Saturday, May 26, 2012

Healthy Grilling-- Yep, It Can Be Done!

Think your backyard barbeque needs to be all about hot dogs and hamburgers?  Heck no, sez me!  Here are some healthy, yummy, and guest-approved things I like to throw on the grill.

1)  Portobello Mushrooms!!!  I like to marinate them in EVOO or avocado oil, herbs, and balsamic vinegar.  Sometimes I do tamarind, lemon juice, lime juice, or something along those lines in place of the vinegar.  I eat them bun-free, but these go great with an Ezekiel sprouted hamburger bun and all the trimmings (see my note on all the trimmings at the end of this post).  Here are nutritional facts on Portobellos.

2)  Asparagus.  Make sure you buy thin stalks-- the thick ones get woody and fibrous.  They don't take long to cook at all.  I usually baste them with avocado oil, lemon juice, and a little salt and pepper.   Here's the skinny on asparagus.

3)  Veggie kabobs.  So easy to make, and fun for kids to thread, too.  :)  I like to thread cherry tomatoes, bell pepper (all colors) cut into big chunks, zucchini and other summer squash, chunks of pineapple, chunks of mango, and smaller mushrooms, baste them in avocado oil and soy sauce and maybe a touch of apricot all-fruit preserves, and add a little salt and pepper.

4) Watermelon!!  Heck yeah, watermelon!!  It's awesome on the grill.  Throw it on an Ezekiel bun with some lettuce and tomato, and you'll have a grilled watermelon burger.  Throw it in a salad, and you'll have a grilled watermelon salad.  Absolutely awesome.  Here's what your body gets from watermelon.

5)  Speaking of salad, grilled salad is awesome.  Cut a head of lettuce in half (try a darker lettuce like Romaine-- iceberg doesn't have a whole lot of nutritional value), brush with avocado oil, salt, and pepper, and put in a bowl with balsamic and EVOO, chopped strawberries, and whatever herbs you like.  Here's a nice recipe for grilled radicchio salad-- I'd personally do it without the cheese, since I don't eat dairy.

In this grilled salad, I did cabbage, radicchio, and Romaine, and put a balsamic reduction on top.  I finished it off with a dash of Parma! (a vegan parmesan substitute that is essentially ground walnuts with a little sea salt)

5)  Sweet potatoes!  Parboil them first, and cut them into wedges.  You can squeeze some lime, drizzle on avocado oil, sprinkle some chili on them, and add a little salt and pepper.  Absolutely delicious.

6)  Cabbage!  You can make a foil packet of cabbage wedges, onion slices, bell pepper slices, a drizzle of avocado oil (or a bit of butter if you go that route), some salt and some pepper, and throw that on the grill for 10 min or so.
Now, it's always important to be safe and use a condiment.

(I'll wait a minute for you guys to laugh at that hilarious joke.)

The thing is, most condiments have nasty ingredients like High Fructose Corn syrup and other added sugars.  And you know how I feel about that.  (If not:  I don't like it.)  Make sure you READ YOUR INGREDIENTS, even when it comes to condiments.  I have found low- and no- sugar-added organic ketchup, BBQ sauce, mustard, and relish online and at Whole Foods.  You can even make your own ketchup (you can sub in stevia or erythritol for honey) and BBQ sauce pretty easily!   

Got any other healthy ideas for the grill?  Post 'em here, and have a great weekend!  :)


  1. All of these look absolutely delicious and mouth-watering, even in the pictures. My kids would prefer to choose the veggie kebabs because those are usually brightly colorful when cooked. And you know kids – they will always go for the colorful ones. As for me, I love grilling chicken and white meat aside from asparagus.

    Joseph Carr

    1. Thanks, Joseph! The cool thing about veggie kebabs is that kids love to help string them, and if they have a part in making them, they'll most likely want to eat them. :)