Summer is here, the 4th of July is right around the corner and the warmer temperatures have sent me outside to the grill for my dinnertime solutions. I think we grilled every day last week and why wouldn’t we? You can make great food on the grill, it is ready in no time and you are more energy efficient when cooking outside since you don’t need to warm up your house by using the oven.
Grilled food also just tastes so great and there is no better smell than steaks and burgers on the grill, especially when it is a burger made by my dad. He has totally spoiled me for burgers from anyone else–including restaurants–his burgers are just that good! He also won’t give away his secret ingredients–how dare he!
Since he won’t give out his secret I have to be content to make other great items on my girl when at home and one of my favorite things to grill is Chicken Kabobs…yum! They taste great and I do with the peppers so it takes care of both our protein and our vegetable so there is no hassle at all! The key to Chicken Kabobs is to make them ahead of time and allow they to marinade so they get tender and juicy with great flavoring throughout.
Teriyaki Chicken Kabob Marinade
- 2 lbs boneless chicken breast diced
- 2 green peppers diced
- 2 red peppers diced
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 3 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Thread chicken and peppers on skewers, alternating as you go
- In a glass bowl mix together all marinade ingredients.
- Place chicken and peppers in marinade, turning to coat both sides
- Allow to marinade at least 2 hours/overnight
- Place chicken and pepper kabobs on preheated grill over medium temperature.
- Cook until chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees.
- Remove chicken from kabobs and enjoy!
Quick Tip: When marinating make sure to be safe and marinate your meat in the refrigerator rather than on your countertop.
Grilling is one of the healthiest cooking methods, and the nutritionists at GIANT Food Stores are offering tips on how to enjoy the bounty of fresh, local produce and the delicious taste of low fat protein varieties this summer.
Check out these healthy ideas to throw on the grill!
- Choose cuts of meat that have less fat marbling such as sirloin or tenderloin and chicken or turkey breasts.
- Going leaner doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste! Whether seasoning meat, fish or vegetables, keep it low in sodium by using fresh or dry herbs, spices, powders, pre-made salt free seasoning blends. Make a marinade with any of these seasoning combinations, and add vinegar or lemon juice, olive oil and simply whisk and toss! Depending on what you are marinating will determine how long to marinade. Meat generally needs to sit for at least an hour where fish and veggies may only need 15 to 30 minutes.
- Even on a clean grill, lean foods may stick when placed directly on the rack. Prior to firing up your grill, reduce sticking by oiling the grill rack with a vegetable oil-soaked paper towel. Hold it with tongs and rub over the rack.
- Combine ground meat with cooked whole grains to create a burger that’s moist, flavorful, and has fiber with less saturated fat.
- Or for a “better” burger, try ground turkey or vegetable burgers as an alternative to ground meat. A 99% fat free ground turkey breast mixed with vegetables, such as green peppers, red onion and mushrooms, helps keep the burger moist plus adds more volume to make a pound of meat go further.
- Boost your intake of heart healthy Omega 3 fatty acids by trying tuna steaks. Marinate in olive oil, apple cider vinegar, crushed capers and crushed rosemary.
- Lean white fish like flounder, mahi mahi and tilapia are great grill choices too. Add a fruit salsa for a sweet twist or brush with olive oil, top with a few shakes of your favorite seasoning, grill and then add a twist of lemon juice.
- When choosing buns for your burgers, look for 100% whole grain options. Deli thins are great too – less calories and carbs!
- Save room on the grill for veggies! Summer is a great time to enjoy local produce and GIANT offers a variety of locally grown bell peppers, red onion, asparagus, squash and eggplant.
- Cut a head of romaine lettuce in half and add olive oil, salt and pepper to the cut sides. Throw on the grill face down on medium high heat for one to two minutes. Sprinkle parmesan over the lettuce or pour red wine vinegar for a simple salad.
- Don’t forget about fruits on the grill too! The heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars, resulting in loads of flavor without the need for added sugar. Grill pineapple or banana slices lengthwise and serve with a dollop of low-fat vanilla bean ice cream or frozen yogurt.
- Try grilling stone-fruit, like peaches, nectarines or plums on skewers or in foil and flavor with spices like cinnamon, ginger or mint.
When it comes to grilling and knowing when your meat is ready, the best way to check is to use a meat thermometer and check the temperature. Before removing from the grill, insert a meat thermometer halfway into the thickest part of the meat, making sure it does not go through to the other side. The thermometer should give a reading in about 15-20 seconds.
Safe Temperatures for Meat:
· Ground beef hamburgers – 160oF. Cooking ground beef until the pink is gone is not always an indicator of thorough cooking as it can still be pink inside and cooked to a safe 160oF. Color is not always a true indicator.
· Ground and whole poultry – 165oF
· Chops, steaks and roasts from beef, veal or lamb – 145oF for medium rare, 160oF for medium and 170oF for well done
· Pork chops and roast – 150oF
· Fin fish – 145oF
· Shrimp, lobster and crabs – Cooked until the flesh is pearly and opaque
Refrigerate any leftovers promptly after serving and within two hours after cooking. Food should only be outside one hour when the temperature is above 90oF. When in doubt, throw it out.
Looking for more inspiration? GIANT’s website is filled with a bunch of summertime grilling and BBQ recipe ideas here and here so you can keep grilling all season long! Enjoy!
Items used in this post: