How to Cook: Grilling
By Nutritional Weight & Wellness Staff
June 4, 2018
At the end of a long day, you’re reaching for whatever is fast, balanced and healthy, and oh yeah, delicious too, please!
That’s where our “How to Cook” series comes in. We want to share the tips we give our clients so that you can get delicious, healthy meals on the table, or patio table in this case, without a lot of work. Today we’re stepping out of the kitchen and into the backyard to talk about grilling.
There’s nothing quite like a perfectly-grilled piece of meat or yummy grilled vegetables; so, fire up that grill and try these tasty recipes!
Healthy Grilling Recipes
1-2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs
4 zucchinis cut in half lengthwise
- Preheat your grill to 375-400F.
- Lightly coat the chicken thighs and zucchini with the vinaigrette.
- Place chicken and zucchini (cut side down) on the grates, grill 5-7 minutes, then it’s time to flip both. If the chicken sticks, it isn’t ready to flip. Wait another minute and try again.
- Continue to cook another 5-7 minutes on the opposite side.
- Use a thermometer to make sure the chicken is completely cooked. The internal temperature should be 165F.
- Serve with potatoes or rice topped with butter for a balanced meal.
3 Tbsp melted butter or coconut oil
6 Tbsp Sriracha Sauce or Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
1-2 pounds large shrimp, deveined, tails on and shells removed
5-10 wooden skewers, soak in water 20 minutes before using
Lime wedges and fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
- Heat the grill to 400F.
- Combine the butter and hot sauce in a bowl.
- Skewer the shrimp; if you can find flat skewers these work best and make flipping the shrimp much easier.
- Place shrimp skewers on the grill for 3-4 minutes or until they release from the grate.
- Flip and brush the shrimp with the marinade and grill another 4 minutes.
- Flip them one last time and brush with a little more of the marinade.
- Remove from the grill and brush one last time with the marinade before serving.
These make for a great appetizer or serve them as a meal with a side of our Jicama Salad and fresh fruit.
Interested in more recipes? For a delicious dinner, try this Grilled Steak with Chimichurri Sauce. Don’t like chimichurri? Simply slice your steak and serve it with the Steak Gorgonzola Salad for a perfectly-balanced meal. Feel free to swap the bleu cheese out for chevre, feta or any other cheese that you enjoy.
To get the most out of your grilling, here are tips to make your grilling more successful.
5 Tips for Better Grilling
- Keep it clean – Every time you grill, make sure to scrape off any food residue from your previous meal after you have let it heat up. Built-up residue can cause food to taste burnt and be a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses. Additionally, dirty grills are more prone to fires and flare ups when grilling, thus burning the food which creates chemicals known to cause cancer, something we obviously want to avoid. Go one step further once or twice a year to do a deep cleaning.
- Get it hot – Preheat it for 15-20 minutes before you start cooking. A properly-heated grill will help sear the outside of your meat and prevent it from sticking. Here’s the temperature breakdown for reference.
- High, 400-450°F
- Medium High, 350-400°F
- Medium, 300-350°F
- Low, 250-300°F
- Check the temp – Use a digital thermometer to check doneness. Some grill masters can tell by the look and feel of the meat when it’s perfect, but for the rest of us, using a thermometer is the best way to check.
- Let it rest – You’re hungry, but it’s important to rest your meat. If you cut into your pork chop, chicken or burger when it’s still piping hot, all the juices will run out and your meat will be dry. Letting it rest for 10 minutes on a plate tented with foil allows the juices to cool just enough so it doesn’t all end up on your plate.
- Prevent flare-ups – While crispy chicken skin is delicious, blackened burnt skin is not. Choosing leaner cuts of meat will reduce the risk of grease fires. Keep a squirt bottle of water near your grill and quickly put out any surprise flare-ups.
Just like sautéing and stir-frying, grilling takes practice. Once you master a few favorites, don’t be afraid to experiment! Plus, grilling extra chicken, burgers, pork chops, or steak on the weekend makes it super easy to take extras for lunch or snacks throughout the week.