Grilling Out the Healthy Way

Grilling Out the Healthy Way

When it comes to grilling out this spring and summer, think beyond the typical burger and hot dogs!  Build a healthy barbecue with lean meats paired with colorful fruits and vegetables.  As the weather warms up, get those grills out and follow these tips for a healthy cookout:

Safety at the Grill

  • Before use, read the manufacturer’s instructions and put in a little elbow grease to clean your grill thoroughly to kill any lingering bacteria.
  • Use a food thermometer!  Relying on the color of meat to determine doneness is not a safe technique to avoid food borne illness.  Follow this food safety chart to learn the correct temperatures for your favorite foods. 
  • Avoid using the same plates for raw and cooked meats to avoid cross-contamination.

Go lean with protein

  • Great choices are poultry, fish, or lean cuts of beef or pork. 
  • Meat-less options that can hold their own on the grill include tempeh, seitan, or try this recipe for Easy Grillable Veggie Burgers.

Veggies roasted on the fire

  • Try vegetables like bell peppers, corn on the cob, squash, mushrooms, tomatoes, or eggplant basted with olive oil and seasoned with herbs and spices
  • Use a well-greased grill pan to keep the vegetables separate from the meats or wrap them up in individual foil packets
  • Before grilling, you can marinate vegetables in a pre-made marinate (be mindful of the sodium content!) or a homemade marinade like the one from this recipe for Grilled Vegetable Platter.

Try these dairy-free side dishes

  • For potato salad, try creamy sauces such as tahini, pesto, or dairy-free sour cream to replace the mayo. 
  • Boost fiber and protein intake with these Slow-Cooker Potluck Beans.
  • Instead of the traditional creamy coleslaw, try a vinegar-dressed cabbage slaw. 

Grilled Desserts

  • Fruit kabobs with pineapple, peaches, and melon make a tasty treat!  Cook the fruit on low heat just until hot and slightly golden and pair with a side of honey and minted Greek yogurt. 
  • Grilling watermelon slices can really bring out a unique smoky-sweet flavor. 
  • Choose yellow, firm bananas for this recipe for Grilled Brown Sugar Bananas