Fire Up the Grill and Build a Healthy Meal
We all know your body needs healthy foods to keep running smoothly all year-round. And, what better way to enjoy the best of the summer than with fresh foods and that summmertime favorite - grilling.
Building a Healthy Meal
To start, fill half your plate with veggies. Fresh greens are plentiful at local farmer's markets. You can even be daring and try something you've never tried before. The growers can often recommend ways of preparing food.
And homemade salad dressings are a great way to liven up dishes - whether they're topping some leafy greens, or used as a marinade on your favorite meat or veggies. Summer barbeques have never been healthier. Here are a few options from our nutritionists:
- Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Lime Cilantro Vinaigrette
- Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe
- Raspberry Vinaigrette
Fire Up the Grill
Foods like meat, poultry and fish provide flavor and satisfaction, as well as protein and other important nutrients. But, they can also provide more fat and calories than your heart should have.
Instead of skipping these foods altogether, choose quarter-pound sized servings of leaner versions to have a heart healthy summer.
Fish of any type is low in saturated fat and calories. Thick pieces of fish can be placed right on an oiled grill, while thinner pieces should be cooked on foil. Cook the fish only until it flakes apart with a fork, usually no more than 5-15 minutes.
Skinless boneless chicken and center cut loin pork chops are very lean and are great on the grill, but overcooking dries them out and makes them tough. Use a meat thermometer and look for an internal temperature of 160 degrees for pork or 165 degrees for chicken. For best results, chicken breast can be sliced or pounded to a uniform thickness before grilling so the meat cooks evenly.
Beef or Pork
Beef or pork tenderloins are also very lean and tender and can be grilled over indirect heat to the desired doneness, 145 degrees for rare to 170 degrees for well done. For leaner burgers, use ground bison or lean ground turkey instead of ground beef. When using ground turkey, add drained frozen spinach and a sprinkle of Parmesan or feta cheese for a yummy burger alternative.
Once you have grilled your lean meat, fish or poultry, serve it with a fruit salsa for added color and flavor.
Chef John's Special Recipe