Grill Healthy, Grill Safely
Grilling adds sensational summer flavor to food. Giant Eagle® offers tips on how to carefully prepare nutritious meals on your grill. Let's get started!
Meat or seafood and vegetable kabobs are great for grilling.
- Load up on in-season fruits and vegetables. Drizzle fresh asparagus with olive oil and balsamic vinegar or skewer zucchini, and tomatoes and bell pepper. White potato, yams and carrots hold up well on the grill.
- Slice apples, dust with cinnamon and toss with pineapple and banana chunks. Add peaches if in season, and serve all with vanilla Greek yogurt.
- Baste chicken and salmon with lemon juice, olive oil and fresh herbs.
- Save money on chicken by purchasing cut pieces with skin and bones. Leave the skin on for grilling, but remove it before serving or eating.
- Choose economical and lean beef cuts like flat iron or flank steak. One steak (1 to 1¼ pound) serves three to four people.
- Mix hamburger meat with grated or chopped peppers, onion or mushrooms for added nutrition and flavor.
- Meat or seafood and vegetable kabobs are great for grilling. Check the weekly specials at Giant Eagle for the best deals.
- Keep protein portions reasonable. A healthy plate should only be one-quarter protein (meat, fish, chicken or vegetable proteins) and three-quarters vegetables, whole grains and fruit.
- For a vegetarian alternative, use lentils or beans as the protein and serve with grilled vegetables, potato wedges, pineapple rings or canned peach halves.
- Use a meat thermometer to cook to a safe temperature.
- Marinades add flavor and help tenderize meats. Cover and refrigerate marinating food. Discard used marinade. If you want to baste with the same marinade, reserve some before adding the raw foods.
- Wash containers used to marinate meat, fish or chicken with hot water and soap. Or use food-grade plastic bags and discard them.
- Anything that touches raw meat, fish or chicken is a potential source of food-borne illness. Wash hands frequently, or wear disposable gloves and change them frequently!
- Use separate plates, knives and cutting surfaces for transferring and cutting raw and cooked foods, especially meat, fish and chicken. Hot soapy water isn't always available.
- Cut fruits and vegetables need to be refrigerated if prepped ahead of grilling.
- Raw meat, fish, chicken and cut or mixed foods should be placed in a cooler or ice chest until ready to grill or serve!
- Flare-ups from fat dripping on hot surfaces are dangerous and may reduce the healthfulness of the food. Remove as much fat as possible from meat before grilling and have long-handled grill tools and clean oven mitts handy.
- Browning is fine, but "charring" or "burning" meat should be avoided. Some tricks for safe grilling without the char:
- Keep a spray water bottle nearby to put out fires before they burn the meat.
- Use foil trays made for the grill top to shield the meat from flames. These trays have holes that allow the flavor to develop. Heavy foil with holes poked in the foil is an alternative.
- Charcoal or wood grills are for outside use only, as ventilation is critical.