Tips & Recipes to Enjoy Your Next Barbecue!

Q. I am newly diabetic and invited to many barbecues over the summer. I find I don’t want to eat too much of the typical barbecue food, including potato chips, potato salad, macaroni salad and lots of other foods filled with sugar or refined carbohydrates that I am trying to avoid. Is it rude to bring something along that I can eat, and do you have any suggestions?

A. As long as you bring enough for everyone to enjoy, bringing a dish everyone can share is not only fine, it is a great idea that will help you stay on track and give your fellow guests a taste of delicious summer fare.

One of my favorite go to salads is a Southwestern Black Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad: This salad is so easy and delicious, especially this time of year when tomatoes are ripe and plentiful.

To prepare, rinse off the black beans and place in a bowl with cut up tomatoes, sweet corn cut from the cob (you can lightly steam the corn if desired), dice red peppers, and diced cucumber. Then either use a dressing of your choice or drizzle with olive oil, lime juice and season to taste with a touch of salt and pepper. This is a very versatile salad, you can change it up with some goat cheese sprinkled on top, or add chopped jalapeño pepper for some spice and a Mexican flair.

If you want to bring something a little different that is more of a snack try a bowl of roasted garbanzo beans. They are a great alternative to chips and pretzels. To make them, drizzle some olive oil on garbanzo beans, add a touch of balsamic vinegar along with some spices for flavoring (I use a spice mix like Trader Joe’s 21 Salute). Then roast them in the oven (at a temperature of 375◦) for about ½ hour. If you like your garbanzos more on the crispy side, you can roast them a little longer