4 Healthy Grilling Recipes for Summer

Kim JohnsonHealth & Fitness

My family and I were so excited to finally break our grill out of storage just a few weeks ago. We love the way that grilled food tastes – just like summer in Minnesota. Here are some easy, healthy(ish) ideas for your next grill-out.

Maple Dijon Chicken Drumsticks
We love taking this crockpot recipe from Skinny Taste, and cooking the drumsticks on the grill instead of in the crockpot. The maple gives the drumsticks a slightly sweet taste, which is balanced by the balsamic vinegar and Dijon.

INGREDIENTS

  •  8 skinless drumsticks
  •  1/4 cup pure Maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  •  1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  •  3/4 tsp garlic salt
  •  Fresh cracked pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
Season the chicken with garlic salt and pepper and place on the grill. Combine maple, balsamic, and Dijon in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Use a basting brush to brush the mixture onto the drumsticks, making sure the chicken is covered. Continue basting, turning, and cooking until chicken is completely cooked through.

Simple Salmon
Salmon is such a great source of protein, good fats, and other essential nutrients. It’s also a delicious grilled meal, accompanied with grilled veggies straight from the garden (or the produce aisle). We love grilling salmon in the summer, and the leftovers (which rarely happens) get served with eggs the following morning. So good! Salmon is really easy to grill, but this recipe from AllRecipes (with almost 4,000 raving reviews) will take you through step by step.

INGREDIENTS

  •  1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets
  •  lemon pepper to taste
  •  garlic powder to taste
  •  salt to taste
  •  1/3 cup soy sauce
  •  1/3 cup brown sugar
  •  1/3 cup water
  •  1/4 cup vegetable oil

DIRECTIONS

1. Season salmon fillets with lemon pepper, garlic powder, and salt.
2. In a small bowl, stir together soy sauce, brown sugar, water, and vegetable oil until sugar is dissolved. Place fish in a large resealable plastic bag with the soy sauce mixture, seal, and turn to coat. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
3. Preheat grill for medium heat.
4. Lightly oil grill grate. Place salmon on the preheated grill, and discard marinade. Cook
salmon for 6 to 8 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.

Grilled Vegetables
The Food Network knocked it out of the park with this tasty recipe for grilled veggies. The best part is, you can add your favorite veggies and remove the veggies that you aren’t fond of.

INGREDIENTS

  •  3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
  • 3 yellow squash (about 1 pound total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
  • 3 zucchini (about 12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
  • 3 Japanese eggplant (12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch-thick rectangles
  • 12 cremini mushrooms
  • 1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed
  • 12 green onions, roots cut off
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

DIRECTIONS
Place a grill pan over medium-high heat or prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat). Brush the vegetables with 1/4 cup of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper.

Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions.

Arrange the vegetables on a platter. The key to getting those great grill marks is to not shift the vegetables too frequently once they’ve been placed on the hot grill.

Meanwhile, whisk the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl to blend. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables. Serve the vegetables, warm or at room temperature.

Grilled Fruit
We know what you’re thinking – it’s time for dessert! We like where your head is at. Meat and veggies aren’t the only thing you can grill. We love grilled fruit at my house. It satisfies our sweet tooth and is rich in nutrients! Kingsford, king of grills, shows us how to grill different fruit.

Pineapple

Prepare:
Cut off the top, the heel end and the rind from the outside. Then simply cut into rings. You may remove the core if you like as well.

Grill:
Grill the pineapple until the flesh has good grill marks and the surface is slightly caramelized. Flip the pineapples and grill the other side. Move to the cool side in case of a flare-up. Grill until they are slightly tender but not too soft.

Peaches

Prepare:
Wash peaches and cut them in half, removing the pit.

Grill:
Place the peaches cut side down on the grill directly over the coals. Cook until they have good grill marks or are slightly caramelized. Move them to the cooler side of the grill and let them finish up until they become a bit more tender, but not too soft. If using the peaches for desserts, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar on the cut, grilled side.

Bananas

Prepare:
Select ripe but firmer bananas. Overripe bananas get soft quickly and are more difficult to grill without falling apart. Also, leave the skins on so the bananas are easier to handle on the grill. Cut them in half lengthwise.

Grill:
Grill the banana quarters cut side down, skin side up. Roll the bananas slightly to grill the other cut side. Get some nice grill marks, but move them to the cooler side so they can heat through but not burn or get too soft. Once tender, remove from the grill and sprinkle the grilled sides with cinnamon sugar.

Summer is finally here, you guys! Let’s use our grill to explore new recipes and new ways to provide our family with nourishing, energizing foods that fuel them, not just fill them.

What will you try on the grill this week?