Summer Grillin’…Get Your Thrill of the Grill On!

June 24, 2013

It's Summer Grilling Time!

There are so many great things about the season of summer – easier schedules, swimming, enjoying the sun, vacations and BBQ's. To some people, a BBQ means cooking hamburgers and hotdogs. But grilling is so much more. There are actually very few foods that you can’t grill. With a few utensils and equipment for cooking, the sky is the limit as to what you can create and cook. Grilling isn’t limited to burgers and dogs. It’s a fabulous way to cook healthy, colorful and absolutely delicious meals. Make your grill a fantastic tool to enhance your meals and your healthy lifestyle.

Grilling is an easy cooking technique that you can enjoy year-round. Of course, you can grill outdoors, enjoyed especially in the summer, to ward off the extra heat in your home created by firing up the hot oven. You can also bring the outdoor BBQ inside, with indoor grills, grilling pans and other kitchen equipment. Grilling is a wonderful form of cooking because flavors concentrate with the high heat from your grill. No extra fat, butter or cheese has to be added. Less oil is used in preparation, and you can cook up your favorite lean proteins (and even include fruits and vegetables). It’s a simple way to cook your entire meal. If you choose your foods wisely, and utilize simple techniques, grilling will be an asset in your efforts to lose weight by cutting calories and making other foods (such as vegetables) more desirable.

√ Protein

Protein is the friend of WLS. Protein is even more delicious when cooked on a grill because the flavor of lean cuts of meat are enhanced. Although the meat may be the same as what you normally eat, the process of grilling adds a flavor profile that no other cooking method does. You can select leaner ground beef or ground turkey, as you don’t need the higher fat versions to add flavor. Grilling adds the boost of flavor. By using grilling racks, you can also cook seafood. Even delicate, flaky fish or shrimp work great with the rack. Skinless chicken breasts are fabulous on the grill, and you won’t miss the skin due to the punch of grilled flavor. You can grill other cuts of lean meat such as pork and lamb. Not only do these cuts contain less fat and calories, but you won't need to eat nutritionally void processed foods due to lack of time. Grilling food is delicious and a real time-saver.

√ Vegetables

Vegetables are delectable when cooked on a grill. The vegetables take on an entirely difference texture and flavor. Even the pickiest eaters will eat grilled veggies. Add cooking spray and cook them in a pan on the grill or directly on the grates. You can also cook them in a foil pocket or line them up on a skewer for veggie kabobs. The key to grilling vegetables (and fruits) is to use low heat so they stay firm and not mushy. Try grilling squash, asparagus, tomatoes, carrots, okra, onions, broccoli and peppers. At a picnic or BBQ, instead of greasy chips and mayonnaise-laden potato salad, try serving grilled vegetables like summer squash, peppers, onions, mushrooms and even potatoes as a side dish.

√ Marinades

Marinate your lean meats and your vegetables in citrus juices, low-fat or fat-free salad dressings, salsa or herb based marinades. Spice rubs add lots of flavor with very few calories.

√ Dessert

Dessert on a grill? It’s a great way to get in those vitamins and minerals while eating something sweet. Fruit usually takes 3-5 minutes, pulp side down, to cook. Make sure to watch grilled fruit due to the sugar content of fruit, it can burn easily. Fruits are best grilled when the coals are less hot (when they’ve begun to die out). Caramelize fruits on the grill. Pineapples, bananas, peaches and plums contain sugars that concentrate when grilled, making them taste very sweet, but with less calories and more vitamins than a typical cookie. You can add low-fat frozen yogurt to top it off as a dessert.

√ Starches

Grill potatoes, squash, corn and French fries. Wrap potatoes or squash in foil and spray with cooking spray or drizzle a little olive oil and herbs. Grill husks of corn by pulling back the husks and removing the silk, exposing the kernels. French fries can be grilled a healthy way by slicing potatoes and adding your favorite herb seasonings (place in a metal pan on the grill).tips

There is no need to heat up your house by cooking inside during the hot days of summer? With all meals, you need to make sure that the foods that you offer your family are nutritious and delicious. Beat the kitchen heat of summer by firing up your grill for health and flavor.

cathy wilson


Cathy Wilson, PCC, BCC, had RNY surgery in 2001 and lost 147 pounds. Cathy is a regular contributor to the OH Blog and authored the "Mind Matters" column in ObesityHelp Magazine. Cathy is a licensed pilot and loves flying. She is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) and the Obesity Action Coalition (OAC).

Read more articles by Cathy!

We want to hear from you! What are some of your favorite grilling recipes?