by Elizabeth Rooney

grillingAt this time of year, all that summertime fun begins to get a bit overwhelming for the waistline! But with access to a grill, any assortment of fresh meats; fruits; and vegetables on hand, and some helpful advice from Megan Collins, a Registered Dietitian as well as the Health and Wellness Manager at ShopRite of Yardley, you will be able to keep you and your family on the healthy track for the last weeks of summer and well into the fall harvest season.

Grilling is a healthy way to make full-flavored yet healthy meals. Megan suggests if you are preparing burgers, make your own patties with extra lean ground beef. Adding chopped, or even better grated, vegetables and spices will add moisture and enhance the meat’s flavor. For steaks and chicken breast, trim the visible fat from the edges before cooking to save you from plenty of unwanted calories and fat. Experiment with different spices and herbs on your meats instead of high calorie marinades. Try paprika, salt, pepper, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, and cayenne pepper.

Safety Tip! If meats are frozen, be sure to not to thaw on the counter because if defrosted to room temperature your meat is in the danger zone of growing bacteria. Always thaw foods in the microwave, refrigerator or as part of the cooking process. Be sure to leave meats in the refrigerator until you are ready to cook them on the grill.

And grilling isn’t just for meat. Dice up your favorite kind of potato, add spices, butter or oil, and wrap it up in foil and throw it on the grill. Make sure you put the nutrient-dense potatoes on the grill prior to grilling the meat because potatoes take about 30 minutes to cook.

And we can’t talk about healthy grilling without bringing up vegetables! Corn on the cob, thickly sliced squash and eggplant, asparagus, Vidalia onions, Portobello mushrooms, and halved heads of cauliflower all make an excellent healthy option for a side dish. Slice and dice your veggies and throw them on. And believe it or not fruit is great for grilling as well; with natural sugars deliciously caramelizing under the heat! Grilled watermelon with some balsamic vinegar dressing and feta cheese is great summer salad option. Other fruits that are great for the grill are apples, peaches, strawberries, coconut, figs, bananas, and cantaloupe.

11800126_870486066375007_6063887714137998248_nWith easy access to fresh fruits and veggies and beautiful weather, summertime is the season for healthy grilling.  ShopRite of Yardley not only stocks dozens of farm fresh ingredients each week, but they also pre-prep grill-ready favorites like kabobs and stuffed meats for locals short on time.

Of course, be sure to practice portion control when it comes to savoring summer dishes. Enjoy the rest of the summer while staying fit and healthy. Stop by Shoprite of Yardley and check out their fresh variety of meat and keep your summer sizzling! You can find weekly specials, events, and online shopping options on their website and be sure to stop by their store in Oxford Oak Shopping Center to get some more healthy and helpful advice from Dietitian Megan Collins.