February 24, 2024

Fire Up the Grill by Keri Gans

Summer is almost here and so is the barbeque season. The challenge is how to socialize this summer and still eat healthy. Don’t let this time of year send you off course – use it has an opportunity to eat all the wonderful foods summer has to offer and keep your waistline in check.

Whether or not you are the person in charge of the grill or simply planning the menu, below are some easy and healthy BBQ ideas:

Shrimp Skewers. Make skewers with shrimp marinated in olive oil and lemon with chunks of peppers, onions, and cherry tomatoes. Prepare separate shrimp skewers and veggie skewers since the veggies will take longer to cook.

Veggies. Slice zucchini, squash and eggplant in large strips and throw on the grill with portabella mushrooms, all lightly tossed in olive oil.

Corn-on-the-Cob. Enjoy corn on-the -cob! Either grill in the husk after soaking in water, or remove husk, rub a little oil and pepper on corn and cover with aluminum foil. Both versions require turnning often while grilling for a total of about 15 minutes. Serve with fresh lime instead of butter.

Fish. Choose your favorite fish “steak.” For example, salmon, swordfish, or tuna rubbed with a little olive oil and spices make for a flavorful healthy meal.

Using a flakier fish, for example halibut, flounder or red snapper, also works well on the grill.  Wrap loosely in aluminum foil folding up the edges. Place foil package on the grill and let “steam” for ten to fifteen minutes or until cooked through. Add some garlic cloves or pepper and onion slices on top of fish while cooking.

Soft shell crabs. Soft shell crabs are a quick and easy meal on the grill. All they need are a little olive oil, squeeze of lemon and lime, and a sprinkle of red pepper flakes. Cooking soft shell crab on the grill takes around 5 minutes on each side.

Burgers. As an alternative to the traditional hamburger, try veggie, chicken or turkey burgers (white meat only.) Top with tomato and sliced onion. Also, lose the bun and switch to a whole wheat English muffin or 100- calorie sandwich thin.

Fruit. Want a sweet dessert? Forget about the berry pies and throw some fruit on the grill. Pineapple and peach slices (sliced 1/4 inch thick) or a whole banana (grill in peel) taste super sweet. Serve with a dollop of plain greek yogurt.

So, go ahead a fire up the grill! There are many healthy options for grilling, many of which require little preparation. No excuses this summer not to eat healthy!

This article is written by Keri Gans, MS, RD, CDN, Nutritionist in Private Practice in NYC, Media Spokesperson and Author of The Small Change Diet (Gallery, March 2011) For more information,  www.kerigansnutrition.com. Follow Keri on Twitter @kerigans and join her Facebook community via www.facebook.com/TheSmallChangeDiet

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