The summer is upon us and as many psoriasis patients will know, there is a theory that red meat is bad for you and much of the barbecue season is steaks, burgers and fatty foods such as sausages. Thinking back to earlier posts this year we have learnt that fish, protein rich meats, fruit and vegetables can help you maintain healthy skin. So, how do you make your summer barbecue meals tasty, yet also healthy at the same time? Hopefully you’ll find my ideas appetising and different to the normal barbecue food.
Red barbecued chicken
I came across this recipe years ago and although it is a barbecue dish, it works just as well cooking it in the oven. It is so easy and comes out perfect every time. Use as many skinless chicken breasts as you need and score them slightly on top, this helps with the cooking as well as getting flavour into them. Using half and half red wine and orange juice, cover the chicken breasts and add some crushed garlic cloves and dried oregano. Marinade overnight or for at least one hour.
Red wine? Yes, I think it’s okay here as it’s only for flavour and you drain the chicken from the marinade before cooking. You can use chicken thighs but the breast is healthier as there is less fat. Cook on the barbecue until hot all the way through. The marinade should help it stay moist and you can always butterfly the chicken breasts if you want to be safe. Grill orange halves and serve up with the chicken. The grilled oranges are great on their own or you can squeeze them over the chicken.
Caribbean turkey breast
Another easy protein-packed dish which again, adds fruit. Either use ready cut turkey fillets or get a whole turkey breast and portion it so it’s not too thick. Marinade the turkey in pineapple juice, pepper, ground cumin, ground coriander, ground cinnamon and your choice of fresh chilli, chilli flakes or powdered chill. Keep some of the marinade aside for slices of fresh pineapple and marinade them overnight too.
Barbecue both the turkey breasts and pineapple and serve together. I’ve found that this combination is great as a burger with mayonnaise and my homemade coleslaw, the recipe for which is below.
The Side Dish
I often make my own coleslaw; it is easy and contains much fewer calories than the creamy shop bought variety. It’s packed with much more flavour too. It helps here if you have a good sharp knife, you can buy ready sliced veg these days if you struggle though. My mix is thinly sliced sweetheart cabbage and red bell pepper. Add in some sliced spring onions, grated carrot and chopped Greek basil (normal basil will do just as well). You can really do this as you like and to your own taste.
The dressing is just as simple, two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, one tablespoon of white wine vinegar (red wine, sherry or cider vinegar are just as good), a little salt, a good grind of black pepper and a spoonful of honey. Mix well and then add to the coleslaw and make sure you mix it up to cover all the veg. You can make this the day before if you like as it will stay fresh for a couple of days.
The Fish Dish
I was going to use a very oily fish for lots of Omega-3, but my lunch guests are not keen on mackerel, trout or salmon, so I went for sea bass instead. Ask your fishmonger to gut the sea bass if you aren’t up to the task and I would suggest using the whole fish rather than fillets as it makes for great presentation and is easier to cook that way. For the marinade, take one stalk of lemon grass and remove the tougher outer skin, chop and put in a blender. Add one red chilli (de-seeded if you don’t like it too hot), a handful of fresh coriander, a chopped lime (the whole thing) and a good glug of olive oil to make a paste. Whizz the whole lot up in the blender and add more oil if needed.
Cut into the fish a little, not going right through and rub the marinade in. Make sure you cut off all the small fins before you rub the marinade in as these can be very sharp and quite painful. The above should be enough to cover at least two whole sea bass, then leave to marinade for at least one hour in the fridge. To cook, place directly onto the grill, it should only take 2 or 3 minutes each side if your barbecue is hot enough. As long as the skin is looking crispy you should be okay. To serve, either flake off the fish into a dish, or let people help themselves. It is a whole fish, so remember to be careful of bones.
I hope you find these ideas a little different and a healthier alternative to the usual barbecue recipes. They are dishes that are certain to make an impact and create conversation. Enjoy!
This content is not intended to advise you about your health. Always seek advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare professionals.
UK/IE MAT-03454. Date of preparation: May 2016