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Summertime Cooking, The Healthy Way with Elaine Magee, RD

Enjoy the joys of summer -- and stay healthy too!
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Moderator: How much attention should be paid to the sauces we put on grilled meat? My barbeque sauce recipe calls for butter, among many other ingredients.

Magee: I think it depends on how much sauce you are getting. If it's a little bit of sauce and the sauce has a little bit of butter I may not worry about that, but if you really are consuming a large amount of sauce, then it might behoove you to switch the butter to something else like canola oil in your sauce recipe. You could also probably use less, too. I wouldn't even think you would need to add anything in place of it; you could probably just get away with using a little less in the recipe.

Member question: I'm not a cold food lover, but using the oven in our St. Louis heat is no fun. Is there anything appetizing and healthy that can be cooked in the microwave? Seems no one actually cooks with the mike anymore -- just defrosting and reheating.

Magee: I personally don't like cooking meat in the microwave, because it eliminates the browning that takes place on the stove, and many of the flavors we enjoy come from browning. But I think it would be possible to do rice dishes with the microwave. Or a raspberry vinaigrette type poached fish in the microwave. I use the microwave constantly for vegetables. Another trick for summer is to make spaghetti sauce or lasagna and that type of things and freeze portions.

I live in California and it can get hot here, too. My family loves making a chicken Caesar salad. I buy the grilled chicken at a deli that we have near the house and then all I do is pretty much toss the salad with some veggies, my sliced chicken breast, and a light Caesar dressing with croutons. It's delicious, easy and cool.

Moderator: I always grill extra burgers. My teens can reheat them in the microwave and have burgers for lunch. What are some ideas for good picnic or barbeque foods that are already light?

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