Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Trim Down Tuesdays: BBQs & Grilling

Slowly slowly Feed Your Sister, is coming back.  Summer is supposed to be about relaxing, time off (if you are a teacher like me), and enjoying the weather...well, for me it's been none of that. I'm working, have no time to cook, am always out and about, and am sort of relaxing in the midst of all that.  I'm trying really hard to work my CSA veggies, and soon fruits, into my posts.  I still have a garlic scape pesto recipe that I want to share, but haven't had time to write it up!  Trim Down Tuesdays are great because Karen Moreno, our in-house nutritionist, posts her own recipes along with great information about various topics.  Today, she'll discuss grilling.  Isn't that what most of us eat a lot of during the summer?! I know I do! I hope you enjoy reading what Karen has to share!  We love to hear your feedback!
This week's question is,What are some tips and rules readers should follow when it comes to grilling on the BBQ? Here's where Karen takes over...
I don’t know about you but I love BBQ’s in the summer, its one of my favorite summer foods and the best thing about it is that it’s healthy too (as long as you follow some of my tips below). Grilling fish such as tuna steaks and salmon can make for a healthy lunch or dinner and if your grilling meats, stick to lean (turkey breast) burgers, white meat chicken, and lean cuts of steak such as round, sirloin, and flank steak. Also remember that you can grill tomatoes, onions, corn and pretty much any vegetable you like just remember to limit the amount of red meat (and hotdogs) you have this summer.
One of the problems though with grilling is that grilling meats at high temperatures can create mutagens known as heterocyclic amines (HCA) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) which can lead to cancer. But don’t worry, if you follow these tips you can grill safely this summer:
  • Avoid cooking meats at high temperatures for a long time
  • Marinating the meat before cooking it can remove compounds that turn into HCA’s (it doesn’t matter how long you marinate for or what’s in it. Even dipping the meat right before grilling it seems to help)
  • Keep the meat on the grill for minimal time at lower temperatures
  • Microwaving the meat before cooking has also been found to eliminate up to 90% of the HCA’s if you microwave for 1 ½-2 min (and throw out the juices) then throw onto the grill
  • Seafood and fish have less HCA’s then meat
  • Keep the meat moist- drying it out and over grilling creates more HCA
  • To switch things up a bit, try baking, roasting, or stir frying meats because they create the least HCA
  • Flip the meat often-flipping every 6 minutes (per side) vs. 10 cuts the HCA production by 70%
  • Skip the drippings-which contain more HCA then the meat itself
  • Veggie burgers and cooked vegetables create barely any HCA’s and cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower and brussel sprouts may actually help the liver detoxify HCA’s.
Side Tip:
You would be surprised to learn that dark meat chicken with skin contains more calories and fat than a hot dog and hamburger:
BBQ chicken (2 pieces) 390 calories, 20 grams of fat
Hot dog contains 260 calories, 17 grams of fat
Hamburger contains 245 calories, 10 grams of fat
So, always opt for white meat chicken with no skin, hamburgers made from extra lean beef and if you must have a hotdog, choose the low fat low sodium variety.
Here's today's recipe!
Grilled Chicken and Vegetable Skewers (serves 4)
(Time Saving Tip: You can buy premade chicken skewers at your local supermarket (and marinade on your own) or make your own at home.)
8 wooden skewers
16 oz white meat chicken, sliced into 2 oz strips
4 Red bell peppers, cut into 2 inch squares
2 medium onions, quartered
For Sauce:
½ cup teriyaki sauce
4 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tsp light soy sauce
½ tsp each: garlic powder, onion powder, pepper
Thread chicken onto skewer, alternating between chicken cubes, peppers, and onions. Set aside.  In a bowl, mix all ingredients for sauce.  Brush sauce over chicken skewers and pour remaining over skewers. Cover and refrigerate for one hour (or less if necessary).  Heat grill and grill chicken skewers for 6-7 minutes per side, or until meat is thoroughly cooked.  Serve with a mixed green salad!
 Nutrition Content (Per 2 skewers with 4 oz chicken): 273 calories 4.5 g fat 1.25 g saturated fat 39 g protein 18.7 g carbohydrates 3.3 g fiber 1637.5 mg sodium 625 mg potassium
-Karen Moreno, MS, RD, CDN 


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