A Healthy BBQ Feast for Father's Day

Image: Cookie & Kate With father's day right around the corner I've been searching out some great barbecue recipes.

Barbecues can be laden with unhealthy foods: fatty, processed red meat; dairy-based dips; salads with sugary dressings... you get the idea.

But if you dad really loves to barbecue (like mine does), there are actually all kinds of alternatives out there. In fact, I've pieced together a menu that's as healthy as it is delicious, and shared it below. Whip this up for your father this Sunday and he'll know how much you appreciate him!

And happy father's day to all the amazing dads (like mine) out there!

Appetizer: Mango Salsa & Organic Corn Chips


  • 3 ripe mangos, diced (see photos)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • ¼ cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and minced
  • 1 large lime, juiced (about ¼ cup lime juice)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, to taste


In a serving bowl, combine the prepared mango, bell pepper, onion, cilantro and jalapeño. Drizzle with the juice of one lime and mix well. Season to taste with salt. For best flavour, let the salsa rest for 10 minutes or longer.

Image: Cookie & Kate

Salad: Chopped Kale Salad



  • 1 bunch kale (preferably lacinato/Tuscan/dinosaur kale but regular curly kale works, too)
  • fine-grain sea salt
  • 1 cup chopped snow peas (slice off tough ends first)
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and ribboned with a vegetable peeler
  • 1 small red bell pepper, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 heaping cup organic edamame (if using frozen edamame, defrost by tossing into a pot of boiling water for 3 to 4 minutes)
  • 1 avocado, pitted and sliced into small chunks
  • 1 large shallot, finely sliced
  • handful cilantro, chopped


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari (or other low-sodium soy sauce*)
  • 2 teaspoons lime juice
  • 3 garlic cloves, pressed or minced


Use a chef's knife to remove the tough ribs from the kale, then discard them. Chop the kale leaves into small, bite-sized pieces and transfer them to a mixing bowl. Sprinkle the kale with a dash of sea salt and use your hands to massage the kale by scrunching up the leaves in your hands and releasing until the kale is a darker green and fragrant. Toss the remaining salad dressing ingredients with the kale.

To make the vinaigrette, whisk together all the ingredients until emulsified. Toss the dressing with the salad and serve.

Image: Cookie & Kate

Slaw: Peanut Sesame Slaw with Soba Noodles


  • 4 ounces soba noodles
  • 1 small purple or green cabbage, sliced into quarters and core removed
  • ½ pound (about 12) Brussels sprouts, optional
  • 4 carrots, peeled
  • 1 bunch green onions, trimmed and sliced into thin rounds
Peanut-sesame dressing:
  • ½ cup peanut butter
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar or rice vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
  • 3 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari or other soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey or agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed or minced
  • Sprinkle of coarsely chopped peanuts
  • Handful of cilantro, coarsely torn
  • 1 lime, sliced into wedges


Cook the soba noodles: bring a large pot of water to boil and cook the noodles according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water before returning to pot.

Prepare the vegetables: This is easier in a food processor than by hand. If using a food processor, shred the cabbage and sprouts with the slicing disk, then grate the carrots using the grating disk. Or use a chef's knife to chop the cabbage and sprouts into thin strips, then coarsely grate the carrots.

Prepare the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until smooth.

In a large serving bowl, combine the cooked soba noodles, shredded cabbage and sprouts, grated carrots, and chopped green onions. Pour dressing over the vegetables and toss to coat (you may or may not need all of the dressing). For best flavour, let the slaw marinate for 20 minutes before serving.

Serve slaw with a sprinkling of chopped peanuts, torn cilantro and a lime wedge.

Image: Everyday Health

Main: Apple Turkey Burgers


  • 12 ounces turkey, lean ground
  • 1 medium apples, Granny Smith cored, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander, ground
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper, black ground
  • 6 ounces cranberry sauce
  • 4 small hamburger buns, whole-wheat or gluten free
  • 2 cups lettuce, romaine chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatoes chopped
  • 1/2 cup onions, chopped


Preheat grill.

Mix together turkey, apple, coriander, salt, pepper, and cranberry sauce until thoroughly combined. Form turkey mixture into four patties.

Reduce heat to medium. Place turkey burgers on the grill rack over heat. Broil 14 - 18 minutes or until no longer pink, turning once halfway through broiling time.

Serve with garnish and buns.