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.
- 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.