2 recipe makeovers for healthier pub grub

There are ways to turn fattier favourites into healthier dinner options. Try out these two recipe makeovers when you're craving pub grub this weekend.

2 recipe makeovers for healthier pub grub

1. Make healthier barbecued “ribs”

Meat doesn't get much fattier than pork ribs, but you can get the same barbecue flavour by substituting much leaner pork tenderloin. You'll cut fat calories by 90 per cent.

Preparation time 50 minutes; Cooking time 45 minutes; Serves 6

Ingredients:

  • 2 pork tenderloins, 350 g (12 oz) each, trimmed of all visible fat
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 250 ml (1 c) ketchup
  • 125 ml (1/2 c) chili sauce
  • 50 ml (1/4 c) unsulfured molasses
  • 45 ml (3 tbsp) Worcestershire sauce
  • 30 ml (2 tbsp) light brown sugar
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) chili powder
  • 10 ml (2 tsp) mustard powder
  • Hot red pepper sauce, to taste

Directions:

  1. Soak four wooden skewers 30 centimetres long in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Butterfly the pork, then cut into "ribs" and thread onto the skewers. Cover and refrigerate.
  3. Place the oven rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 230°C (450°F). Lightly spray a jelly-roll pan with cooking spray.
  4. Spread the vegetables in the pan and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  5. Roast, tossing frequently, until brown and tender, about 15 minutes.
  6. Transfer roasted vegetables to a food processor. Add the ketchup, chili sauce, molasses, Worcestershire, sugar, chili powder, mustard and red pepper sauce. Puree.
  7. Pour into a pot. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until bubbling, about 15 minutes.
  8. Remove 250 millilitres (one cup) sauce for basting and keep the remaining sauce hot.
  9. Spray a grill rack or broiler pan generously with cooking spray and preheat the grill or broiler. Baste both sides of the pork with sauce. Grill or broil until cooked through, about 15 minutes, turning and basting every four minutes. Serve with the remaining sauce on the side.

2. Lighten up your enchiladas

Typically made with beef, this zesty Mexican-style recipe cuts fat by substituting turkey and uses lots of black beans to enhance the south-of-the-border flavour — along with an enhanced vegetable and fibre content.

Preparation time 20 minutes; Cooking time 15 minutes; Serves 4

Ingredients: 

  • 600 ml (2 1/2 c) salsa
  • 50 g (1/4 c) chopped cilantro
  • 5 ml (1 tsp) ground cumin
  • 8 (15-cm/6-in) tortillas
  • 250 g (8 oz) cooked turkey breast, shredded
  • 175 g (3/4 c) canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 250 g (1 c) shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F). Lightly spray a 18 x 28-centimetre (seven x 11-inch)/1.5-litre (six-cup) baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Combine the salsa, cilantro and cumin in a shallow bowl at least 15 centimetres (six inches) in diameter.
  3. Dip a tortilla in the salsa mixture, coating completely. Place on a plate or sheet of wax paper.
  4. Top with 30 millilitres (two tablespoons) of the salsa mixture, then with one-eighth of the turkey, beans and onion. Sprinkle with 15 millilitres (one tablespoon) of the cheese.
  5. Roll up and place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
  6. Spoon the remaining salsa mixture over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the remaining 125 g (1/2 cup) cheese.
  7. Bake until bubbling, about 15 minutes.

By adjusting your cooking methods and switching traditional ingredients for healthier options, you can still indulge in your favourite pub foods (but without all the fat). The next time you're craving ribs or enchiladas, give these lighter recipes a try.

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