After a long, cold winter dreaming about spicy marinades, shrimp skewers, and juicy salmon burgers, grilling season is finally here. Grilling is actually one of the fastest ways to get a healthy meal on the table — with the added bonus of not heating up your kitchen. Here’s what we’re fired up about this year:
Healthy Grilling Tips from Our Patio to Yours
- Craving a burger? Swap in chicken, turkey, or salmon. You’ll get all of the juiciness without the saturated fat of ground beef. Extra points if you use a whole grain bun, English muffin, or wrap. Or you can ditch the carbs entirely if you…
- Go bunless. Wrapping your burgers in lettuce or sturdier greens like collards has become a popular option for those looking to lighten up. Too messy? Try topping a crisp salad with warm, grilled protein. Any greens will do, but there’s nothing like a fresh Caesar salad topped with just-off-the-grill chicken or shrimp.
- While you have the grill going, it’s always a good idea to throw on a few extra veggies. These keep well covered in the fridge, and can be added to any meal of the day: omelets, sandwiches, or on the side with dinner. For an easy, economical lunch, make a big batch of whole grains on Sunday and top them with grilled veggies and canned chickpeas all week. Any dressing will do.
- Looking to decrease meat and add veggies? Skewers make your meat-to-veggie ratio more visible. Plus, they cook up quickly and are just fun to eat. Serve them over rice, in a pita with yogurt sauce, or over a simple bed of greens.
- Clearly, we can’t talk barbecue without mentioning sides. The classics can be updated easily. Vinegar-based cole slaws and skin-on potato salads are both winners for fiber content, as are simple canned baked beans. Check the nutrition labels to make sure you’re not getting a variety with too much sodium or sugar per serving.
Free Healthy Cooking Classes in Philadelphia
Want to learn more ways to lighten up your diet? Independence Blue Cross members can attend free healthy cooking classes at Independence LIVE, our multipurpose community center at 1900 Market Street in Philly.