Grilling Up Healthy Summer Meals

With plenty of warm evenings and sunny weekends ahead, take the time to heat up the BBQ and grill some healthy and delicious meals.  Keep these healthy grilling tips in mind when preparing your summer favorites.

Stay Lean:

Choose protein sources that are lower in saturated fat such as lean cuts of beef (labeled “loin,” “extra lean,” and “round”), chicken breast, pork loin, and turkey cutlets.  Other heart-healthy choices include high-fiber veggie burgers, extra-firm tofu, omega-3 rich salmon filets, and low-fat jumbo shrimp.

Make Room for Veggies:

Grilling brings out a smoky, savory taste that turns vegetables into irresistible side dishes, even for vegetable phobic chefs!  To prevent sticking, lightly spray or coat veggies in heart-healthy canola or olive oil, and add some fresh herbs or lightly sprinkle with sea salt. You can also use bamboo skewers or a grill pan to prevent veggies from slipping through the grate.   Best bets include onions, asparagus, peppers, zucchini, squash, corn on the cob, eggplant and portabella mushrooms.

Add Flavor With Rubs and Marinades:

Marinades and rubs can make your grilled dishes sizzle!  Create unique and tasty combinations with low-sodium, heart healthy ingredients such as olive oil, Dijon mustard, garlic, fresh herbs, honey, ground coffee, black pepper, chile, hot sauce, red wine, orange, lemon, and lime juice, and low-sodium soy sauce.

Grilled Dessert?  Yes!

Clean off the BBQ and grill up some sweet summer fruit for a refreshing, antioxidant-rich dessert.  Pineapple, peaches, pears, bananas, and apples will caramelize over the heat. This allows them to develop a syrupy, concentrated flavor that tastes great drizzled with creamy, high calcium Greek-style yogurt.

Written by: Allison Marshall, MS, RD, CDN, CDE

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.