Grilling out the healthy way

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 11:17 AM CDT
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EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) - Hy-Vee Registered Dietitian Dani Matthies offers some healthy tips and tricks for grilling out this summer.

The kickoff to summer is officially here and cookouts are in full swing! Enjoy time with your guests outside while manning the grill – cooking up everything from sides to main dishes. Grilling is versatile – allowing you to prepare a balanced meal for your guests from fruits and vegetables to your favorite lean protein and even toasting those whole-wheat hamburger buns.

3 reasons to break out the grill:

HEALTH Grilling cooks foods in a way in which the fat can naturally drip away. This results in leaner proteins – cutting down on fat and total calories, along with allowing extra sauces and oils to drip away further reducing potential added sugar or fat found in sauces, marinades and cooking oils.

VERSATILITY Practically anything that can be cooked indoors can be prepared on a grill. Even small items like mushrooms, cherry tomatoes and slices of zucchini can be grilled on skewers or in a grill basket.

PRACTICALITY Outdoor grilling keeps the smells outside rather than permeating the house. In summer, it saves on using the oven – and heating up the kitchen when the air conditioning is on! Plus – grilling allows you to enjoy time with your guests outside rather than stepping away from the party.

Grilled Veggie Fajita Kabobs

Serves 5 (1 each)

All you need:

½ (0.9-oz) pkg Good Graces organic gluten-free veggie fajita seasoning (1½ tbsp)

1 tbsp Chosen Foods Avocado Oil

1½ tsp Full Circle Market light-colored agave nectar

1½ tsp fresh lime juice

10 mini sweet peppers

1 medium zucchini, cut into ½-inch-thick slices

½ medium red onion, sliced into ½-inch-thick slices

1 cup cherry tomatoes

½ cup halved baby bella mushrooms

Crema agria sour cream, avocado hot sauce, fresh cilantro for serving

All you do:

1. Soak 5 (9.75-in.) Simply Done bamboo skewers for 30 minutes in water before grilling.

2. Stir together fajita seasoning, avocado oil, agave nectar and lime juice in a medium bowl. Add mini peppers, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes and mushrooms; toss to coat. Let stand for 20 minutes, tossing occasionally.

3. Preheat charcoal or gas grill for direct cooking over medium-high heat (375°F). Alternately thread vegetables onto soaked skewers.

4. Grill kabobs for 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, turning occasionally.