Kick-off healthy BBQ season this weekend

By Holistic Nutritionist and Wellness Expert Trish Krause

It’s official! The unofficial kick-off to summer is here with the arrival of the Victoria Day weekend.

We might still be a month from the Summer Solstice but everyone in Canada, and especially in Cottage Country, knows that this is the weekend when all the fun begins. And with that fun comes drinks on the dock, endless socializing and of course, the desire to soak up every bit of the summer season with friends and family.

You’re likely going to be doing a lot of entertaining and the go-to meal always seems to be burgers. And why not? They’re fast and easy to prepare and simple to scale up or down depending on the size of your crowd.   But I bet you’ve noticed that a lot of folks are stepping back from constant consumption of red meat and maybe even meat in general, as the recognition that a plant-strong diet is better for health and longevity.

In fact, a Harvard study that tracked more than 120,000 people for 30 years found that those who ate the most red meat tended to die younger during the study period. But the good news is that swapping just one daily serving of beef for plant protein could cut the risk of dying early by as much as 19 percent. Sounds like a good reason to switch up some of your barbecue meals this year, right?

Many summer grillers don’t want to disappoint their guests by serving commercially prepared, soy-based veggie burgers that are highly processed and filled with a ton of artificial ingredients. I don’t blame you – they can have a pretty unappealing texture and taste too.


So here’s a couple of recipes to add into your summer socializing repertoire that even the most avid meat-lovers will enjoy. You’ll be showing your guests a good time while helping them take steps toward a longer, healthier life!


And P.S. – these burgers freeze like a dream so you can make them ahead and just pull them out of the freezer when guests arrive. Try the homemade Cashew Ketchup too – ‘way LESS SUGAR AND fewer additives than storebought and super quick to whip up in your blender.

veggie burger trish

Spicy BBQ Chickpea Burgers

Makes 8 large or 12 smaller patties


  •  2 ¼ cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 ¼ cups cooked brown rice – hot (see directions below)
  • 3 Tbsp sunflower seeds + 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ cup diced red pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (or to taste)
  • ¼ cup diced red onion
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • ¼ cup minced fresh parsley
  • 3 Tbsp BBQ sauce
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs (GF if preferred)
  • 2-3 Tbsp ground flax
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt to taste (1-2 tsp)


  •  To cook rice: In a strainer, rinse the rice. Add 1/2 cup dry rice into a pot with 1 cup water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid, and simmer for about 25-30 minutes, watching closely and giving it a stir after 20. Add a touch more water if necessary.
  • Toast seeds at 300F for about 12 minutes until lightly golden. Set aside
  • Chop and prepare all vegetables.
  • Mash chickpeas and rice together well. Note: cold rice will not stick together as well as warm.
  • Once this mixture is well combined, add vegetables, seeds and spices, salt.
  • Add in BBQ sauce, breadcrumbs, ground flax.
  • Shape patties (pack tightly) and cook for 4-5 minutes per side in a lightly greased skillet or on a grill over medium-high heat.

Source and inspiration: Oh She Glows

Cashew Ketchup


  •  ½ cup raw cashews
  • ¼ cup sundried tomatoes
  • 2-3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 lemon wedge, peel removed
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 tsp tamari
  • ¼- ½ cups water (depending on how thick you like it)
  • Sea salt to taste


  • Blend all ingredients until smooth in blender or food processor.
  • Add water as needed until desired thickness is achieved.

Trish Krause is a CNP, Holistic Nutritonist & Women’s Vitality Expert– and the CEO of Bite out of Life (BOOL)


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