With summertime comes grilling time – in fact, there’s no better way to spend a nice summer evening than to fire up the BBQ and start grilling up a feast. Traditional BBQ dishes, however, can have a lot of fat and calories in them that you don’t want to consume. So forget the fatty burgers, steaks and sausages. There are many other foods you can grill that are healthier for you and just as tasty. Keep reading and this article will give you some tips on how to eat healthy while cooking on the grill.
Choosing The Right Meat
Grilling doesn’t have to consist of fatty ribs and oversized T-bone steaks. There are lots of different meats you can cook on the BBQ that will keep your body looking lean and trim.
- Chicken – This is a staple of summertime grilling so take advantage of it. Chicken doesn’t contain much fat which makes it a great choice for your entrée. But because it can burn easily on the grill, especially if marinated in a sauce that contains sugar, you need to be careful cooking it. One great tip is to light only one burner on your BBQ and cook the chicken on the unlit side. After all, the key to good barbequing is to cook the food slowly on low heat.
- Fish – Fish is one of the healthiest types of protein around. Avoid the red meat by picking up some fish at the local market and find out the many ways you can cook it. For a simple and healthy recipe, just throw a slab of wild salmon on a soaked cedar plank and top with dill and lemon. Alternatively, you can take any type of fish, season it and wrap it in foil for cooking on the grill. It’s low in fat and good for you too!
- Bison – If you just can’t say no to a grilled burger with all the fixings, then choose bison over beef. Bison meat is leaner and therefore much healthier for you. Plus, you won’t even taste the difference between bison and beef.
Choosing The Right Side Dishes
Now that you’ve chosen your meat, it’s time to figure out what you are going to serve with it. There are lots of side dishes, liked a baked potato with all the toppings, that are tasty but loaded with calories and fat, so you want to avoid them. Instead, try grilling potatoes on the BBQ in a bunch of different ways.
One simple and healthy way to eat grilled potatoes is to cut them into small pieces, season them with olive oil (not butter!), garlic and lemon and toss them in a grill basket. Turn them on the grill and they will brown nicely and be a very tasty addition to your entrée of choice.
Or, if you want burgers and fries, but you don’t want to get the extra calories that come from deep-frying, simply slice potatoes into fat wedges and cook them in a foil package with some olive oil. Together with your bison burger, you’ll get to enjoy your favorite meal but with far less calories than any burger and fries you’ll get in a restaurant.
Choosing The Right Vegetables
People tend to think of meat when they think of the BBQ. The smell of a nice steak on the grill is a unique summertime smell that can tempt the palate very easily. But if you aren’t into meat or just want to accompany your entrée with some healthy vegetables, then you are in luck. Grilling vegetables on the BBQ is easy and healthy. Here are some of the easiest vegetables to grill:
- Peppers – if you don’t have a grill basket, make sure that you slice them in large enough pieces so that they don’t slip through the grates on the BBQ
- Sweet red onions – these can add a nice sweet flavor to any dish and can be cooked alongside peppers
- Mushrooms – these make a great side dish for a steak entrée
- Corn – just grab a few husks of corn, soak them in water for about 30 minutes, and then toss them on the bbq; fresh grilled corn on the cob is a great vegetable to make on the bbq
- Asparagus – sure it might make your pee smell funny, but it’s healthy, delicious and a great vegetables for the bbq
Dessert On The BBQ
Perhaps you didn’t realize that you can prepare desserts on the grill too? Well, you can and it’s a simple and healthy way to finish off any meal. Before you through any fruit on the BBQ, brush off the grates to ensure that the residue is gone from your grill. Here are some quick and easy ways to prepare a BBQ dessert:
- Choose the right fruits – pineapples, peaches, apples, and strawberries all grill well. If you have a particular fruit in mind that you would like to BBQ, all you have to do is do a quick internet search for recipes. You’d be surprised at the things people grill on the BBQ!
- Choose the right cooking time – before you throw everything on the grill at once, make sure you know how long each fruit should be cooked. Softer fruits like peaches may not need as much time as harder fruits like pineapples.
- Choose the right garnish – you can serve grilled fruit plain or top with low-fat yoghurt or ice-cream. Another great garnish is a sugared-brandy coating for your veggies.
Fruit kabobs are a beautiful way to grill fruit and serve it to your guests. Just choose a variety of fruits and create colorful and tasty kabobs in your kitchen. Then toss them on the BBQ for a few minutes and serve with ice cream. Your guests will be amazed at your culinary skills, and the best part is that it’s a much healthier dessert than most!