If you’re like most people, you ate, drank and were merry over the holidays. Who can blame you. It’s typically a time with friends and family and good food and drink. This holiday season may have been different for many people because of the 2020 global coronavirus pandemic and you may not have had the large family gatherings as in the past. Many families and friends celebrated with one another over Zoom calls and enjoyed their meals in a socially distanced way.
Now that the food and drink and all the cookies and cakes and wonderful holiday desserts have been consumed, it’s time to think about your health and your New Year’s Resolutions. Many people do set a resolution to “get healthier” or “eat better” or “exercise more” and that is great! What better way to kick off a new year than with great new habits?
No matter where you live, you can enjoy better health and healthier meals by grilling them up. Bundle up and brave the snow and cold and fire up the charcoal or gas barbecue grill and enjoy a meal with a summery feeling and taste!
Grilled food, is usually healthier than foods cooked indoors because the meats aren’t cooking in their own grease and grilled foods simply taste better. There is no one who can deny that!
When you’re looking at a weight loss plan for the new year — or any time of year — you’ll find that weight loss programs all talk about healthier choices and being selective with the foods you eat AND to get up and move! We have found that grilling meats, fruits and veggies impart a unique flavor that might make even the most unpalatable of foods (kale, anyone!) flavorful and something you want on your plate!
Grill Up Healthy Resolutions For 2021
Here are a few of our favorite grilled meals and we have shared some of these in the past but they are favorites so we wanted to bring them back in case you missed them. Before we get into the recipes though, there are a few things we have discovered.
Grilling and Weight Loss
Grilling foods provide a host of benefits as compared to other cooking methods. This is especially true if you’re looking at a New Year’s resolution of losing weight. The change in food preparation and the different tastes could help you stick to your resolution to eat healtheir.
A major advantage to grilled foods is that the cooking method gets rid of considerable amounts of fat from the meat being grilled. The fewer amounts of fat you consumed, the leaner you will get. When you consume less calories, your body will naturally consume stored body fat and this will help you burn calories and lose weight.
Grilling heightens the flavor of foods. As fats are drawn out from the foods you’re cooking and drips down onto the grill, the flavorful smoke emitted returns to the foods on the grill, and yummo — more flavor!
5 Weight Loss BBQ Recipes
Here are five of our favorite barbecue recipes to add to your menus and help you lose weight while eating flavorful meals!
Barbecue Lime Shrimp and Corn
The lime marinade is full of Vitamin C and that antioxidant helps flush out toxins and free radicals help contribute to weight gain. Toss the citrus peels onto the coals and they will impart a citrus scent and taste to your foods. Grill the corn directly on the coals for a delicious smoky and unique taste.
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
¼ cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons each: low-sodium soy sauce, honey, sugar and freshly grated ginger
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon each coriander seeds and freshly cracked black pepper
2 ears of corn, each cut crosswise into 4 pieces
1 ½ lbs. large shrimps, peeled and deveined
4 cups cooked couscous
How to make it
- In a large zipper bag or bowl with a lid, combine the lime juice, orange juice, soy sauce, honey, garlic, ginger, sugar, coriander seeds, and black pepper.
- Add the shrimp. Allow them to marinate for at least an hour.
- Get your outdoor grill fired up so that it’s about 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Transfer the contents of the zipper bag or bowl to an aluminum foil pan.
- Add the corn.
- Cover the pan with foil.
- Place this on direct heat and allow to cook for 10 minutes.
- Serve with couscous.
Grilled Flank Steak with Potato Mustard Salad
Flank steaks are becoming a favorite steak cut to use in BBQ recipes because they are very affordable, tender and have very little fat content. Potatoes are complex carbs which give your body its required carbs. Mustard in the dressing gives you a kick of added flavor without any of the guilt.
1 ½ lbs small new potatoes
¼ cup chives, chopped, plus additional for garnish
1 tablespoon each: grainy mustard, apple cider vinegar and ground coriander
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 ¼ lbs flank steak, cut into 2
Salt and pepper to taste
How to make it
- Preheat your outdoor grill to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Fill a large pot with about one inch of water and fit this with a steamer basket. Bring the water to a boil. Once it’s boiling, add the potatoes in the steamer basket. Let this steam for about 15 to 18 minutes, or until they become tender. Set them aside and allow it to cool.
- Meanwhile, make a dry rub for your flank steak by combining the ground coriander, salt, and pepper. Rub this all over your steak, gently pressing it so that the rub sticks onto the steak.
