Health

Here’s What to Eat at Union Market’s Midnight BBQ Tonight

Photo by Dan Cunningham

Leave the kids at home and head over to Union Market Friday evening to get your food and drink on after-hours. Dock5 is holding a midnight BBQ, a neat twist on the usual spring pastime.

Food options include delectable concoctions from Team Kitchen Cray, Lucy Ethiopian Restaurant, and Crisp Kitchen & Bar. The party will rage from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. with musical talent like Andre Power and Mastermind DJ. Tickets are as low as $41, and it’s a quick walk from the NoMa-Gallaudet University Metro Station.

To stay healthy while enjoying the festivities, keep an eye on the food you’re consuming. There are a lot of ways BBQs can go wrong nutrition-wise, and we don’t want you to use up all your hard-earned calories on one bowl of ‘slaw! Follow these tips on how to do BBQs the healthy way:

Go Corny

The key to healthy eating at a BBQ (or really any event!) is to load up on fruits and veggies right away. Fill at least half your plate with the green stuff like salad (sans fatty dressings!) and colorful fruits (sans whipped cream!). That way, you’ll still have space for guilty pleasures like potato salad but not enough space to overdo it. One great space (and stomach) filler is corn on the cob. This sweet, yellow veggie is full of fiber, which will help keep you fuller longer—making you less likely to pig out later!

Lean Meat Only

We all have those mouth-watering dreams about a quarter pounder beef burger, but before you snap one up off the grill, ask yourself—is it worth it? Beef has a lot of fat and cholesterol, which means it’s not the best choice when it comes to meats. Instead, ask for a turkey burger or chicken without skin. These options are healthier, and they’ll still fill you up so you can dance the night away to Mastermind DJ!

Save Your Buns by Going Bunless

Want to cut calories without skimping on deliciousness? Get rid of the bun. Most buns don’t do much but fill you up with calories. Instead, forgo the bun and wrap you burger in lettuce—or just eat it a la carte! Your body will thank you for it later.

Skip the Potato Salad

OK, so we haven’t talked you out of eating potato salad. We get it. That stuff is absolutely delicious. While coleslaw is generally filled with mayonnaise—not the best choice for a meal—it’s OK to splurge every once in a while. In the end, it’s all about portioning. If coleslaw is your BBQ must-have, then go for it. We’re right there with you. Just make sure that you only eat one portion and fill up on other, more diet-friendly side dishes!

Pass the Beans, Please

Baked beans are a classic BBQ staple, and you don’t have to feel guilty for eating them. Beans have lots of protein and not a lot of fat. So you’ll get the protein you need to build muscle, and they’ll fill you up and keep you full so you’ll be less likely to grab an extra serving of that potato salad! Just be mindful that some baked beans can have lots of added sugar and sodium, which makes them less healthy. Always check the ingredients before chowing down.

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Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato

Mollie Bloudoff-Indelicato is a freelance science, health, and environment reporter based in Washington, DC, whose work has appeared in National Geographic, NPR, Scientific American, The Atlantic, Newsweek, and Nature.