Australia Day is approaching and you want to top last year’s Barbie!?
How can you enjoy a classic Australia Day barbecue, whilst ticking all your nutrition and health goals? Check out our pairing Ideas for your 2023 Barbie!
Idea Number One
A. Skewers (or as the Italians call it Spiedini)
Cod fish fillet or salmon fillet
Lean sirloin fillet
B. Starchy vegetable assortment – carbohydrate side
Corn on a cob
C. Vegetable Options – good to grill/BBQ or keep fresh as a salad
Zucchini and tomato grilled
Fresh radicchio with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil
Idea Number Two
A. Plant based or animal based – great to BBQ grill
Homemade chickpea or lentil patties OR Syndian patties
Tofu or tempeh
Lean cut of meat (i.e. beef or pork sirloin)
B. Fresh greens and grains salad
Quinoa, brown rice or barley as a wholesome grain
Fresh cos lettuce leaves
Baby spinach and baby tomatoes
Sliced avocado and sprinkle of parmesan cheese or baby mozzarella balls
C. Extra veggie sides
Cauliflower steaks – great grilled on the BBQ
Zucchini or eggplant or capsicum sliced or button or Portobello mushrooms
Antioxidant rich fresh or dried herbs and spices
Fresh garlic, ginger and chilli
Lemon juice or balsamic vinegar to add some zest! (also tenderises meat)
Extra-virgin olive oil – flavour, healthy fats and plentiful antioxidants
Now for some science.
Cooking animal protein foods like meat, chicken and fish at high temperatures has the potential to produce harmful chemicals known as heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs).
These by-products of cooking are formed when the building blocks of protein (amino acids) react with sugars at high temperatures (HCAs) and PAHs form when fat drips, and burns, producing smoke as a result.
The higher the heat and the more charred the protein, the higher sum of HCA and PAH, which have shown an increased risk in cancer diagnosis.
Fact #1: well-done meat has over 3x more HCAs than medium-rare meat and the good news is you can reduce the formation of these harmful by-products by cooking for longer at a lower temperature and frequently turning the meat.
Fact #2: choose extra lean cuts of meat to prevent fat dripping and formation of PAH and always maintain a clean barbecue surface between cook-ups!
Fact #3: to reduce the formation of all by-products, some research has shown the use of healthy marinades high in antioxidants can decrease HCA formation by 90%.
Fact #4: fruit and vegetables are great additions to a barbecue for flavour, colour, variety and also can be grilled with no harm of HCA by-products.