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Considering Adding BBQ in Your Diet?

Chew on this:

Looking for a dinner that everyone in the house will enjoy? Get out of the kitchen and fire up the grill. Enjoy these tips for healthy and delicious grilling. It is as easy as 1-2-3!

  1. Pick the perfect protein: Fish, skinless chicken breast and lean ground poultry are all healthy choices. 
    • Wrap marinated fish fillets in foil.
    • Make colorful chicken kebabs with loads of vegetables. (Remember to pre-soak wooden skewers for 30 minutes to avoid burning the ends while cooking.)
    • “Beef up” your burgers by mixing minced portabella mushrooms and onions into the patties.
    • Try meatballs or sliders on the grill – these are ideal portion sizes for kids.
    • Grill “loin” or “round” cuts and “choice” or “select” grades of beef instead of “prime” to minimize saturated fat content.
    • Marinades and/or rubs add amazing flavor to protein and may minimize salt, depending on your marinade or rub.
    • Rule of thumb: Use about ½ cup of marinade or 1 tablespoon of spice rub for each pound of food. 
    • Safety tip: never reuse marinade or rub after raw meat has touched it!
  2. Add lots of color: Just about all colorful fruits and veggies can be grilled, alone or in kebabs. 
    • Cut them into pieces that will cook quickly and evenly. Brush with a healthy oil to prevent sticking or use a grill basket or grill mat to keep them out of the line of fire.
    • Some favorite veggies to grill include asparagus, avocado, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, squash and zucchini.
    • Grill fruits for dessert. The natural sugars caramelize in the high heat, giving them extra sweetness and flavor. Try sliced apples, pears or pineapple or halved bananas, figs, nectarines, peaches or plums.
  3. Choose healthy sides: 
    • Enjoy a colorful bean salad, fruit salad or leafy green salad.
    • Try something fresh and flavorful: a Vietnamese-inspired sauce of diced cucumber, shredded carrot, lime and chili-garlic sauce, for example.
    • Try sauerkraut or cabbage slaw. (Watch portions, because sauerkraut can be high in sodium.)
    • Make salads from green leafy veggies like spinach, arugula, or watercress. 
    • Cook kale or spinach with garlic and serve hot. 
    • When making dressing for coleslaw or potato salad (or another creamy side salad), replace part or all the mayonnaise with nonfat plain yogurt.
    • Grill your corn on the cob: Pre-boil it until just tender, to keep it juicy and speed up the cooking time. Then, place it directly on the grill and turn until charred on the outside. 
  4. Keep it whole grain:
    • Whole-grain buns and breads will complement your healthy feast with extra fiber, flavor and texture. Try a grain salad using quinoa or farro instead of a traditional pasta salad. Try this recipe for a Beet and Kale Salad with Farro and Lemon Dressing.
    • If you’re watching your calories and carbs, try an open-faced burger or lettuce wrap.
  5. Right size your portions: A healthy portion of any type of meat is about 3 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards, and no more than 6 ounces. 
    • Remember half of your plate should be fruits and vegetables!

Enjoy, and Happy Grilling! Try these Gourmet Selections selected by our Dietitian!