer. Steam-grill a chicken over an open can of beer.
5. Get Creative
- Diet soda. Mix root beer or Diet Coke with tomato paste and marinate.
- Butter. Butter has become public enemy number one in the diet world. Butter is 100-percent fat, no doubt about it, and high in cholesterol. It also adds rich flavor to your cooking and browns meat beautifully. A little goes a long way and in moderation–unless you have health concerns that make eating it a risk–butter isn’t all bad. Brush poultry, seafood and veggies with butter while you’re grilling to add luxurious flavor. Add garlic, herbs and spices for extra oomph.
- Bacon. Partially grill your meat, then wrap in bacon and secure it with skewers. Finish grilling until the bacon is crispy.