Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Healthy eats for the grill

All this gorgeous (and warm!) weather inspires me to fire up the grill (and throw on the tank tops, flippy flops, and pull a ponytail!) No matter what you choose--meats or veggies, fruits, and even dessert--creating bold and flavorful food without a lot of added fat and calories can be achieved with your BBQ grill.

Anything grilled has a unique, smoky flavor, and not to mention that it’s one super-quick cooking method. So, forget those hot dogs and store bought beef patties and make room for yummy and deliciously healthy grill mates. I love to play around and sample different kinds of foods--from meats to vegetables, to vegetarian dishes and with the beautiful array of summer produce in my grocery store, I can’t help but add a few more servings of fruit and vegetables to my daily plate. Fruit and vegetables provide the body with lots of vitamins and minerals (especially potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin C, & folic acid), phytochemicals and antioxidants. Compared to people who eat only small amounts of fruits and vegetables, those who eat more generous amounts—as part of a healthy diet—are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases. These diseases include stroke, type 2 diabetes, some types of cancer, and even heart disease. To find out your personal fruit and vegetable needs check out I need 2 cups of fruit and 2.5 cups of veggies every day! Help get that extra serving with this tasty grill recipe.

Sweet and Sour Chicken
•    4 (6-ounce) skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
•    2 cups teriyaki marinade, divided
•    2 cups (1-inch) cubed fresh pineapple
•    1 1/2 cups yellow or orange bell pepper strips
•    1 1/2 cups red bell pepper strips
•    2 cups vertically sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
•    2 cups cherry tomatoes
•    1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
•    Place chicken in a large zip-top plastic bag; add 1 cup marinade. Seal bag; toss gently to coat. Place pineapple, bell peppers, and onion in another large zip-top plastic bag; add 1 cup marinade. Seal bag; toss gently to coat. Refrigerate bags 2 hours, turning occasionally.
•    Prepare grill.
•    Drain pineapple mixture, discarding marinade. Place pineapple mixture and tomatoes in a large foil cooking bag. Drain chicken, discarding marinade. Place chicken on top of pineapple mixture. Seal and cut 6 (1/2-inch) slits in top of cooking bag. Place bag on grill. Grill 25 minutes or until chicken is done. Cut bag open with a sharp knife or cooking shears. Carefully peel back foil. Sprinkle with cilantro.

Nutrition Information:
Serves 4 (1 chicken breast and 1 cup pineapple mixture)
Calories: 336 Fat: 3.2 g Carbohydrate: 35 g Fiber: 7 g Protein: 43 g

If you have a question for the dietitian, visit

Amber Massey RD, LD
Registered Dietitian
Executive Health Program
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth

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