fire up the grill for healthy cookouts this summer
Pesto Steak Kebabs
Skewering a rainbow of vegetables delivers a hearty dose of disease-busting antioxidants.
- 1 lb top sirloin steak, cut into 1-inch cubes
- 16 crimini mushrooms, stems removed
- 2 small zucchini, sliced into 1-inch rounds
- 1 pint grape tomatoes
- 1 red onion, cut into small chunks
- 1 large yellow bell pepper, cut into bite-size pieces
- 3 tbsp prepared pesto
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- Preheat grill on high heat for 10 minutes and then lower to medium for cooking. Thread steak, mushrooms, zucchini, tomatoes, onion, and bell pepper onto 8 skewers in any pattern you like.
- Whisk together pesto, olive oil, lemon juice, and chili flakes. Brush half of the pesto mixture on kebabs about 15 minutes before grilling.
- Place kebabs on a greased grill grate and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until steak is done to liking and vegetables are darkened. Brush on remaining pesto halfway through cooking.
Pork Burger with Chipolte Raspberry Sauce
Raspberries and chia seeds make a burger topping that’s high in fat-fighting fiber. Ketchup from a squeeze bottle? Not so much.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 and 1/2 cups raspberries
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 2 tsp fresh thyme
- 1 tsp minced chipotle chili canned in adobo sauce
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp chia seeds
- 1 and 1/4 lb. ground lean pork
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 2 cups spinach
- 4 whole-grain buns, halved
- Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and 1 garlic clove; heat 1 minute. Place raspberries, vinegar, thyme, chipotle chili, and a pinch of salt in pan. Simmer until raspberries break down, about 5 minutes. Stir in chia seeds and heat 1 minute more. Set aside to cool and thicken. Reheat if needed to serve on burgers.
- Preheat grill on high for 10 minutes, then lower to medium for cooking. In a large bowl, mix together pork, 1 garlic clove, tomato paste, mustard, cumin, and pinches of salt and pepper. Form into 4 equal-size patties.
- Place burgers on a greased grill grate and cook for 5 minutes per side, or until a temperature of 165°F is reached in each burger. Remove burgers from grill and place bun halves on grill and heat until toasted, about 30 seconds.
- Serve burgers on buns topped with raspberry sauce and spinach.
CHEF’S TIP Poke the patties a few times with a skewer so the burgers remain flat during grilling instead of turning into meatballs.
Trout Tacos with Charred Corn Salsa
Like salmon, trout delivers mega-healthy omega-3 fats, which may help dampen muscle pain in response to training.
- 1 lb rainbow or steelhead trout fillet Salt, pepper, chili powder
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 corn on the cob, husk removed
- 1 orange bell pepper, cut into 4 pieces
- 1 jalapeño pepper
- 2 scallions
- ½ cup cilantro
- 1 small avocado
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
- 8 corn tortillas
- Preheat grill on high heat for 10 minutes, then lower to medium for cooking. Season trout with salt, black pepper, and chili powder. Place trout on greased grill grate, skin-side down, shut lid, and heat until flesh is cooked through in the middle, about 12 minutes. Let rest while you prepare salsa and then gently break apart flesh with a fork.
- Thread tomatoes on metal skewers. Brush tomatoes, corn cob, bell pepper, jalapeño, and scallions with oil and place on grill grate. Heat vegetables until tender and darkened in a few places, turning as needed. Once cool enough to handle, upend corn and slice off kernels into a bowl. Add tomatoes to bowl. Chop bell pepper, jalapeño, and scallions; add to bowl with corn, tomatoes, and cilantro. Season salsa with salt.
- Blend together avocado, sour cream, lime juice, and a pinch of salt until smooth.
- Warm tortillas on grill. Top with trout, salsa, and avocado cream.
CHEF’S TIP Use a grill basket to bulk cook veggies. The small holes keep them from falling through and allow for a hint of char and smoky flavor.
Cheesesteaks with Cherry-Olive Relish
Halloumi is a cheese from Cyprus that resists melting on the grill, so use it as a meat alternative to take advantage of its high amounts of calcium and muscle-building protein. Look for packages of this great white in well-diverse cheese aisles or Middle Eastern markets.
- 1/2 cup farro
- 1 (6 oz) package halloumi cheese 1 cup cherries, pitted and sliced
- 1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
- 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 cups arugula
- Place farro and 1 cup water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until tender but not mushy, about 25 minutes. Drain excess water.
- Preheat grill to medium-high. Upend halloumi and slice lengthwise into two slabs. Brush with oil and grill until tender and grill marks appear, about 3 minutes per side.
- Stir together cherries, olives, mint, oil, and vinegar.
- Divide farro among serving plates and top with arugula, halloumi, and cherry mixture.
CHEF’S TIP To pit cherries, place the flat side of a large knife on the cherry, press gently until it splits open, then pull out the pit.
PB Yogurt Banana Split with Chocolate Drizzle
Greek yogurt adds a shot of protein to this dessert, with peanut butter and walnuts supplying quality fats.
- 2 firm yellow bananas
- 1 tsp melted butter
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 tsp honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ginger powder
- 1 oz dark chocolate, chopped
- 2 tbsp chopped walnuts
- Heat grill to medium heat. Slice bananas lengthwise, leaving the peel on. Brush melted butter on flesh side of bananas. Place bananas facedown on a greased grill grate. Cook uncovered until tender and darkened (about 3 minutes), flip, and cook peel-side down for an additional minute.
- Whisk together yogurt, peanut butter, honey or maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and ginger. Microwave chocolate in a small bowl in 20-second intervals, stirring between each interval, until melted.
- Using a spoon, carefully scoop out banana halves from skins and place on serving plates. Divide yogurt among plates and drizzle on chocolate.
CHEF’S TIP To prevent sticking, grease your grill grate by soaking a wad of paper towels in oil, holding it with tongs, and rubbing it over the hot rack.