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Michael TorchiaOperation Fitness
Michael Torchia

Healthy Barbecuing Recipes and Tips in Time For Summer

So many of us savor the memories of the summer barbeque and are planning cookouts on the grill, with summer right around the corner and Memorial Weekend, 4th of July and Father's Day fast approaching. But some studies have warned that grilling meats or fish at BBQ's is not as healthy as broiling or baking, due to cancer causing compounds caused by this cooking method. Grilling or cooking at high temperatures can convert meat proteins to compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCA).

The good news is there are easy ways to reduce the health risks. One idea for healthy grilling is to prepare healthy vegetarian barbeque kabobs, using vegetable or tofu ingredients. But even traditional BBQ fare and grilled meats can be made a bit healthier if you follow these easy healthy cooking tips.

Here are some tips for a healthy BBQ:

- Buy natural cooking briquettes and wood chips at your local natural food supermarket.

- Try eco-friendly barbequing with a propane grill instead of a charcoal grill.

- Skip using lighter fluid as it has high levels of Volatile Organic Compounds.

- Try grilling vegetables -this is easily done on skewers, grilling baskets, or with tinfoil.

- Meatless grilling recipes such as Boca Burgers, tofu dogs etc...

- Buy organic meat, poultry, and wild fish when possible. - Keep portions of meat small.

- Marinating meat, poultry, and seafood healthier and reduces HCAs.

- Trim the fat off of meats - Cook slowly over medium heat and turn frequently to reduce HCAs

- Removed burnt portions of barbecued meats.

- Supplement your BBQ main course with lots of fresh vegetables and fruits.

Here's just a taste of some of my favorite Healthy Grilling Recipes!


3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons olive oil cracked black pepper
4 chicken breast fillets
4 limes, halved

Combine vinegar, garlic, oil and pepper in a bowl and pour over chicken. Allow to marinate for 5 minutes. Remove chicken from marinade and place on a pre-heated BBQ for 1-2 minutes on each side, also place limes on the BBQ to caramelize. Serve with limes and a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar.

Barbecue Salmon Steaks - serves 4

2 tbsp Light soy sauce
1/4 tsp Splenda
4 salmon steaks Green Sauce
1/2 cup parsley
1/2 cup roughly chopped chives
1/4 tsp ginger
2 tbsp capers
2 tbsp chopped onion
1/2 cup Olive oil
1 tbsp lemon or lime juice
1 hard-boiled egg

Freshly ground black pepper. Combine soy sauce and sugar. Brush each salmon steak with soy sauce mixture. Barbecue, turning occasionally until salmon is cooked. Serve hot with Green Ginger Sauce.

Green ginger sauce: Place parsley, chives, ginger, capers and onion in the bowl of a blender or food processor. Process until finely chopped. Add olive oil, lemon or lime juice and egg. Process until smooth.

Grilled Chicken Kabobs - serves 4

2 tsp ground mustard
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves
2 md zucchini cut in
1 1/2 in Slices
1 md onion cut in wedges
1 md green pepper cut into chunks
12 fresh mushrooms

In a resealable plastic bag, combine the mustard and Worcestershire sauce. Add water, soy sauce and oil; remove 1/3 cup and set aside for basting. Cut chicken into 1 1/2 inch pieces; add to bag. Seal and refrigerate for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Drain, discarding marinade. Thread chicken and vegetables alternately on skewers. Baste with reserved marinade. Grill over hot coals for 10 minutes. Turn and baste. Cook 10 minutes more or until chicken juices run clear.

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus is said to be a delicacy and barbequed asparagus is no exception! Simply take a bunch, trim the bottoms, and toss in a tbsp of olive oil and season with freshly milled salt and pepper. Pop on the grill for 2-3 minutes or until to desired tenderness - this one will wow your guests!

Low-Fat Garlic Mushrooms

Take a large square of tin foil, spray with a light cooking spray, add some sliced mushrooms, a clove of crushed garlic, freshly milled salt and pepper and wrap up in a parcel. Cook the parcel on the BBQ for about 15-20 minutes.

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