When you think about firing up the grill, do your thoughts turn to high-fat meats like ribs slathered in sugary, salty BBQ sauces? Have you been avoiding grilled foods because you're worried about all the extra calories?
If so, you'll love these healthy grilling tips that make it easy to create tasty, low-fat meals, sides, and even desserts in your own backyard!
1. Marinate Lean Meats For Maximum Flavor
Every chef knows that fat = flavor, but when you're trying to improve your diet, it's important to cut down on your consumption of saturated fats from animal products like high-fat cuts of pork, beef, and skin-on chicken.
By marinating lean, lower-fat meats, like skinless chicken breasts, eye of round steaks, whitefish, pork loin and turkey cutlets, you'll enjoy moist, flavorful grilled proteins without eating extra fats.
For a simple, all-purpose marinade combine 3 tablespoons of low-sodium soy sauce with 2 teaspoons of rice wine vinegar and 3 cloves of roughly chopped garlic. Place your meat in a plastic zip-top bag, add in the marinade, seal and let soak in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours. Make more marinade to completely cover the meat if needed, and be sure to drain off the marinade before grilling - don't use it to baste the food during cooking, as this could lead to foodborne illness.
2. Use a Clean Grill
There's been a lot of negative press about the high levels of cancer-causing (carcinogenic) compounds found in grilled foods lately. By always starting with a clean, well-scrubbed grill, you'll minimize your exposure to carcinogens while improving the flavor of your food.
A good habit to get into is cleaning your grill after each use - that way, you'll have a nice clean grill to enjoy the next time you're ready to cook outside!
3. Buy a BBQ Basket
Grilling is a great way to enjoy a wide variety of veggies like red, yellow and green peppers, assorted mushrooms, asparagus, summer squash, and sweet onions. With an inexpensive grill basket (available anywhere BBQ's are sold) you'll be able to enjoy full-flavored, healthy grilled vegetables right at home!
Simply chop your choice of vegetables into bite-sized pieces, toss lightly with a vegetable oil, season with an all-purpose blend of salt, pepper, and dried garlic, then place into your pre-heated grill basket placed on top of your grill. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
4. Make Fruit Kebabs for Dessert
For the perfect end to a summertime meal, why not enjoy a skewer of grilled fruit? Thread bite-sized pieces of your choice of pineapple, strawberry halves, peach chunks, halved plums, and banana slices onto either a metal or pre-soaked wooden skewer - plan on one skewer per person.
Grill each skewer over medium heat until the fruit has slightly softened, and when they are almost ready, drizzle each one with a teaspoon of honey. Serve with a side of low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt for dipping for a guilt-free grilled dessert!
By following these healthy grilling tips, you'll be able to enjoy full-flavored grilled meats and treats that will help you maintain a healthy body weight before, or after, weight loss surgery like LAP-BAND, gastric bypass or gastric sleeve.
To learn more about eating well before and after bariatric surgery, contact Olde Del Mar Surgical today.