Grilling out is the quintessential summer activity, and while it's hard to beat the smoky and savory flavors of grilled food, it can be easy to blow your calorie budget. Fortunately, it is entirely possible to enjoy delicious barbecue dishes without loading up on sodium, calories or fat. Below are three healthy grilling recipes that will provide those classic summer flavors while helping you keep your beach body intact.
This burger is "mess-free"
- 1 small onion (finely chopped)
- 1 teaspoon of canola oil
- 2 tablespoons of fresh cilantro (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon of dried thyme
- 1 clove of garlic (minced)
- 1 seeded jalapeno (finely chopped)
- 2 teaspoons of ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and ground pepper
- 1 cup of cooked black beans
- 12 ounces of lean ground beef (preferably grass-fed)
- 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- Whole wheat Kaiser rolls (toasted)
- Tomato salsa and shredded lettuce (for garnish)
- Using a small non-stick skillet, heat cooking oil over medium heat. Saute the onions for about 3 minutes or until they have a light golden color. Add the cumin,
jalapenoand garlic and saute for another 2 minutes. Now put the mixture into a medium bowl.
- Fire up the grill and lightly oil the rack. Add the black beans to the onion mixture, mashing them thoroughly with a potato masher. Next, add the beef, cilantro, thyme, tomato paste, salt, and pepper, and mix it thoroughly without compressing the mixture too much. Form the mixture into patties that are about 3/4 of an inch thick.
- Grill the patties for about 5 minutes per side or until they are thoroughly cooked through. Arrange the burgers on the rolls (this recipe makes about four servings) and top with the lettuce and tomato salsa.
If you're looking to enjoy the taste of a grilled burger with an even leaner meat, try these delectable turkey burgers, which feature healthy omega-3-rich fats such as avocado and olive oil.
- 3 tablespoons of low-fat sour cream
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup of minced scallions
- 4 teaspoons of Worcestershire sauce
- 3 ounces of bleu cheese (crumbled)
- 1.5 pounds of lean ground turkey
- 1 ripe avocado (thinly sliced)
- 2 ripe tomatoes (sliced about 1/4-inch thick)
- 1 medium-sized red onion (thinly sliced)
- 6 whole grain or potato hamburger buns
- Using a small skillet, warm up the olive oil over medium heat. Add
inthe scallions and saute for about 2 minutes or until they begin to soften up. Now transfer the scallions to a medium-sized bowl, and then stir in the Worcestershire sauce and sour cream along with the salt and pepper. Now add the ground turkey and gently mix until the ingredients are lightly combined. Form the mixture into 6 patties.
- Fire up the grill to medium-high heat. Grill the patties on a lightly oiled rack for about 5 minutes per side, or until thoroughly cooked through. Once you flip the burgers, add the bleu cheese on top of the patties about 3 minutes into cooking the second side. Allow the cheese to melt.
- Arrange the turkey burgers on the buns and top with the sliced avocado,
tomatoand red onion. Serves six.
Salmon is rich in heart-healthy Omega-3 fatty acids, and it's an excellent source of protein as well. The tangy grilled salmon recipe is infused with mouth-watering flavors.
- 1 pound of skinned center-cut salmon
- 3 lemons (2 thinly sliced and 1 cut into wedges)
- 1 clove of garlic * 25-30 sprigs of fresh herbs (thyme,
- 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs (same as above)
- 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard
- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt
- Fire up the grill to medium-high heat. Place two layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil on a rimless baking sheet, and then arrange two layers of the lemon slices in the center of the foil. Next, place the sprigs of fresh herbs over the lemon slices to complete the "bed" for the salmon.
Create a paste by mashing the garlic clove and combining it with the salt. Now transfer the paste into a small bowl, and stir in the mustard along with the two tablespoons of chopped fresh herbs. Cover both sides of the salmon with this mixture and then place the salmon on the lemon and herb sprig bed.
- Now slide the foil containing the salmon off the baking sheet and onto the grill, being careful not to disturb the stacked arrangement. Close or cover the grill and allow the salmon to cook for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until it appears opaque in the center.
- Transfer the salmon and foil back onto the baking sheet (be sure to wear your oven mitts!). Slice the salmon into 4 equal portions, then discard the sprigs and sliced lemons. Serve the salmon with the lemon wedges.
As you can see, creating healthy yet delicious grilled dishes is not as hard as you might think. Keep the above recipes in mind for your next barbecue excursion, and enjoy a happy and healthy summer!