Monday, May 28th is Memorial Day which of course means lots of parties and barbequing this weekend! While many people may choose to feed their guests the standard fare of hot dogs and hamburgers, there are countless options for using your grill and impressing your guests while keeping it healthy! It doesn’t matter if your celebration is small or large, as long as everyone is happy and satisfied. Check out these grilling ideas and by the end of the party, people may be referring to you as the “grill master”!
Think Lean Meat: Replace your beef burgers with healthier options such as turkey burgers, salmon burgers or barbecued chicken. Marinating is ideal here, as you have countless varieties to choose from. Thinking sweet? Choose from honey mustard, lemon-pepper glaze or even a lime marinade. These will add unique light flavors and a summery-feel to your dish. Remember to saturate your meat the night before in the marinade of your choice to increase the flavor and tenderness. Thinking spicy? Blacken your meat by sprinkling a Cajun seasoning or chili powder on either side.
Think Whole Grain: Switch your usual white buns for whole grain buns. These are more flavorful and hearty, making the meal more satiating while boosting your essential vitamin, mineral and fiber intake that you won’t get from white bread.
Think Fruits & Veggies: Grilling isn’t only for meat. Love the smoky taste and crisp texture you get from the grill? Try it with your favorite fruits and vegetables. Corn on the cob, zucchini, summer squash and okra are all vegetables that are in season in May. Pineapples, mangoes and tomatoes are also in-season and are a delicious and succulent addition to your plate. Grilling enhances their natural flavors by caramelizing the sugars. Wrap them in tin foil to cook together, place them directly on the grill, or put them on a grilling pan to cook. Try adding a dash of fresh herbs or lemon on them for additional flavor.
Think Fun: Barbequing doesn’t have to be the same process each time. Make it exciting! Kabobs are a great idea because you can put whatever you wish on the skewer. Mix shellfish such as shrimp with pineapple and bell peppers and a pinch of lime or alternate barbecued chicken chunks with mango, onion and tomatoes. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and think outside the box.
Think Simple: Holidays are meant to be fun and stress-free. Try and think of simple dishes full of color and texture that will be eye-appealing but quick and easy such as a grilled veggie burger topped with lettuce, tomato and avocado with a side of grilled corn and your favorite pasta salad. You also don’t have to spend a fortune, barbeques are usually informal and meant for relaxing and eating casual and inexpensive dishes.
Think Safety: Safety first! Keep children away from the grill at all times and designate a ‘no-go’ zone for them. Make sure the chef is far enough away from the rest of the party so that injuries won’t occur when the flame is on. Check for any gas leaks beforehand and be careful when moving or replacing gas tanks.
By following some of these tips this weekend, you are sure to entertain and keep guests coming back for more with these nutritious guidelines!
What healthy ways will you ‘chill and grill’ this Memorial Day weekend?
For BBQ Safety Tips, click here.