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Grilling out Recipes

Summer is the season of barbecues and cooking out – an all-American tradition that brings together family, friends, and food! With the 4th of July right around the corner, it's the perfect time to fire up the grill if you haven't already.

When you do it right, grilling results in a flavorful, juicy product that can't be replicated. It's a quick and easy way to cook lean meat, veggies, fruit, sandwiches, or even garlic bread. What's more, we give grilling two thumbs up because it doesn't require adding a lot of extra fat or salt, making it an excellent cooking method.

Think that burgers and brats are your only options when cooking on the barbie? Think again! Mix it up this summer and use your grill to cook some new, healthy meals. It’ll be a nice change from the usual barbecue grub!

A Quick and Easy Chicken Dinner

One of the simplest grilled meals is marinated chicken breasts. The breast is the leanest part of the chicken, so it is a great protein choice. Cut the breasts into 3-4 ounce portions (about the size of your palm) and let them marinate in the refrigerator for at least an hour before cooking.

You can make a homemade marinade in your own kitchen, buy a low-sodium marinade at the store, or simply use some low-fat Italian dressing. If you don’t have the time to marinate, try a salt-free rub or simply season the chicken with your own blend of dried herbs, spices, and freshly ground pepper.

After marinating, simply grill the chicken breasts at medium-high heat. You'll want to flip them at least once so they cook through, but you'll know they’re done when a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the meat reads at least 165⁰F. Serve your chicken with a side of grilled vegetables and some whole wheat garlic bread. You can also try topping it with some fresh fruit salsa, pico de gallo, or eat it with some barbecue sauce or Dijon mustard.

Grilled Fish Filets – Another Quick, Lean Meal

Fish filets are another light and lean option. Fish typically cooks even faster than poultry or meat, so dinner can be ready in no time.

When choosing fish at the store, make sure you buy a filet that is on the thicker side so that it won’t fall apart or fall between the grates when you try to flip it. Some good ideas are thick cut salmon, cod, halibut, or thick flounder.

To prevent the fish from sticking on the grates, lightly brush the filets with olive oil before cooking. While your filets cook, add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for extra flavor. You'll know your fish is done when your thermometer reads least 145⁰F, or when the filet is opaque and flakes when you touch it with a fork.

Tofu – Also Great for Grilling!

Tofu is also a lean, vegetarian protein option. You can usually buy tofu from the store in a block. Cut the block into thick slabs or “steaks”, and marinate it similar to how you would marinate chicken. (You probably don't need to marinate it quite as long, 30 minutes or so will work.) Then, place it on an oiled grill rack. Cook it on medium heat, and baste it with marinade as it cooks.

Tofu has a mild taste, and takes on the flavor of whatever it is cooked with. You'll know it's done when it begins to brown. Serve up your grilled tofu with a side of grilled veggies and brown rice.

Pick a Lean Meat and Season with our All-Purpose Blend

You may not have the time to marinate meat or fish but you need to get dinner on the table. If that’s the case, check out the All-Purpose Blend, a recipe from our consumer magazine Diabetes Forecast. This is a rub that you can make in advance and have on-hand to season chicken breasts, lean cuts of beef such as sirloin or porterhouse, pork loin chops, fish, or even tofu before grilling.

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