Getting a grill ready for a summer meal. (Photo: Vincent Keiman)
When that’s the question on your mind it’s easy just to run through the closest drive through but why not take advantage of the long, bright sunny days by enjoying a healthy, lean grilled meal that will help you keep shedding any unwanted pounds. Grilling foods is a great way to prepare a tasty low-fat, low-calorie meal and not heat up the kitchen.
Did you know that foods naturally lose fat as they cook on a grill? Begin by selecting lean cuts of meat allowed in our Diet Center weight loss programs such as beef tenderloin or sirloin, pork loin chops, salmon fillets, or skinless chicken or turkey breast. Try them marinated in fat-free salad dressing for added flavor. You can also season with vinegar, herbs, lemon juice, or vegetable oil.
Keep portion sizes in mind. Four ounces of raw meat is about equivalent to 3 ounces of cooked meat. Lean meats cook fast, so you can prepare meals quickly. Almost as fast or maybe even faster than the drive through. Remember to keep an eye on them while grilling.
Fish is usually done when it flakes easily or if the temperature is 160 degrees or above. Chicken can be difficult to get right on the grill. If you can start with chicken that is antibiotic & hormone free for the best taste. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper before putting it on the grill. If you are cooking skinless, boneless chicken breasts cook them on medium for a charcoal grill. Medium high for a gas grill. Watch them carefully and take them off about a minute before they are cooked through the heat will carry-over the cooking as they rest.
You may notice cooler spots on your grill so you may have to move your chicken around and turn it until the pieces are cooked evenly. The perfect internal temperature for white meat chicken is 160 degrees for dark meat 165 degrees. If you don’t have a thermometer do a little cut into the middle to check that it’s just about opaque in the center.
For bone in pieces insert a small knife to the bone and if the juices are clear it’s done if they are still pink let it cook a little bit longer. If you use sauces or glazes apply those toward the end of cooking because those can burn.
You can also grill your veggies, potatoes, and corn to complete your tasty lean meal! They can be seasoned with fat-free salad dressing as well, or any other appropriate seasoning you desire. If don’t have a barbecue grill you can also use a grill pan that can be placed on your stove top.
Thank you for reading Diet Center’s tip of the week. If you are struggling with your weight, please call me today at 928-753-5066 or stop by 1848 Hope Ave. in Kingman.