Grill Your Way to A Healthier Life

Summertime and barbecues go hand-in-hand. After all, nothing tastes better on a hot summer day than some fresh grilled foods. Barbecuing is delicious, but did you know it can be good for you, too? That’s right, a simple grilled meal can contain a variety of proteins, vitamins and minerals without the added fat.

 

Roasted veggies, meats and even tofu also retain more nutrients when grilled. If that wasn’t good enough, the marinating process reduces the need for salt and other artificial seasonings. Healthy, holistic garlic, lime, herbs, olive oil and spices will give your food all the flavor it needs. The best part? You can grill all year with either an outdoor appliance or an inside cast-iron grill pan. Keep reading for some delicious, healthy grilling ideas you can use year-round (and for additional ideas, go here).

 

Grilled Salads

 

No matter what the time of year, you can prepare delicious grilled appetizers the whole family will love. While salad might not be the first dish you think of when it comes to grilling, there are a number of vegetables, fruits and nuts that are made even more delicious by roasting.

 

Peaches in particular taste great after a few minutes on the grill. The rising heat brings out the sweetness and tang and makes for a soft, scrumptious salad topper. Slow roast with a little basil and you have yourself a mini peach salad.

If you love avocados, try grilling halved avocados with olive oil. This tasty appetizer is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin C, and magnesium. You can also turn your avocado snack into a full-on salad by adding some roasted corn kernels.

 

Appetizers

 

Asparagus is a tried and true appetizer that is packed with vitamin B and fiber. That being said, this dish can be a bit bland. If you want to add flavor without the butter, consider making a Romesco Sauce. This delicious roast-pepper sauce is made with red bell peppers, olive oil, paprika and ground almonds. This sauce is sure to bring a new life to your asparagus.

 

Backyard barbecues often feature roasted potatoes, potato salad, or French fries. Some people may want to avoid the starch while still enjoying the potato crunch. Carrot fries are a great way to enjoy fries without the guilt. Slice carrots into four, spread a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste – you might not ever go back to potato fries! Looking for a healthy ketchup alternative? Prepare an easy Chipotle Lime Aioli with a Greek yogurt base.

 

Main Courses

 

Risotto is a scrumptious dish that will be sure to keep you and your family full and happy. While risotto recipes vary, most consist of rice, vegetable or chicken stock, onions and butter. After you have the basic ingredients, you are able to personalize to your specific tastes. Zucchini, avocado, peppers, mushrooms, peas, and tomatoes can be added for flavor and volume. Drizzling olive oil or butter on your veggies before grilling will help bring out the unique flavors as well as prevent charring. While the grill is busy sizzling, prepare the rice in either a rice cooker or stovetop pot. Traditional risotto uses short grain Arborio rice but feel free to experiment with other varieties.

 

Grilled Graffiti Eggplant with Roasted Tomatoes, Chickpeas and Ginger tastes great on its own or paired with bread, cheese and olives. While this recipe is vegan, the roasted chickpeas pack a heavy protein punch (almost 12 grams in a single cup). Chickpeas also are noted for promoting bone, heart and digestion health. Lastly, adding more ginger into your life may be effective in reducing muscle pain, tissue inflammation and indigestion.

 

Grilling fun doesn’t have to end just because summer does. If you want to stay healthy all year, consider investing in both indoor and outdoor grills. You will be surprised by how beneficial grilling is for you, your family and your meal planning.