The grill is your friend this summer. You can create whole meals on this simple piece of equipment and make delicious food.
When you grill you use high, direct heat to cook food. This create the nice char and the delicious smoky flavor. But, (always a but) that isn't so healthy.
The charred pieces have carcinogenic compounds. Meat produces more, but veggies have their own. Plus, like all cooking, you lose juices and vitamins with heat.
It's not all bad news. Grilled vegetables taste delicious. They cook fast and retain their snap. It's one of the better cooking methods, far better than boiling.
Here's the best way to cook vegetables and meats on the grill. Marinade everything. A simple marinade keeps away the char, provides wonderful flavor, and keeps everything easy.
Use an oil base. Olive oil is popular. Grapeseed, sesame, and coconut oils are healthier.
Add lots and lots of herbs and spices.
Coat the grill with peanut oil to prevent sticking.
Grill quickly, but don't over cook. Vegetables on the grill need to be done quickly.
Any vegetables can be done on the grill. Larger ones can be cut into smaller pieces. Zucchini, corn, green beans, asparagus, tomato (firm ones), onion, garlic (whole cloves), potato, squash, peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, beets, turnips are all good candidates. All fruit that are a little more solid are also good.
Get your fruits and vegetables from the farmer's market. That way, you get the freshest vegetables. Fresh is important because fresh vegetables retain their structure. Firm vegetables are better.
Ever tried grilled peaches or watermelon? You don't know what you are missing!
All meats can be done on the grill. Eggs and fish should be done in a pan or on foil, because they can fall through the grates.
Obtain your meats from a local butcher that uses local meats. This is far healthier, with a better fat profile (more heart healthy omega-3s). Find a local farm that sells eggs. See if they let their chickens run around and eat weeds and bugs, their natural diet. The meats and eggs taste better on a natural diet, and cook up so much better. Yes, you will taste the difference.
Best of all: you can't cook breads, pastas, or any junk on the grill! Just don't go adding it in.
Cook more on the grill this summer. It's quicker, healthier, and tastier! Plus, choosing the local farmer's markets and butcher is cheaper!