Keeping Healthy Easy This Summer


Now that grilling season is here, it's a great time to plan for your success maintaining your health goals.

Like a lot of families, we like to grill most of the time during the summer. It's quick and easy and not a lot of mess. Plus you can keep you meals pretty healthy.

I want to give you some ideas for keeping summertime eating healthy. Some suggestions you probably have heard of and even have tired. This is just a little reminder that it can be easy and tasty.

Oils to Grill With

Not all oils are created for the same type of use. Lately we have been sticking to Grapeseed Oil and Coconut Oil. Here is a list of a few others to try:

  • Peanut oil

  • Grass Fed butter

  • Sesame Oil

These oils are for med high to high heat use. There are others out there, however, these are just the ones that we have used.

We like to top our steaks or chops with a little pat of 'grass fed' butter. It's a little trick my dad taught us. Makes for excellent tasting steak.

So use these oils to oil your grates, veggies, and meat.

Tips for Grilling Up Veggies

Oil Them Up

Veggies tend to dry out when they hit the heat so use a little seasoned oil. Before they hit the grill, toss them with a light coating of oil. Adding extra oil will add unnecessary calories, and if they drip it will cause potential flare-ups and off flavors.

Prevent Burning

Some veggies take a minute or two to cook and others take longer. Vegetables like potatoes will take the longest to cook. Cooking them over too high a heat for too long will char the outside of the vegetable while keeping it raw in the middle. Sear vegetables over high heat, then move them to a part of the grill that is lower in temperature to finish cooking. This should prevent burning. Another idea is to cook them ahead of time then throw them on the grill for a few minutes to give them a little color.

Size Your Veggies Just Right

Cut your veggies into smaller pieces and place on a skewer or in a basket if you want your veggies to cook quicker.

If you don’t have a grill basket, fold a 24-inch-long piece of heavy-duty foil in half and crimp up the edges to create a lip; this "basket" will prevent the food from falling through.

Packets

Cooking your veggies in packets works great for potatoes and root vegetables. Lightly coat a 24 in long piece of foil with an oil listed above. Arrange thinly sliced veggies in a single layer, slightly overlapping, on the foil. Be sure to leave a 2-inch border on all sides. Fold foil over and pinch the edges together, making a packet. Place the packet on the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the vegetables are tender (about 12 to 15 minutes, for potatoes). Beware when checking the veggies for escaping steam.

Here are quick and easy instructions for Grilled Sweet Potatoes

  • Clean and cut sweet potatoes into wedges.

  • Season sweet potatoes liberally just before putting on the grill (salt and pepper, salt and cinnamon, or any of your favorites).

  • Place sweet potato wedges directly on the cooking grate over direct heat.

  • Grill until well-marked, about 3 minutes on each side.

  • Move to indirect heat.

  • Finish cooking, turning halfway through, until soft and tender, 20-30 minutes. Remove from grill.

Or

  • Preheat oven to 400°F.

  • Place a rack into a baking sheet. We use a cooling rack. Place sweet potato wedges and season well.

  • Bake until tender and browned around the edges, about 30 minutes.

Fun Marinades and Fix-ins

Combined ingredients into a large plastic bag and add meat or veggies and marinate for 2 hours to overnight.

Chicken

Spicy Teriyaki

  • 1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce, soy sauce isn't such a great option. Something new to try instead would be coconut aminos.

  • 3 1/2 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons rice vinegar

  • Juice and zest of 1 lime (I use 2 drops of lime oil)

  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Sriracha

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil

  • 1 tablespoon ginger, peeled & chopped (I use 1 drop of ginger oil)

Cilantro Lime

  • 1/2 cup cilantro

  • 1/3 cup lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons water

  • 2 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (leave out for low carb/Paleo/Whole30)

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon pepper

  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper

Salmon w/ Peach Salsa

Marinade

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 2 teaspoons honey

  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • 1/4 teaspoon dry thyme

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Peach Salsa

  • 2 peaches, diced

  • 1/4 cup yellow onion, finely diced

  • 1/4 cup red bell pepper, finely diced

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon honey

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Spicy Shrimp

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

  • Juice of 1 lime

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper (adjust depending on spice tolerance)

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • salt and pepper, to taste

Regular Ole' Steak Marinade

  • 3 tablespoons ketchup

  • 1 tablespoon chopped onion

  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar

  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

  • 1 garlic clove, minced

  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

Ideas for Summertime Eating

Here are some ideas that we have used in the past. Be sure to season ingredients for the grill with a savory marinade of your liking. These aren't recipes rather ideas.

Kabobs

Marinate Meat and Veggies for an hour or so. Make your kabobs. Grill kabobs 12-15 minutes rotating occasionally.

Grilled Meat or Veggie Salad

Add grilled meat or veggies to a green salad. Switch up your dressing. Try making your dressing at home. Some great options are an avocado dressing or a cilantro lime dressing.

Healthy cold salads

Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

For something different you can use this same basic recipe just switch up the dressing and additional veggies.

Tortilla pizzas

This one is so simple. Place tortilla on a lightly oiled sheet of foil, add favorite toppings and place on grill for 15 minutes, or stick in the oven for 5-7 minutes at 350 degrees.

One Pan Roasted Meals

This is one of my favorite quick and easy dishes. Chicken breast, sweet potato, green veggies (broccoli, green beans, asparagus, or brussel sprouts).

Place veggies on a baking sheet, oil and season. Add chicken to a parchment paper packet, oil and season. Be sure to roll the sides of the parchment packet up so it is closed. Place packet on the baking sheet with the veggies. Bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes. I season this dish with grapeseed oil, pink salt, pepper, fresh garlic, thyme, marjoram, and oregano oil.

Don't think to deep into it. Eating healthy this summer won't be difficult at all.

To Your Health,

Tiffany

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