BBQ Ideas: 7 Foods That Taste Better GrilledArticle posted in: Lifestyle
Eating food that’s been cooked over an open flame calls to mind warm days spent relaxing in the sun. Even on an ordinary weekday, grilled food makes a meal feel more festive. Grilling is a quick way to cook all kinds of healthy foods and it keeps your kitchen clean, too. Best of all, grilling adds delicious flavor without loading up on the calories.
You probably already use your grill to cook steak, chicken, burgers and hot dogs, but many other foods taste awesome when grilled.
Looking for some good BBQ ideas?
Consider these awesome options when you have the urge to cook out this season.
Best Foods to grill this season:
Tuna, salmon and other cold-water fish are PowerFuels, meaning they’re rich in protein and healthy fats. The omega-3 fatty acids that are abundant in these types of fish help protect you from heart disease. Look for thick, meaty “steaks,” because they hold up best on the grill.
Tip: Marinades add flavor to fresh fish and they help keep the food from sticking to the grates. Look for marinades that have little or no oil and are low in salt.
Shrimp, clams, and mussels are tasty sources of lean protein that are full of essential minerals. Shellfish cook quickly on the grill and give you that beach clambake flavor—even at home. Brush shrimp lightly with olive oil before grilling. Grill clams and mussels with the deep side of the shell down on the grate.
Tip: Cook shellfish over direct heat and avoid opening the grill cover too often so that you keep the heat in. You don’t want to slow the cooking time or the shellfish will get too chewy.
Instead of grilling another burger, try a meaty Portobello mushroom. This tasty vegetable source of protein is high in fiber and potassium. After cleaning the mushrooms and removing the stems (which you can use for another dish), marinate the tops in light vinaigrette for at least an hour. Grill them over medium heat for about seven minutes, then turn them over and cook for another five minutes.
Tip: Baste the mushrooms lightly with leftover marinade while they are on the grill to keep them moist.
Wood-fired pies are so popular at restaurants and you can replicate that flavor in your own backyard. Then top your grilled pizza with your favorite vegetables, so it comes with healthy nutrients and fiber. Start with whole wheat pizza dough or flatbread brushed lightly with olive oil on one side. Place it side-down over indirect heat for one to two minutes, until the dough or bread starts to bubble. Remove it from the heat, adding low-sodium sauce, a sprinkling of fat-free cheese and grilled or roasted vegetables. Put the pie back on the grill for about five minutes, until cheese has melted.
Tip: Preheating is important whenever you grill, but it’s especially critical if you want pizza crust that’s crisp and not doughy.
Summer’s most popular vegetable becomes sweeter and richer in flavor when it’s cooked quickly over an open flame. Slice the tomatoes into halves, brush them with a bit of olive oil on the cut side and grill them over high heat for no more than two minutes. Use the grilled tomatoes with basil and a splash of herbed vinegar to make a side dish that’s high in nutrients and low in calories.
Tip: Use the meatiest tomatoes you can find for grilling. Paste varieties work especially well.
You can enjoy the savory, smoky flavor of flame-cooked food in a salad by lightly grilling heads of romaine lettuce, radicchio and other firm greens. Cut the heads in half, brush them with a little olive oil and place them right on the grates. Cook your greens on direct, medium heat for about two minutes, then turn and grill for another two minutes.
Tip: For a heartier dish, fill the grilled leaves with a whole grain or tuna salad.
Grilling citrus fruit brings out a bit of sweetness that contrasts its naturally tart flavor, while also adding a hint of smokiness. Squeeze charred lemon on fresh fish or vegetables, or use it as the acidic ingredient in homemade vinaigrette.
Tip: Cut lemons through the middle (not lengthwise) and place the cut side down on the grill, directly over the flame, for about three minutes.