Defatting The Labor Day Barbecue With This Heart-smart Menu, You Can Dig Into Spicy Chicken, Potato Salad, Pasta Salad, Beer Bread, And Baked Beans. Then You Can Finish With A Chocolate Dessert. Here's Betting That You And Your Guests Won't Miss The Usual Overload Of Fat And Calories.

Posted: September 03, 1995

Labor Day and barbecue are almost synonymous. And, in times past, so were barbecue and fat.

Just take a look at these figures: 3 ounces of spareribs contains 337 calories and almost 26 grams of fat; one smoked pork sausage has 265 calories and 22 grams of fat; and that 5 1/2-ounce cheeseburger adds up with 359 calories and 20 grams of fat.

And we haven't even gotten to the rest of the really good stuff such as coleslaw, baked beans, potato salad, bread, and apple pie.

We know that side dishes make the meal the event that it is. But, with 10 grams of fat and 179 calories in a half-cup of potato salad, you might as well go out and eat a piece of chocolate cake.

Can you eat what you want on Labor Day and stay within the American Heart Association's requirement of 30 percent of calories from fat or less? Sure you can.

Our menu features:

BARBECUE CHICKEN

ITALIAN POTATO SALAD

BAKED BEANS

PASTA SALAD

BEER BREAD

CHOCOLATE CHESS SQUARES

I know what you're thinking - that all of this sounds good on paper, but probably tastes about as good as yesterday's pancakes. Well, I hate diets or anything that tastes like cardboard, and this meal proves you can have a traditional barbecue without any sacrifice of taste.

Most important, the recipes are easy and not time-consuming. There is no reason to spend hours in the kitchen. All the ingredients are familiar ones and are readily available.

If you don't tell anyone that your barbecue is low-fat, they will not know the difference.

If the weather doesn't cooperate, remember the chicken is cooked indoors, so you can have fun without the sun.

The most difficult part of the Beer Bread recipe is not to eat the whole loaf when it comes out of the oven. There is nothing better than homemade bread, but who has time to mess with it? With self-rising flour and the beer acting as yeast, you have homemade bread in no time at all.

With pasta so popular today, I had to include a pasta salad. Pasta Salad is one of my favorites because it includes vegetables and two types of pasta (I love tortellini). The lightly seasoned dressing complements the salad to assure you of no leftovers.

Italian Potato Salad offers a different twist to the standard. You don't have to worry about mayonnaise in the salad being outside too long or how much fat it contains.

The feta cheese and dill give this salad a distinctive flavor. With the red onions, cucumber and green pepper, it is attractive as well as tasty. The feta can be left out if you're not a feta fan, but I definitely am one.

The Baked Beans recipe is one of the best that you'll ever eat and you won't have to do much but open cans. Canadian bacon is used instead of sausage for that extra flavor. The different varieties of beans provide the dish with a great texture as well as great taste.

With the Barbecue Chicken recipe, you can have your barbecue with or without the weather cooperating. Plus, the sauce is very easy to make and also will taste great on meat.

Recipes for Barbecue Chicken, Italian Potato Salad, Baked Beans, Pasta Salad, Beer Bread and Chocolate Chess Squares appear today in the Recipe Box on S02.

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