Nothing says summer like backyard grilling. Grilling can be a simple way to add bold flavor without the extra fat and calories. Grilling lean meats and veggies is not only healthy, it’s also delicious!
Here are some healthful tips for your summer grilling:
1. Marinate leaner cuts of meat
o Forget the traditional grilling items like hamburgers and hot dogs and choose affordable, leaner cuts of meat. Using marinades or rubs will add flavor and reduce the need for high-fat condiments.
o Not only do marinades prevent the meat from drying out, they also protect the meat from carcinogens created by smoke and high heat cooking.
o Cuts that are leaner than 95% ground beef include:
o Eye of round roast, top round steak, bottom round roast, top sirloin steak, round tip roast
o Skinless chicken breast and turkey breast are also good options
2. Build a better burger
o When using 95% lean meat (beef or turkey) try adding a variety of different ingredients to add more flavor and moisture, and to “stretch” the meat.
o Some ideas include:
o Ground up cherries or prunes, tomato products, mashed avocado, egg whites with some bread crumbs, and grated or chopped veggies (bell peppers, chiles, garlic, mushrooms, or onions)
o You can add almost any spice like pepper or rosemary.
o Meat alternatives
o Try a portobello mushroom burger or a veggie burger.
o Choose whole wheat or whole grain buns and rolls.
3. Healthier burger toppings
o Fresh vegetables
o Tomatoes, lettuce, red onion
o Add some spice
o Mustard, jalapenos, salsa
o Avocado slices add some healthy fat and a creamy consistency similar to cheese or mayo.
o Skip the bacon or replace it with Canadian style bacon to save on calories and fat.
4. Grill baskets
o These are great for foods that can easily fall through grill racks like shrimp, fish, tofu and veggies.
o Don’t have a grill basket? Wrap it up in tin foil!
5. Go for grilled fish
o You can cook heartier fish steaks, like salmon and tuna, directly on the grill
o More tender fish, such as catfish, perch, snapper, sole, and tilapia, can be cooked with a rub or with lots of herbs and lemon in an aluminum foil packet or in a grill basket.
6. Don’t forget the veggies!
o Some great vegetables to cook on the grill include asparagus spears, broccoli, corn on the cob, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, sliced sweet potatoes, squash, or zucchini.
o Brush your veggies with a light coat of olive oil (to add flavor and prevent them from sticking to the metal) and sprinkle them with minced garlic, rosemary, or salt and pepper.
o Load up skewers with your choice of meat, pineapple, onions, mushrooms, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, or yellow squash.
o Cut all the kabob fixings to equal-sized pieces. Assemble the kabobs and spray or brush with olive oil.
Check out this website for some healthy grilling recipes!