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Healthy Summer Grilling Recipes

By |2021-07-28T16:44:46-04:00June 23rd, 2021|Categories: Health A-Z|Tags: , |

Summer is here, and along with flip-flops and sunscreen comes the sizzling on the grill.

Often grilled foods include an array of heavily-marinated and fatty foods that don’t do any favors to your waistline and can have other health impacts. But choosing healthier options doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all your favorites. Here are five hot-off-the-grill recipes to enjoy this summer that provide flavorful grilling without all the calories:


Eggplant Pizza


  • 1 medium eggplant, unpeeled, cut in ¾-inch thick slices
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 unbaked 12-inch whole-wheat or regular thin pizza crust
  • ¼ cup pesto sauce
  • 1 large tomato, sliced
  • ½ small onion, thinly sliced
  • ¼ cup sliced kalamata olives
  • 2 ounces (½ cup) part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 ounce (¼ cup) Parmesan cheese, shredded; or feta cheese, crumbled
  • ¼ cup fresh basil leaves


  1. Brush eggplant with olive oil. Grill over a medium-high fire for about 10 minutes until soft and cooked through, turning to brown evenly. Cool slightly.
  2. Place pizza crust on a baking pan. Spread pesto sauce evenly over crust. Arrange grilled eggplant, tomatoes, onion and olives on top. Sprinkle with cheese. Slide uncooked pizza on the grill. Lower the lid.
  3. Grill over indirect heat until the crust is golden brown and the cheese melts, about 12 to 15 minutes.
  4. Just before serving, cut basil leaves into thin strips. Top pizza with basil.

Nutrition Information

Serves 6

Calories: 230; Calories from fat: 160; Total fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 4.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 15mg; Sodium 300mg; Total carbohydrate: 12g; Dietary fiber: 5g; Sugars: 4g; Protein: 8g


Grilled Pineapple


  • 2 (10- to 12-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in half

Jerk Sauce

  • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme leaves
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 3 medium green onions, finely chopped
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, chopped*
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Pineapple Slices

  • 8 fresh pineapple slices, sliced ¾-inch thick**
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Dash of hot pepper sauce


  1. To prepare the jerk sauce, combine the allspice, thyme, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Add 2 tablespoons oil, vinegar and lime juice, mixing with a wire whisk to blend well. Add the green onion, jalapeño pepper and garlic; mix well. Set aside.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a baking dish. Brush the jerk sauce evenly over both sides of the chicken breasts. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or longer if possible.
  3. To cook the chicken, preheat the grill to a medium-high temperature. Remove the chicken from the marinade; discard the marinade. Place the chicken breasts on the hot grill, with the thicker portion facing the hotter part of the grill. Grill for about 6 to 8 minutes on each side. Use an instant-read thermometer to check for doneness; the internal temperature of the chicken should reach 165°F when cooked through. Allow the grilled chicken to rest for 5 minutes, covered, before serving.
  4. While the chicken is cooking, brush the pineapple slices lightly with 2 tablespoons of oil. Place the pineapple on the grill; cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until heated through and lightly charred with grill marks. Remove from the grill.
  5. Combine the honey with hot pepper sauce in a small bowl; blend well. Drizzle over the pineapple.
  6. Serve the jerked chicken breasts with grilled pineapple slices.

Cooking Notes

*If you prefer more “spicy heat,” mix another pepper into the sauce, or add a splash of hot pepper sauce.

**For convenience, buy fresh pineapple pre-sliced, rather than trimming, coring and peeling a fresh pineapple.

Nutrition Information

Serves 4

Calories: 420; Calories from fat: 160; Total fat: 18g; Saturated fat: 2g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 90mg; Sodium: 170mg; Total carbohydrate: 35g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 25g; Protein: 32g


Pork Satay sized


  • 4 tablespoons peanut or canola oil, divided
  • 2 tablespoons hoisin sauce
  • 2 tablespoons rice wine vinegar or red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly-grated ginger
  • 2 teaspoons light soy sauce
  • 1¼ pounds lean pork or beef, cut in 2-inch cubes
  • ¾ pound sweet potatoes, cut in 2-inch cubes
  • 1 20-ounce can pineapple chunks in juice, drained
  • 6 tablespoons crushed unsalted, roasted peanuts


  1. Combine 2 tablespoons oil, hoisin sauce, vinegar, ginger and soy sauce in a small bowl.

Pour over pork and toss to coat pork well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for about 4 hours.

  1. Toss sweet potatoes with remaining oil.
  2. Drain pork. Thread pork, sweet potatoes and pineapple chunks on wooden skewers. **
  3. Brush prepared skewers with marinade. Throw out any leftover marinade.
  4. Grill for about 8 to 10 minutes on medium-high heat, turning, until pork is cooked through and sweet potatoes are tender.
  5. Top with peanuts.

Cooking Notes

**Tip: Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes before threading them so they don’t dry out as fast when grilling.

Nutrition Information

Serving Size: 2 skewers

Serves 6

Calories: 400; Calories from fat: 190; Total fat: 21g; Saturated fat: 4.5g; Trans fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 60mg; Sodium 200mg; Total carbohydrate: 31g; Dietary fiber: 4g; Sugars: 19g; Protein: 22g


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  • 4 portobello mushrooms, with stems and gills removed
  • ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon whole ground mustard
  • Optional for serving: tomato, onion, lettuce, toasted bun


  1. Marinate mushrooms in balsamic vinegar, olive oil, garlic, whole ground mustard, and fresh herbs for about 30 minutes at room temperature.
  2. Grill mushrooms for about 5 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve with tomato and onion slices and lettuce with or without a toasted bun.


Grilled Kebabs


  • 12 skewers
  • 4 cups assorted cubed fruit
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat a grill or grill pan to medium-hot.
  2. Thread fruit cubes evenly onto the skewers, alternating the fruit varieties.
  3. In a small bowl, mix together honey, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon.
  4. Lightly brush the kebabs with oil and place on the grill. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes per side, basting with the honey mixture until you see grill marks. Remove from grill and brush with any remaining honey. Serve warm.

Cooking Note

Some of the best fruits for grilling include pineapple, peaches, plums, apricots and watermelon.

If using wooden skewers, make sure to soak them for at least 2 hours before grilling.

Nutrition Information

Serving size: 2 kebabs

Serves 6

Calories: 89; Total fat: 2g; Saturated fat: 0g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 1mg; Carbohydrates: 18g; Fiber: 1g; Sugars: 15g; Protein: 1g; Potassium: 142mg; Phosphorus: 13mg

All recipes provided from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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