Summer is here and with it comes one of our favorite ways to cook-grilling. To be fair you can grill at anytime of year, but nothing beats grilling up dinner outside on a lovely summer night. As part of my sponsorship with GIANT Food Stores I’m sharing the ultimate summer grilling guide with tips, advice from nutritionists, and more!
Summer Grilling Guide With GIANT
- Go Lean: Choose cuts of meat that have less fat marbling such as sirloin or tenderloin and chicken or turkey breasts.
- Keep Flavor: Cooking lean meats doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste. While salt and pepper are always favorites you can also add fresh or dry herbs, spices, powders, and pre-made salt free seasoning blends to keep it healthy and flavorful.
- Marinate It: Make a marinade with seasoning combinations, 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.
- Add Grains: Whether you want to stretch your budget or you want to add fiber and vitamins to your dinner you can combine ground meat with cooked whole grains.
- Add Veggies: No need to sneak veggies into your foods with a great burger recipe. Simply add some diced peppers, onions, garlic, or other veggies to your burger blend. It’s a great way to add veggies to your diet.
Serving suggestion: Skip the traditional white flour bun and go for something whole grain. Other options: lettuce wraps, gluten-free buns, or simply no bun at all.
Try Something New
- Go Meatless: While we may love a good burger skip the meat and go veggie for a healthier burger. You can make your own or pick up pre-made patties in GIANT’s freezer section.
- Try Turkey Or Bison: For a “better” burger, try ground turkey or bison. These alternative meats are healthier, lower in fat, and have a ton of flavor.
- Try Tuna: 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.
- Go Fish: Fish are a great source of protein and Omega 3’s. Try lean white fish like flounder, mahi mahi and tilapia that are great grill choices.
Serving suggestions: Add a fruit salsa (like our watermelon 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.
- Oil Your Grill: Even on a clean grill, lean foods may stick when placed directly on the rack. Before you fire up the grill oil the grill rack with oil on a paper towel. You can use tongs to help you get oil on your entire grill without getting it all over yourself.
Veggies On The Grill
- Add A Side Of Veggies: 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. Look for last year’s grilling tips on how to choose the best summer produce for grilling.
- Grill Lettuce: Yes, lettuce!
- One head romaine lettuce
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Red wine vinegar
- (optional) parmesan cheese
- Wash lettuce or buy prewashed lettuce.
- Cut a head of romaine lettuce in half.
- 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.
Fruits On The Grill
- Grilled Dessert: Grill pineapple or banana slices lengthwise and serve with a dollop of low-fat vanilla bean ice cream or frozen yogurt.
- Skewer Fruits: Try grilling stone-fruit, like peaches, nectarines or plums on skewers and flavor with spices like cinnamon, ginger or mint.
Don’t Skimp On Safety
GIANT also wants to make sure your next barbecue is a safe one by keeping food safety top of mind.
Marinate In The Fridge: When preparing your meats, marinate in the refrigerator, not on countertops or outdoors.
Ditch Sauce: Sauce used to marinate raw meat should be discarded and not reused as on the cooked food later.
Check Temps: The best way to know if meat is cooked thoroughly 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. Included below are the recommended internal temperatures that cooked meat and seafood should be to avoid harmful bacteria such as E. coli:
- 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 Leftovers: 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.
Check Out GIANT’s Site For Recipes
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post on behalf of GIANT. All opinions are my own. Find you local GIANT store here.