With Memorial Day just a few days away and Father’s Day just around the corner, I believe it is officially grilling season. After a long, cold winter if you are salivating over the thought of heating up your grill again, you aren’t alone. According to the US Census, 79.1 million Americans have grilled out in the past year, and about 75% of Americans own a grill or outdoor smoker. So take that tarp off your grill, fill up your propane tanks and let’s get grilling!

Grilling is a great way to enjoy a lot of foods in a healthier way than you might generally consume them. Instead of frying foods, or baking them in lots of fatty sauces, now you can cook them right over the hot grill top and literally watch some of the fat melt off your foods. Even for those who don’t generally like lean meats like fish and chicken, they can be enjoyed hot off the grill. Others, who won’t eat salad to save themselves, can’t pile up enough fresh grilled veggies on their plate. This summer, look for ways to lighten up your intake by trying new things on the grill! Here are some recipes you just might like:

Grilled Hawaiian Skewers:

Marinate chunks of boneless skinless chicken breast in your favorite teriyaki sauce.

After marinating (preferably overnight) add chicken to skewers with fresh chunks of pineapple, tomatoes and onions.

Grill until done and enjoy

 

Grilled Greek Turkey Burgers:

Mix ground turkey with lots of fresh onion, garlic, oregano, and a little salt and pepper. Turkey burgers need to be cooked all the way through so leave some extra time for cooking.

Make a delicious topping by mixing: One cup of Greek yogurt with ¼ cup of chopped cucumbers, one clove grated garlic, 1/3 cup chopped Kalamata olives and 2 tbsp. of feta cheese.

Add your burger to a whole grain bun, or save some calories by making it an open face burger or better yet add the burger and topping sauce to a bed of mixed greens.

 

Fresh Fish Packets:

Take some tinfoil and drizzle on some olive oil and then wrap up your desired amount of fish with grated garlic, a squeeze of lemon, a little salt and pepper too. For a fancier look, add a few thin slices of lemon onto the fish before sealing up. Throw it on the grill and you will have a light and tasty fish filet in 10-15 minutes. Pair with a side salad of garbanzo beans, cucumbers, avocado, tomatoes, red onion and your favorite Italian dressing.

 

 

Grilling doesn’t always mean just hamburgers and hotdogs, and really it shouldn’t. Those are ok for once in a while but they are also both very high in fat, and hotdogs are typically high in sodium. Look for ways to grill other foods that will still be delicious and nutritious. If you are looking to save money, keep your eyes out for “freezer” deals that have bulk meats at low prices. Look for in season vegetables that will cost just a little change per serving. You’ll be surprised to see that the Hawaiian skewers may even cost you less than hamburger, buns, cheese, etc. Ask the person at your deli and produce counters to help you find something fresh and affordable.

 

The grilling season is never long enough. So get the heat cranked up and grill yourself and/or your family and friends something new, affordable and healthy. Keep in mind while entertaining, that hot foods really should stay hot until serving, same goes for cold foods. Take care to make sure that you are keeping foods at safe temperatures for eating. When in doubt, toss them back on the grill to heat back up. No one wants to leave a party or miss out on the fun because of food-borne bacteria. While playing it safe, make sure children are free and clear from the grill. Explain to them the need to be cautious around grills, smokers and fire pits. Summer is always more fun when we are safe.

 

Here at The Wellness Center we want to wish you a happy, healthy and memorable summer of 2018. Get out there and get moving and of course, get grilling. Grilling is fun, fast and healthy! Let the grilling season begin!