How to Grill Healthy this 4th of July + Recipes
The Fourth of July is right around the corner and you have been working so hard to keep in shape and eat clean. Your hard work doesn’t need to be ruined! Check out these useful tips from how to choose which cuts of meat are lean to what fruits and veggies taste amazing when grilled.
How to party this fourth of July with healthy tips to grilling (and a few recipes!) below the jump!
1. Grill Fruits and Vegetables: don’t limit yourself to just eating meat during this 4th of July there are plenty of great vegetables and fruits to munch on this summer.
Some fruits and vegetables that are great to grill:
- Bell peppers
2. Grill Smart, Grill Lean
It’s best to limit the amount of fat that drips on the coals by starting with lean cuts trimmed of visible fat and skin. If you put a very lean cut of beef or pork, or skinless chicken, onto the grill, you’re off to a healthy start.
- Poultry: Skinless, white meat chicken or turkey; ground turkey breast
- Beef: Flank steak, top loin, sirloin, porterhouse, T-bone steak and tenderloin; 90% lean ground beef
- Veal: Any trimmed cut
- Pork: Pork chops or tenderloin
- Lamb: Look for the word “loin”
- Game: Rabbit and buffalo
- Game birds: pheasant, quail and ostrich
Marinades are what makes your meats and veggies taste fabulous. Some favorite marinade ingredients include wines, vinegars, lemon or lime juice, low-sodium soy sauce, honey, garlic, onions, herbs, and spices. Use fat-free or low-fat marinades on your grilled meats, fish, and poultry to limit the fat that drips on the coals. The simple act of marinating before grilling has been shown to reduce the formation of HCAs by as much as 92% to 99% in some studies.
Keep these marinating tips in mind:
- When choosing bottled marinades or making your own, look for products or recipes that contain olive or canola oil (and that only use a little oil).
- Refrigerate any foods that are marinating longer than 1/2 hour.
- Don’t baste your food during grilling with the liquid the meat was marinating in (this passes raw meat juices to your cooked meat). Before you add the meat, set aside some of your marinade for this purpose.
- Meats and poultry should marinate at least 1-2 hours; fish and vegetables generally only need to marinate for an hour.
4. Cut Down on Grilling Time
Grill smaller portions of meat, poultry, and fish so they cook faster and spend less time on the grill.
5. Flip It — Flip It Good
Flipping food frequently may help prevent the formation of HCAs, according to recent research using hamburger patties. To turn meat without piercing it (which releases juices that drip onto the coals), use tongs or spatulas instead of a fork.
6. Skewer It
A fun way to cut down on grilling time is to thread small pieces of meat or fish on a skewer. Scallops and shrimp are naturals for skewers, too. I like to alternate pieces of meat, chicken, or seafood with bell pepper and onion pieces, zucchini slices, cherry tomatoes, and/or small mushrooms.
Don’t have skewers? Try using branches of rosemary as skewers. They infuse a hint of rosemary into the food as it cooks.
Caprese Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Reduction Recipe
The perfect combination of grilled chicken topped with caprese salad and balsamic reduction sauce.
- 6 grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 6 slices mozzarella cheese
- 6 slices tomato
- 6 large basil leaves
- Prepare chicken on the grill. As chicken is cooking, pour balsamic butter into sauce pan or skillet and cook until reduced by half. Add in butter and stir with a flat whisk until completely combined. Set aside.
- Top chicken with mozzarella cheese, basil leaf, and then tomato slice.
- Drizzle with balsamic reduction and serve warm.
Grilled Salmon w/ lemon, garlic & soy sauce marinade
- 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
- lemon pepper to taste
- garlic powder to taste
- salt to taste
- 1/3 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
1.Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
2. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat grill for medium heat.
4. Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
Don’t limit yourself to just beer this holiday, try these drinks that are enhanced with fruit.