by Sylvia Geiger MS, RD, CD, Price Chopper Community Nutritionist
The grass is green, flowers are blooming and it’s finally warm — in my neighborhood, these changes mean one thing: Grill Season is here! Let the outdoor cookouts and potlucks begin!
This year, think beyond burgers, dogs, chicken, steak and ribs. Grilling is an effortless and healthy way to cook just about anything — even pizza! It’s also a great way to offer tons of vegetarian options.
So, think outside the box and try some of our healthy grilling ideas. You’ll be able to win over even the pickiest of eaters by following these tips:
- For a complete guide to grilling, check out our House of BBQ page.
- Grilled vegetables taste fabulous! With an average NuVal score of 95, all fresh veggies are a healthy option! Choose your favorites or grill up some veggies that are on sale to enhance your meal.
- Grilling veggies is easy – just slice and grill! I like to marinate my vegetables in a salad dressing or vinaigrette, but that’s not necessary. You can brush your veggies with canola oil and your favorite spices while on the grill. A little oil goes a long way in keeping veggies from sticking to the grill, so save the fat-free dressing and sauces for tossing with the vegetables after grilling. For more information on cooking times, take a look at our veggie grilling chart.
- Grilled fruits make a tasty side dish or dessert! Make sure you clean the grill first to avoid leftover flavors. Fruit can be sliced or skewered. Marinating is not usually necessary. Instead, try lightly brushing fruit with canola oil and sprinkling with cinnamon or ginger. Fruits such as pineapple, pears and apples grill well, but peaches and strawberries can be grilled with success too. (Check out our fruit grilling chart). With an average NuVal score of 95, any fresh fruit is a good choice.
- Look for our large assortment of Price Chopper Vegetarian burgers in the frozen foods aisle. Lightly brush these burgers with oil to keep them from sticking to the grill. Another vegetarian option is this this recipe for a Grilled Portobello Burger.
Here’s our grilling-themed Healthy Meal of the Week:
(All main ingredients are on sale and NuVal scores for raw ingredients are in parentheses)
- Brazilian Grilled Flank Steak (87) Grilled Chicken Ratatouille (39)
- Mexican Grilled Corn (92) or Rachel Ray’s Grilled Vegetable Platter with Crumbled Ricotta Salata (Average 96)
- Baked Potato (92) or Brown Rice (82)
- Strawberry, Melon & Avocado Salad (96-100)
- Dole Salad Blends or Kits (100)
- Caramelized Yogurt Pie with Grilled Peaches (96)
Enjoy healthy grilling! Remember to be safe when using your grill!