Home Heart Health Recipes Grilling season perfect for those healthy summer meals

Grilling season perfect for those healthy summer meals

8 min read

Courtesy of the American Heart Association

Devin Alexander - chef for NBC's "Biggest Loser" and author - shares her personal perspective as a chef:

Ahhh it's finally time ... grilling season is upon us. When I'm dating, men often volunteer, given what I do, that they can't cook - but they can grill. Grilling is a very manly thing (though we ladies certainly can be great too.). I love grilling so much, I do it a few times a week all year. I love it because grilling is one of the absolute best ways to add flavor without fat or sodium. Especially with recipes using leaner meats, like my Honey Lime Marinated London Broil, grilling locks in taste like a charm.

Here are some of my other favorite foods to grill:

>> Vegetables, especially bell peppers, onions and asparagus: A lot of people think steamed vegetables are one of the only way to make them "healthy" and without a lot of oil. Well that's silly. You certainly don't need a lot of oil.

Simply brush or mist your grill before placing your veggies directly on the racks or toss a pound of veggies in about a teaspoon of a high-quality oil (grapeseed oil and avocado oil are preferred over olive oil for grilling due to their higher smoking points). Or, if you'd prefer to use absolutely no oil, wrap your veggies in nonstick foil or grill foil and throw them on.

I always use a salt-free seasoning blend as well. There are so many you can always change it up.

>> Pineapple (and other fruit like peaches and nectarines too) are amazing on a grill. Grill pineapple rounds as a dessert or chop them to put them in salsa - the heat adds a whole other flavor component. The pineapple salsa is especially awesome atop fish.

>> Salmon or Monk fish: Grilling fish is a phenomenal way to get that restaurant quality taste in your own home without a whole stick of butter. I love to "smoke" salmon on my grill using a grill plank. If you haven't tried them, they're life altering ... so so easy and flavor abounds. They're easily found at tons of cooking stores these days - just soak the planks (you don't want them going up in flames), add your fish and some basically seasonings and prepare to be wow-ed.

All in all, experiment. And ladies, don't be afraid to get in there, grilling is definitely not just for men.

We all know that Mexican food tends to be on the very heavy side. I try to avoid eating at Mexican restaurants even though they house some of my all-time favorite flavors. This recipe is much more subtle in flavor than most in this book and much leaner than many other marinades with a Mexican flair. It makes the leftovers a great option for so many other dishes - salads, sandwiches, quesadillas, and tacos - with a fraction of the sodium, fat and calories normally found in these dishes.

Honey-Lime Marinated London Broil

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp. honey

2 Tbsp. fresh garlic, minced

1 tsp. sale

1 1/4 lb. trimmed London broil (top round steak), all visible fat discarded


Whisk the lime juice, olive oil and honey in a small bowl. Stir in the garlic and salt.

Place the steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour in the marinade. Seal the bag and rotate it so the steak is covered with the marinade. Place the bag in the refrigerator and marinate the steak for at least 6 hours or overnight, rotating it occasionally if possible.

Preheat a grill to high.

Remove the steak from the marinade and place it on the grill. Discard the remaining marinade. Grill for 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare, or until the desired doneness is reached. Place the steak on a plate or cutting board, cover loosely with foil, and let stand 10 minutes. Slice into thin slices against the grain and serve immediately, or refrigerate the uncut steak in an airtight container and slice it just before serving.

Nutritional info

Calories: 107; Total fat: 4 g.; Saturated fat: 1 g; Cholesterol: 42 mg; Sodium: 143 mg; Total carbohydrate: 1 g; Dietary fiber: <1 g; Protein: 20 g

This article is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart Program. For more simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit heart.org/simplecooking.

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