Summer is the perfect season to start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet. Here are some tips and tricks to help put a new twist on summer favorites, and offer a fresh and healthy way to enjoy the best of the grill season.”
FIRE UP THE GRILL: Summer is the time to fire up the grill and savor the flavors of the season. Discover some of our favorite veggie options, perfect for the grill.
- Eggplant: Brush eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of garlic salt. Grill for about 5 minutes on each side. Top with a little grated parmesan, or a few crumbles of feta, and serve.
- Mushroom Skewers: Marinate cut Portobello mushroom pieces with sliced cherry tomatoes in balsamic vinegar and olive oil, or combine mushrooms, peppers and onions in garlic, lemon and oregano, then skewer and grill until tender.
- Peppers: Grill red, green, orange and yellow pepper slices, tossed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil, and serve as a tasty side dish or sandwich topping.
MAKE THE FLIP: Going plant-forward doesn’t mean giving up burgers at a barbecue. Enjoy these new takes on a cookout staple.
- Falafel Burger: Top a falafel patty with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and tzatziki, and serve on a toasted roll.
- Guacamole Black Bean Burger: Top a black bean burger with jalapeno guacamole, crunchy baked tortilla strips, tomato, lettuce and chipotle mayo, and serve on a toasted roll.
- Grilled Portobello Sandwich: Top grilled Portobello mushrooms with barbequed onions, lettuce and tomato, and serve on whole wheat roll.
A HEALTHY SUMMER GRILL EXPERIENCE: Cooking outdoors is a summer tradition. While great taste is at the top of everyone’s list, safety is just as important. Keep these tips in mind, to make the most of summer entertaining.
- Using the right tools: For a safe outdoor grilling experience, be careful when wearing long or loose fitting clothing or aprons around the grill. Use flame retardant mitts, buy grill utensils with long handles and never leave a hot grill unattended. Remember that cooking technique, grill utensils and even clothing choices can impact your personal safety.
- Transporting food: Keeping cold food cold is key, so pack food with ice or frozen packs, in a closed cooler, when traveling. Cold food should be stored at 41°F (5°C) or below.
- Serving: Cold food should not sit out for longer than two hours (or only one hour if the outdoor temperature is above 90°F (32°C)). Make sure to wrap hot foods well in an insulated container until serving. Hot food should be kept hot at 140°F (60°C) or above. Hot foods should not sit out for more than two hours.
Note: Since everyone’s health history and nutritional needs are so different, please make sure that you talk with your doctor and a registered dietitian to get advice about the diet and exercise plan that‘s right for you.