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Eating healthy at a barbecue can be tricky. When surrounded by a spread featuring dairy dips, greasy chips, and sodium-packed weiners and sausages, you may be tempted to indulge in one or two helpings. Only, before you know it, you’re bogged down by bloat and gas, due to hard to digest foods. Let’s not forget you’ll be rocking that food baby for the remainder of the day. Instead, fire up something healthy for your barbecue. Here are our top picks.

For starters, try: New Orleans BBQ Shrimp

Ingredients
1 Teaspoon paprika
1 Teaspoon ancho chili powder
1 Teaspoon ground cumin
1 Teaspoon sugar
3/4 Teaspoon salt
2 Pounds extra large or jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined
5 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 Large cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons water
3 Scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

Directions
Mix the paprika, ancho chili powder, cumin, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the shrimp to the spices and toss to coat evenly. Set aside.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a 12-inch skillet. Add the garlic and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for one minute. Do not brown. Add the shrimp and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the shrimp are almost cooked but still opaque in spots, 3-4 minutes.

Add the Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, and water and cook until shrimp are done, 1-2 minutes more. Scatter scallions over top and serve warm.

For the main course, try: Chipotle-Mango BBQ Chicken

Ingredients
1 1/2 Cups mango, peeled, pitted and roughly chopped
3/4 Cup fresh cilantro (loose pack, not chopped, stems and all)
2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 Tablespoons unseasoned rice wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon canola oil, plus extra for grill
4 Cloves garlic, peeled
2 Chipotle peppers in adobo, plus 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 Teaspoons kosher salt
1 Teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
2 Pounds chicken thighs and drumsticks, bone in, skin on

Directions
Put the mango, cilantro, lemon juice, vinegar, oil, garlic, chipotle, salt and pepper in a food processor and puree until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.

Add the chicken with half of the chipotle-mango sauce to a resealable plastic bag, and massage to coat the chicken with the sauce. Refrigerate at least 6 hours to marinate.

Put the other half of the chipotle-mango sauce into a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until thick, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Set some of the simmered sauce aside to serve on the side, and baste the chicken every few minutes with the rest of the sauce.

Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-high heat and brush with oil. Remove the chicken from the marinade and put on the grill.

Grill the chicken, turning and basting about every 5 minutes until cooked through 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a serving platter and serve with the reserved chipotle-mango sauce.

For dessert, try: Aretha Franklin’s Peach Cobbler

Ingredients
10 (8 1/2-ounce) cans sliced peaches, drained
2 Sticks unsalted butter, divided, 1 stick cut into small pieces
1 Cup sugar, plus 1/4 cup
1/2 Teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 Teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 Cup plain bread crumbs
2 Store-bought refrigerated pie doughs
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
Canola oil spray
1 Pint vanilla ice cream, for serving

Directions
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large saucepan, add peaches, 1 stick of butter, 1 cup of sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg and bring to a simmer. Add bread crumbs and stir. Using a sprinkle of flour, roll out both pie crusts; 1 will be used for the top of the cobbler and 1 for the bottom.

Spray a 10-inch square pan with canola oil and place 1 layer of dough into the baking dish. Place a few chips of butter, as well as a dusting of the remaining sugar, on the bottom crust. Pour the peach mixture into the baking dish. Cut the top layer of dough into strips and arrange them on the top of the peaches in a lattice pattern. Top with 3 or 4 chips of butter and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the crust is brown and the peaches are bubbling. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

Happy eating.

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R. Hawkins

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