Healthy summer barbeque
Connecting the dots…nutrition simplified

Sunny weather means the barbeque is open for business.  Whether you’re entertaining in the backyard, a family camp site, or a Fourth of July picnic, you can prepare everything from protein to vegetables to dessert all on the grill.  Here are some recipes that keep the heat out of the kitchen and tips on how to serve a safe summer picnic. 

Grilled “one dish” dinners

  • Vegetable pizza.  Roll out store bought whole-wheat pizza dough.  Layer two sheets of aluminum foil and spray with a non-stick cooking spray.  Place the dough on aluminum foil and top with pizza sauce, low-fat mozzarella cheese, and lots of veggies – try onions, peppers and mushrooms.  Place over medium heat and grill until your dough is cooked through, cheese is melted and veggies are tender.
  • Fish feast in a foil packet.  Layer two 20-inch long sheets of aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.  Lay a piece of white fish like tilapia, cod or halibut on top and cover with mixed diced vegetables such as summer squash, eggplant and asparagus mixed with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fresh herbs.  Seal the foil and place on the grill for 5 minutes or until fish is opaque and vegetables are tender.

Grilled vegetables and sides

  • Grilled potato packets.  Slice a mixture of red potatoes, yellow potatoes and sweet potatoes all roughly the same thickness.  Toss with a 1 tablespoon of olive oil, garlic, pepper, dried basil and sliced red onions. Lightly coat heavy-duty foil with nonstick cooking spray.  Place potato mixture in the center and seal foil packet.  Grill, covered, 20 minutes; turn packet over and grill 20 minutes more or until potatoes are tender.
  • Grilled corn.  Enjoy corn on the cob or sliced into a salad. Pull husks away from the ear and remove all silk, but do not discard the husk.  Soak ears for 15 minutes then pat dry. Brush each ear with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and replace husks.  Grill over medium heat until husks are slightly browned.  For a fun salad idea, grill 4 ears of corn and remove corn kernels. Toss with a pint of grape tomatoes and 1 diced avocado.

Grilled desserts

  • Grilled banana boats are a healthy and kid-friendly dessert option.  Take whole bananas in their peel and run a knife lengthwise down the entire peel so you can pull it open slightly.  Stuff in a few dark chocolate chips and spread 1 tablespoon of peanut butter on the banana inside the peel.  Close the peel and wrap the bananas individually in aluminum foil.  Place on the grill until peanut butter and chocolate is melted.  Unwrap foil and use a spoon to eat the banana out of the peel. 
  • Grill fruits like thick pineapple slices or peach and plum halves until soft and caramelized.  Top with fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt.  You can also grill thick slices of watermelon and enjoy just as they are.

Summer food safety
No matter where you barbeque this summer, be sure to practice safety measures to prevent food poisoning.  A food thermometer, cooler chest with ice, clean utensils, storage containers, paper towels and trash bags are essential for a worry-free picnic.  Cook foods on the grill to a safe temperature as measured with a food thermometer.  Place perishable foods, such as hot dogs, burgers, poultry and salads in a well-insulated cooler with plenty of ice or freezer packs.  Serve food quickly from the cooler and return it fast.  Pack up leftovers in storage containers and when you return home, unpack that cooler right away.  Refrigerate leftover meats and salads which have stayed cold – discard if they have become warm.

Visit your ShopRite Dietitian for more information on safe cooking and storage temperatures, recipe ideas, and summer menus.  Happy grilling!

Visit your local ShopRite for complimentary nutrition services from a registered dietitian:
ShopRite of Niskayuna: Sarah Ender MS, RD 491.0050
ShopRite of Albany: Adrian Allen RD 708.3445
ShopRite of Colonie: Amy Imler RD 598.4970
ShopRite of Slingerlands: Kristin Caponera RD 708.7815


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