Grill it Your Way
● By Digital Media Director
A BONUS to
grilling: it’s one of the healthiest ways to cook! We suggest the following to
help you enjoy your grilling season for the experience and the health benefits:
1. Pick your most favorite.
Whether you caught it yourself at the lake or in the Missouri River, or if you caught it at the local market, fish is one of the healthiest foods and one of the easiest to grill. Skinless chicken breast and ground chicken or turkey are also very healthy and provide you with a variety of great recipes that are healthy and delicious and will help you make healthier choices. The exciting part is the good fats in fish actually have health benefits. If you take the time to master grilling fish, your guests won’t even miss the red meat, which usually has more of the unhealthy saturated fat. It’s fun and easy to do! We suggest you wrap marinated fish fillets in foil, or create exciting and colorful chicken kabobs, or make more mouthwatering turkey burgers by mixing your favorite vegetable or mushrooms or other ingredients like olives or cheeses into the patties. If you do choose meat, get “loin” or “round” cuts and “choice” or “select” grades of beef instead of “prime.” It is much healthier!
2. Size your portions and add the extras.
A healthy portion of any type of meat is about 4 to 6 ounces, or the size of a deck of cards, and definitely no more than 6-8 ounces. If it sounds small, just remember all the delicious grilled veggies and side dishes on your plate. By presenting a well-rounded meal, the entree does not have to be a huge brontosaurus rib!
3. Color your world.
Every one of your favorite colorful fruits and veggies can be grilled, alone or in kabobs, giving them delicious flavor. The trick is to cut them into pieces that will cook quickly and evenly. Brush with a healthy oil to prevent sticking or use a grill basket to keep them out of the line of fire. Some favorites include asparagus, avocado, bell peppers, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, onions, potatoes, squash and zucchini, pineapple, apples, lemons and limes. Be creative, remember grilling is an adventure!
4. Pass by the standard side strike out on your own!
Traditional store-bought barbecue fare like baked beans, cole slaw, macaroni salad and potato salad – who needs them? Trade the saturated fat, sodium and added sugars – for healthier homemade versions. Or change it up and do a colorful bean salad, fruit salad or leafy salad with fruits and veggies and your choice of balsamic oils.
5. Go bun-less.
Use a wide-leaf lettuce as your bun or wrap and experience the meat you have grilled in a whole new way. If you must use bread, whole-grain buns and breads will complement your healthy feast with extra fiber, flavor and texture.