Healthier BBQ – choices and solutions

Choices and Solutions. By the end of the 3rd or 4th week on my weight loss program, everyone has heard that at least a dozen times, :) So how do I find solutions or what choices can I make?

Well, for one small choice – Every year my church has a “Free to Serve” Sunday where instead of a normal church service, we gather at the church, then go out in groups to different agencies, schools. public utility areas, senior homes, individual homeowners in need and so on to do what we can to take care of whatever needs they may have. It may mean clearing the yard of weeds or painting a deck. It may mean cleaning out sewer drains for the city or landscaping work for a school. It may mean replacing screen doors and updating windows on an older home. Whatever is needed. No one gets paid, except of course for the feeling of accomplishment when we pay it forward.

As the special events leader for SSCC, I usually end up in the kitchen preparing a meal for the hot and tired workers to come back to. In previous years that meant firing up the grill and doing premade hamburgers with the usual fatty, sugary sides. The burgers were always donated, which is a blessing. However, that meant we usually got the least expensive, or rather, lol, the most “economical brand” and by the time they were grilled, they ended up dry and cardboard like at best. I was one of the ones making the peanut butter rice krispy treats with a very thick chocolate and butterscotch topping. lol OR buying gallons of the least expensive ( meaning least natural ) ice cream to dish out.

What was my solution and choice this year? (Facing a perhaps violent crowd if it doesn’t work) This year we are doing BBQ beef sandwiches with a combination of homemade and store bought BBQ sauce. All, by the time we count the nursery, security and kitchen volunteers, for 300 + workers. yy

Healthier? I think so. I got beautiful 120 lbs of Round Roasts at Sam’s Club for $2.28 Lb. The roast are less fatty and have NO additional ingredients. (take time to read the label on your next burger package) Right now those roasts are slow cooking with carrots, celery and onions at the base with garlic cloves inserted into punctures through out each one. I made a BBQ sauce base with natural tomato only ketchup, onions, green chili’s, apple cider vinegar, brown sugar and paprika.

The fat content of the roasts was minimal. The sauce base ingredients were natural. Only “labeled” food ingredient that will be added is the store bought Sweet Baby Ray’s BBQ sauce that really does have a pretty good label on it except of course for the High Fructose Corn Syrup. AH well, 1 gallon of that to spread over 350 servings? I am not feeling too, too bad.

This year instead of potato and macaroni salad that usually comes from a refrigerated or deli section with who knows what on that foot long label, we asked for donations of apples and oranges to go along with the watermelon. Yes there will be chips and cookies but not near as much as there was in the past. We also have veggie burgers for those that prefer them.

Am I getting everyone healthy? Probably not. Will everyone go away with a nice lunch tomorrow with probably half the calories of a normal church dinner? yep. Is it a start. yes.

Free to serve. Perhaps for me that means leading a crew and bringing in as much as I can for a healthier kitchen right here at Sunnyside.

Have a great weekend folks!