Many of us will be heading out to parties or maybe even throwing our own. I think it’s safe to say that the grill is usually a main component of many 4th of July parties. I don’t know about you, but I am often frustrated when hamburgers and hot dogs are the only options served at a holiday BBQ. These foods are well…um…tasty, but not exactly the best thing to consume if you are trying to prevent chronic disease such as cancer.
Today I am going to give you some healthy grill ideas to serve or to bring to your upcoming BBQ. Hopefully they will help you have a more enjoyable and healthy holiday weekend!
#1 Portabella mushroom caps.
These can be as simple or complex as you want to make them. Often I just brush them with olive oil and throw them on the grill until they are nice and roasty looking. You can use them as a burger substitute or just eat them on their own with any other sides
#2 Shish kabobs.
Shish kabobs are a great way to sneak in veggies on the grill. You could make an entirely veggie kabob, or use some high quality organic meat to put between the veggies. Zucchini, summer squash, eggplant, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms all work great for kabobs. Season the kabob with your favorite spices.
#3 Organic boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
If you have the time, marinate the breasts over night. This simple marinade works great: olive oil, lemon juice, soy sauce, fresh minced garlic and a splash of water. Use the grilled chicken to top a salad, fill up a sandwich or just eat it on its own.
#4 Wild Alaskan sockeye salmon filets.
Season with your favorite spices, drizzle with a little olive oil or place a tiny pad of butter on top of the filet. I find that salmon grills best on a piece of aluminum foil.
#5 Shrimp and pineapple skewers.
Grilled pineapple is amazing and goes really well with shrimp! All you do is alternate a piece of shrimp with a piece of fresh cut pineapple on a skewer. Brush with a little olive oil or warmed butter before putting on the grill. Shrimp grills very quickly, be careful not to overcook it. These go great with a Thai chili lime dipping sauce.
#6 Grilled veggie panini.
Cut 1/2 inch lengthwise slices of eggplant, zucchini and summer squash. Brush with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and any other spices that sound good to you (I like to use Italian herbs and garlic powder), grill until lightly browned and roasty looking (flip halfway through cooking). Place between whole grain bread slices or a roll. Top with fresh tomato slices. Optional: add a slice of low-fat provolone or mozzarella cheese.
If you choose to grill some meat or fish, do not let it become charred or overcooked. Carcinogenic compounds (heterocyclic amines, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) form when meat is cooked at high temps or over a direct flame. To lessen the impact, avoid any parts of the meat that look charred.
Enjoy your holiday weekend! I would love to hear if you used any of the above ideas at your cookouts!
Tell me what you think. Leave a comment below in the comments section.
photo by: buggolo