| May 26, 2014

Summer doesn’t have to mean a battle between your teeny bikini and the barbeque.

READ: Steakhouse Secrets For Making The Perfect Steak At Home

Sure, some of our favorite summer foods — Burgers! Hotdogs! Pasta Salad! — pack a lot of calories, but it's easy to whip up healthier versions by making a few adjustments.

We consulted dietitian Lori D'Amato who advised us on some lower-cal versions for seven of our favorite summer foods. The result was seven delicious recipes that tasted just as good as the originals.

Whip them for yourself and see what we mean!

Alexandra Giambattista


  • 1 lb. 93% lean ground beef
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 lb. low fat cheddar cheese, sliced
  • 4 whole wheat hamburger buns
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 1/2 head of romaine lettuce, separated
  • Organic ketchup


  • Mix ground beef with olive oil
  • Form ground beef into patties
  • Thoroughly cook burgers on the grill
  • Add cheese slices about 4 minutes before removing burger from the grill
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onion and ketchup

Makes 4 servings

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Alexandra Giambattista
Fried Chicken


  • 6 chicken legs and thighs, trimmed of fat and skin
  • 2 cups whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • Pinch of salt


  • Coat chicken pieces in egg, dip in whole wheat flour, then dip again in egg and then dip into the whole wheat bread crumbs.
  • Pan fry in olive oil until golden brown.
  • Bake at 350 degrees until chicken is fully cooked.
  • Sprinkle salt and pepper onto chicken.

Makes 6 servings.

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Alexandra Giambattista
Sweet Potato Chips and Onion Dip


  • 3 sweet potatoes, sliced into thin circles
  • 1 1/2 cups light olive oil
  • 1 pt. non-fat plain yogurt
  • 1/2 cup white onion, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • Pinch of salt


  • Pan fry sweet potatoes in 1 cup of olive oil until crisp.
  • Lay chips on a paper towel and cool for about 30 minutes.
  • Brown garlic and onion in 1/2 cup olive oil. Cool.
  • Mix garlic, onion, and olive oil mixture with greek yogurt.
  • Sprinkle pepper on top.

Makes about 4 servings.

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Alexandra Giambattista
Pasta Salad


  • 1 lb. quinoa pasta
  • 1 pt. non-fat greek yogurt
  • 3 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1 avocado (mashed)


  • Boil pasta as directed
  • Let cool to room temperature
  • Add remaining ingredients and mix well
  • Refrigerate one hour before serving to allow flavors to incorporate
  • Remove from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving

Makes about 4 servings.

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Alexandra Giambattista
Corn Dog


  • 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup quinoa flour
  • 1/2 tsp. stevia
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 egg whites, beaten
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper
  • 1 lb. tofu dogs (or chicken dogs)
  • 1 cup light olive oil
  • Mustard, for dipping
  • 8 skewers


  • Boil tofu dogs as directed on package
  • Mix whole wheat flour, quinoa flour, stevia, pepper and baking powder
  • In a separate bowl mix egg whites, skim milk and coconut oil
  • Slowly combine the wet mixture and dry mixture until a firm dough is formed. Dough should not be sticky
  • Roll out dough to about 1/8th in. thick
  • Cut dough into squares and wrap around skewered tofu dogs so that the dough is wrapped around the tofu dog once
  • Seal dough so that the tofu dog is not visible
  • Lightly fry in olive oil until golden brown
  • Lay on paper towels
  • Serve with mustard

Makes about 8 servings.

RECIPES: 8 Not-So-Average Hot Dogs

Alexandra Giambattista


  • 1 package low carb whole wheat tortillas, cut into triangles
  • 1 8 oz. package of low-fat cheese, grated
  • 1 pt. non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and sliced into rings
  • 2 grilled chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes

For the guacamole

  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 1/2 cup red onion, minced
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together, cover with plastic wrap and chill.

For the salsa

  • 1 cup tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 2 tbsp. lime juice
  • 2 tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. hot sauce

Mix all ingredients together and chill.


  • Bake tortilla triangles at 350 degrees for approximately 10 minutes, or until crisp and golden brown
  • Place tortilla triangles on microwave safe dish
  • Sprinkle grated cheddar cheese onto the tortillas triangles and melt cheese in microwave, about 1 minute
  • Heat black beans in microwave, about 2 minutes
  • Add black beans, jalapenos, salsa, greek yogurt, guacamole and chicken on top of tortillas

Makes about 4 servings.

RECIPE: The Iron Chef's Shrimp Tempura Nachos

Alexandra Giambattista


  • 3 shots organic triple sec
  • 8 shots silver organic tequila
  • 4 cups low calorie sour mix
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1/2 cup stevia in the raw
  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 lime, sliced for garnish
  • Low-calorie sour mix
  • 4 tbsp. lime juice
  • 4 tbsp.  lemon juice
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. stevia


  • Pour all ingredients, except the stevia in the raw, into a cocktail shaker and shake well.
  • Wet the rim of each glass and dip into the stevia in the raw until the rim is coated.
  • Pour mixture into each glass and garnish with a lime.

Makes about 6 servings.

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