A Stealth Lo-Co BBQ Choice

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This July 4th, I was pondering a BBQ grilling menu.  Yes, of course, grilling fish alongside the hot dogs and hamburgers is the correct lo-co option, but I eat a lot of grilled fish – and I think even my friends are bored of my tasty but predictable fish entrees.

Luckily, a totally NOT lo-co lunch at the house of my bacon-loving friend Chris a few weeks ago fueled my recent kielbasa obsession.  There we were, discussing what to eat for an impromptu lunch, when she opened her fridge and said, “I could grill some kielbasa.”

Really?  People have kielbasa just hanging around?  And fire up the grill for lunch? I thought this was amazing.

“Sure,” I said, ignoring the fact that in Chris’s hands was a full-fat beef kielbasa by singing the lyrics from the Hillshire Farm “Go Meat” TV commercial.  Chris was unfamiliar with this hysterical TV spot, so I sang it to her (repeats not included):

Gooooooo meeeeaaat!
I said a beef hot links
I said a beef hot links
I said a brat, beef kielbasa, hot smoked sausage, cheddarwurst!
When I say Hillshire, you say Farm!
Hillshire!
Farm!
GO MEAT!”

I hadn’t eaten kielbasa in years – decades even. Dipped in dijon and served with a half-avocado with some red wine vinaigrette pooled in the middle (another tasty dish I’d never seen done), it was absolutely delicious.  And pretty easy to make.  Though truth be told I’d never fire up the grill in the day – well, because I don’t ever fire up the grill – but this could be a very easy and delicious dinner that even my son would eat (minus the avocado).

But.  Um.  Totally not lo-co.

Turkey-Polska-KielbasaThat said, I looked for it in the grocery store anyway, figuring I’d work it in for dinner sporadically and try to eat particularly well at lunch on those days.  And was so very pleased to discover Hillshire Farm’s “Turkey Polska Kielbasa.”  And I later learned, while researching for this post, that there is another lo-co choice: “Lite Kielbasa” though I have an aversion to items labeled ‘lite.’

So I started buying Turkey Polska Kielbasa (it’s fun to say, no?) and my husband grills it up about once a week and we have it with a salad: it’s a new lo-co, tasty and easy dish for a weeknight.

Is it as good as the full fat version I gobbled at Chris’s house?  Nope.  But it is quite tasty. And a ton less fat: the full fat version as 16 grams of fat (5 saturated fat grams – the very bad kind) versus just 5 grams of fat (just 1.5 of sat fat) for the turkey kielbasa.

I just load up more mustard and barely notice the difference.

So if you’re planning a BBQ and want a lo-co choice that no one will realize is lo-co, grill up some Turkey Polska Kielbasa alongside those dogs.  In my next post I’ll detail the nutritional value of Kielbasa vs Hot Dogs vs Hamburgers — but if you’re not a numbers nerd, just know that Turkey Polska Kielbasa is a great lo-co BBQ choice. And probably, no one will have any idea it’s lo-co.

Side note: all processed meats are high in dietary cholesterol (35 and 30mg, respectively) but at least the turkey kielbasa has a lot less saturated fat, so as long as you’re not eating it daily, it’s a decent choice.

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