Cooking on the grill is usually synonymous with ribs, hot links, and burgers. – and not healthy with high saturated fat and cancer-causing compounds. * Colorful, flavorful barbecue is what gets attention. Grilling leaner protein with more produce is easy with the right recipes! We scoured our go-to sources for nutritious fare to bring you our top picks for tasty healthy BBQ that’s top-rated (4 or 5 stars).
If you’ve never tried grilling fish before, now is the time to start. This simple entree with a 5-ingredient topping is also low in sodium: Grilled White Fish With Avocado Relish from the American Heart Association. Bonus – their instructional video shows you how to create the dish!
Nutrient-packed pork loin is high in thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6 and selenium. These Grilled Lemon Herb Pork Chops found at AllRecipes.com are easy to prepare with a delicious marinade. Lose the fat not the flavor by trimming off visible fat after cooking to keep chops lean.
Meats aren’t the only BBQ items to be improved upon; sides can get make-overs, too. Take this American Macaroni Salad from The Food Network for example. Already healthier than traditional recipes because of the extra veggies in it, we suggest using reduced-fat mayo and sour cream to curb calories, not creaminess.
For a cholesterol-free potato salad that can sit at room temperature, try Lemony Grilled Potato Salad from Cooking Light. The potatoes pack a potassium punch while the onion and pepper contribute vitamin C. All together one serving is a good source of iron.
Vegetables can take center stage as well! Meat lovers and vegetarians alike will drool over Grilled Bean and Cheese Stuffed Poblanos from Cooking Light. As portioned, it’s high in fiber with nearly 12 grams of protein, though it can be doubled to serve as a vegetarian main course. The same is true of this delicious combo from Bon Appétit: Grilled Veggie and Tofu Stack with Balsamic and Mint which is suitable for vegans.
Where there’s a cook-out there are little mouths to feed. Kids and adults will both love these finger-friendly alternatives to hot dogs: Honey Mustard Roasted Drumsticks from Parents.com. To be honest, children were probably too busy gobbling these down to leave a rating. To cook outside on the grill, use a shallow aluminum broiler pan with indirect heat and the lid closed.
Don’t forget about dessert! Grilled fruit has natural sweetness and can serve as an appetizer as well. We suggest the Grilled Fruit Kebobs found on Diet.com with very little added fat and sugar. So yummy you’ll forget about brownies and ice cream.
Whether you use a gas grill or charcoal, you can achieve healthier barbecue offerings such as the ones we’ve mentioned above. If you do choose to stick to typical cookout meats, use lower sugar/sodium marinades, sauces and rubs and load up on salad and grilled corn for balanced nutrition. Where there’s a grill, there’s a way!
*Magee, Elaine. “A Healthier Way of Grilling.” WebMD, WebMD, www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/a-healthier-way-of-grilling#1.