- Grill the steak on your outdoor grill over indirect heat for about 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Insert an instant read thermometer to the thickest part of the steak. When it reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit, take it out of the grill. Cover the steak with aluminum foil and allow it to rest for about 5 to 10 minutes.
- While your steak is resting, prepare the dressing for your potato salad. In a large bowl, combine the chives, mustard, apple cider vinegar, and extra virgin olive oil until well blended. Season with salt and pepper. Toss in the potatoes gently until they are well coated.
- Remove the aluminum foil covering from the flank steak and cut into strips. Serve this along with the potato salad.
Grilled Pumpkin and Chicken
The combination of the sweetness of the pumpkin with the tangy lemon marinade makes this a delicious and refreshing lunch that will help you shed extra pounds. You can also choose to replace the pumpkin with summer squash or any vegetable that’s in season to enjoy this all year round. Pumpkin is an ingredient that is full of antioxidants and fiber and is healthy and delicious. You can also take the seeds you’ve removed, soak in salted water and grill or bake until they are roasted. Eat warm and enjoy!
1 whole large lemon, halved
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
4 medium chicken breast fillets
1 small pumpkin, cut into wedges
¼ cup fresh chives
How to make it
- In a large mixing bowl, finely grate about 1 tablespoon of lemon zest from one-half of the lemon. Squeeze in about 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. Add the olive oil, salt, and pepper and mix well. Transfer 2 tablespoons of the mixture into a cup and set aside.
- Add the chicken breasts into the lemon marinade. Cover this with cling film and let it marinate for about 15 minutes at room temperature.
- Prepare your outdoor grill by preheating this to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re using a charcoal fueled outdoor grill, throw in the used lemon half from earlier among the charcoals.
- Place the chicken breast and pumpkin wedges on the hot grill. Place the cover and allow this to cook for 6 minutes. Slice the remaining lemon half into circles. Open the grill and turn the chicken breasts and pumpkin wedges. Quickly grill the lemon circles and set aside. Give the pumpkin and chicken breasts another 6 minutes before taking them out from the grill. Allow the chicken breast to rest for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the pumpkin wedges into large chunks. Toss this into the remaining lemon juice marinade.
- Cut the chicken breasts into 1-inch thick strips. Garnish with the grilled lemon circles, and serve along with the pumpkin chunks.
Grilled Grouper with Basil-Lime Pistou
In this French version of the more popular Italian pesto, lime takes the place of the pine nuts. This gives the dish not only a refreshing twist but also helps take off a few more calories. If you cannot find grouper, you can substitute this with any firm white-meat fish.
For the grouper:
4 6-ounce grouper fillets (about ½ inch thick)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
For the pistou:
1 cup fresh sweet basil leaves
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
½ teaspoon lime zest grated
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1 ½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon salt
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
How to make it
- Add into a food processor the basil, Parmesan cheese, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, salt, and garlic. Pulse everything until it forms a thick, chunky paste. Let it stand for about 10 minutes.
- Heat up your outdoor grill and coat the rack lightly with cooking spray. Place the fish on the hot rack. Grill it for about 4 minutes before turning it over. The fish is done when it flakes away easily with a fork. Set aside.
- To serve, place a fillet of grouper on a plate. Add a tablespoon of the pistou on top. Serve with a light green salad.
Grilled Peaches with Greek Yogurt
Don’t think that you need to give up all sweets and desserts just because you want to lose weight. In fact, denying yourself just makes you crave what you can’t have and then you’re more likely to binge to satisfy your sweet tooth. This healthy dessert satisfies sugar cravings without any guilt whatsoever.
3 ripe peaches
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
¼ cup honey
Cinnamon powder to taste
How to make it
- Preheat your outdoor grill.
- Cut the peaches in half and remove the pits. Place each peach half on the grill face down on indirect heat.
- Meanwhile, combine the Greek yogurt and honey in a small mixing bowl and mix well.
- Check on the peaches. When grill marks are visible, turn this over and let it grill for about 2 minutes.
- Take them off from the grill.
- To serve, place the peaches on a dish with the grilled side up. Add a dollop of the Greek yogurt mixture onto the middle of the peach.
- Sprinkle some cinnamon powder on top of the yogurt mixture.
- Serve along with the rest of the Greek yogurt.
What are you going to do to have a healthier 2021? We definitely want to get out of the house, interact with friends and family again and say buh-bye to 2020!