Hey all- in my world- its grilling season already! We have had a few nice days and you can bet my grill was out cooking away! There is nothing more appetizing than the smell of freshly grilled food!
As I have mentioned in a past blog, grilling is a healthy way to prepare your foods for several reasons. When we plan to grill most of the time, the main focus is on the meat or the protein portion of the meal and we sometimes forget about the veggies and fruit. Why not grill those veggies too- its gives them a wonderful flavor as well and YES you can definitely grill those fruits- check out my past blog for more information in regards to that. I think you all got that point that we can grill just about any produce item whether its fruits or veggies- the more the better! Remember at least half your plate at every meal!
Try unique ones for the grill- cabbage, salad- yes I said salad, okra and even figs.
- Top your potato salad with avocados
- Have broccoli slaw and add shredded carrots and no sugar added craisins or what about jicama slaw?
- Make your own pork and beans with less sodium and sugar
- Have grilled veggie skewers for a fun way to add veggies
- Have a black bean corn salsa for a burger topping or dip for whole grain chips
- Have hummus on your bun instead of mayo
- Add avocado to your burger instead of cheese
- Grilled zucchini fries
- Mexican corn salad- so fresh!
The challenge that exists is how to add color to those main courses or the protein options. So let me help with that:
- Burgers- always add Lettuce, tomato, and onion, and as I mentioned above, avocado instead of cheese or try a veggie burger- think portabella burgers! Get creative and even add blueberries and maple syrup… maple syrup blueberry bison burger anyone? Absolutely delish! Grilled eggplant burger topped with romaine lettuce and goat cheese… my mouth is literally watering as a type this!
- Pork Chop- pair with grilled apples or spiraled apples
- Chicken Breast- how about topping it with pineapple salsa
- Salmon- grilling the salmon fillet works, but what about a Mediterranean salmon patty with added spinach and feta- roasted peppers would be amazing as a topping!
- Steak- add mushroom, onions and sautéed peppers to this
- Tilapia- pair with basil and tomatoes
- Pizza! Yes! I said pizza on the grill- YUMMY- pizza is a great opportunity to get a surplus of veggies and fruit too! Literally any produce item can go on pizza this days- get creative! You could even try cauliflower crust for an additional veggie
- How about a grilled veggie sandwich? Stuffed mushrooms or peppers anyone?
- Brats- honestly even if they are chicken or turkey, they are still pretty high in sodium, not to mention the bread or the condiments you may put on them which only increase that already high amount. And that’s not counting any of your sides.
You can grill for any meal occasion, from dessert, to lunch- salad with grilled veggies and a side of some fresh frilled bread topped with a gourmet cheese? Count me in!
I hope you are inspired to try some new ideas and recipes! I know I am! Off to my local Coborn’s so I can grill for dinner! Food is never boring!
Peace and Wellness,
Ashley Kibutha, RD, LD
Coborn’s Registered Dietitian