Get Out & Grill

Step away from the stove and grab your grill tools.  Summer is here and it’s the perfect time of year to take meal prep out of the kitchen and into your backyard.  When it comes to grilling, people often think of hamburgers and hotdogs, but the truth is, your grill can be as versatile as your oven or stovetop.  Here are  a few dishes for you to try outside this summer.

Fruit. Yes, fruit!  Heat from the grill causes fruits natural sugars to caramelize and intensifies their flavor, creating a delicious low calorie, vitamin packed dessert or side dish.  Simply brush fruit with olive oil or butter and place it on the grill for about five minutes.  Try halved peaches or pineapple skewers served with vanilla ice cream for a sweet ending to your meal.  For a savory twist, serve grilled watermelon slices with a little arugula, feta cheese and balsamic vinegar.

-Salad.  It might seem like another unlikely candidate, but sturdy lettuce like romaine can also be a great match for the grill.  Simply take a head of romaine lettuce and cut in half lengthwise.  Brush each half with olive oil and place on a hot grill for 4 to 5 minutes.  To serve, drizzle each wedge with vinaigrette and sprinkle on your favorite cheese.

Pizza.  Mimic the flavor of a wood burning oven with your grill.  The high heat will cut down on cooking time and create a crispy crust.  To save time on prep, purchase a fresh dough ball from your grocery store deli.  Once rolled out, slide dough onto heated and greased grill grates and let sit for about 3 minutes.   Then, flip over and top with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and other favorite toppings before placing back on the grill for 3 more minutes.  That’s it!  Dinner is served.

Laura Marbury, MS, RD, LD