Grilling weather has arrived! Stoves and ovens can cool off while grills can take the heat outside! We grill all year around, even in the dead of winter, but the warmer Spring/Summer weather intensifies the craving for grilled food for sure. You can grill almost anything: all proteins (even your vegetarian protein options such as tofu and bean burgers), vegetables of course, and even fruits and homemade pizzas. There is something about the smokey flavor of grilled food that always tastes good.
The best way to eat healthy long-term is creating a variety in your meals! Variety doesn’t mean you have to start making complicated meals with 20 + ingredients, act like you are on Top Chef, or eat foods out of your comfort zone. Maybe your way of creating variety is simply changing the cooking method. You might enjoy eating chicken breasts every day of the week, but instead of always baking your chicken, maybe grilling it once in a while and experimenting with different seasonings and marinades can help change-up the flavor of the day.
Grilling is also an easy way to cook in bulk to help you meal prep for the week. You can easily cook your entire meal (protein, carbohydrates, vegetables) on the grill such as chicken breasts, sweet potato or corn, asparagus, and peach halves . I like to grill for dinner on Sundays to have leftovers for Monday/Tuesday or do double duty dinners by adding the ingredients I need to grill for the week while Sunday’s dinner is cooking.
My Top 10 Foods to Grill:
- Fish tacos with a grilled white fish such as mahi mahi, tilapia, halibut, or cod.
- Seared grilled tuna with a black pepper seasoning.
- I may have an obsession with grilled fruits, especially grilled peach halves finished with a balsamic drizzle and grilled pineapple slices. Eat as a dinner side OR dessert OR add to homemade salsa, salads, tacos, or grilled vegetables.
- Shrimp & chicken kabobs with a variety of vegetables (peppers, mushrooms, onion, tomatoes, zucchini, etc.).
- Simply grilled asparagus in a grilling skillet or wrapped in aluminum foil.
- A summer BBQ can’t go by without grilled corn on the cob!
- Good ol’ BBQ chicken breasts.
- Plain grilled chicken (breasts or tenders) to add to caesar or greek salads.
- A celebratory grilled filet mignon!
- Flavorful turkey burgers, especially Greek Turkey Burgers (recipe shared below).
As far as your choices of meat, I recommend sticking to mainly fish, skinless chicken breasts/tenders, and 90% ground turkey/chicken, and limiting beef/pork to 1x/wk or less to reduce your saturated fat intake. If you want to enjoy your beef burger on a hot sunny Saturday or celebrate with a steak dinner, go ahead, but choose lean cuts of meat and at least 90% lean ground meat.
Lean Cuts of Beef USDA Definition
(3.5 oz serving, 100 grams)
10 grams of total fat
4.5 grams of saturated fat
95 milligrams of cholesterol
Extra-Lean Cuts of Beef USDA Definition
(3.5 oz serving, 100 grams)
5 grams of total fat
2 grams of saturated fat
95 milligrams cholesterol
Choose cuts that are graded “Choice” or “Select vs. “Prime”
Choose cuts with the least visible amount of fat (aka marbling)
Choose lowest perfect of fat when selecting ground meat
All fruits and vegetables can make their way onto the grill any day. Summer is the perfect time to go to a farmers market on the weekends and buy cheap produce in bulk for the week such as these sweet yellow beauties.
More grilling recipes and tips will appear on future blog posts.
But for now, enjoy my healthy burger option with loads of greek flavor.
Recipe inspired by Budget Bytes
Thanks for reading!