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Guiltless Grilling Tips

Guiltless Grilling Tips

Easy and healthy tips to keep backyard barbecues light and tasty

Grilling outdoors with family and friends is one of the best parts about the summer, but attending gathering after gathering can be hard on your diet, as it’s hard to avoid snacking, eating heavy mayonnaise-based salads, and drinking beer or sugary drinks. While there’s nothing wrong with having a good time, if the good time stops you from feeling good, well, then that’s a problem.

To avoid feeling badly about the fun times spent with friends and family, we’ve turned to Allison Stowell, a dietician for Guiding Stars, to share some helpful tips on how to enjoy backyard barbecues without the guilt. The basics? Incorporating more healthful foods that are packed with whole grains, fiber, minerals, and vitamins to keep you feeling full and satisfied.

Along with her helpful tips, she’s shared a couple of recipes to get you started on the right track. Enjoy and happy eating!


Ultimate Guide to Grilling

Follow our recipes, top-tested picks and great grill tips to ace al fresco cooking, all season long.

There&rsquos nothing more quintessential to summer cooking than firing up the grill. When done right, this top technique results in easy dinners that can be on the table in minutes, with minimal cleanup &mdash ideal for busy weeknights. The almighty grill can also turn out show-stopping main dishes for holidays (4 th of July, anyone?) and special occasions, all while keeping your oven off and your house cool. And once you perfect how to grill, it&rsquos easy to rely on for serving up everything from pizza and chicken to salads and even desserts.

Because grilling is key to every summer celebration, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, the experts at Good Housekeeping curated this in-depth grilling guide which collects all the info you'd ever need to ace cooking on the barbecue. Whether you're planning to prep simple and delicious burgers or an elaborate (but easy!) butterflied and grilled chicken, you'll never be second-guessing your timings or worrying about charring your dinners ever again. From the top tips to delicious and flavor-packed recipes, our knowledgeable editors have tested and tasted hundreds of products to bring you the absolute best.

No matter your level of expertise at the grill, it&rsquos always important to start with the right equipment. The market is saturated with companies touting the best grills, from gas to pellet, charcoal to kamados, and each provides the user with a unique experience and delicious results. Our Kitchen Appliances and Technology Lab experts tested dozens of barbecues to bring you the absolute best you can buy, along with the most helpful accessories to support you along the way. Also key: learning how to clean your grill to start the season off right and ensure easy cooking every time.

Once you&rsquore equipped with the right tools, dive into our top recipes and flavor boosters that turn an average meal into an extraordinary one. From burgers and dogs to grilled veggies and sides, The Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen gathered their favorite barbecue recipes, marinades, store-bought sauces and more so you can serve up dinner with flavor and flair, any night of the week.

So whether you&rsquore a beginner griller looking to buy the perfect grill and hoping to learn how to grill everything, from burgers to veggies, or a seasoned pitmaster determined to step up your flavor game one spice rub at a time, we have the tips, tools and recipes you need to make the most of the season.


Guiltless Blue Cheese Dip/Dressing

With summer quickly approaching, I’m doing my best to eat healthier without sacrificing flavor. I’ve been marinating chicken wings (yes, I’m baking them), and decided I wanted a blue cheese dip to accompany them this time, but know that packs a punch with fat and calories, so was on the hunt for a lighter recipe. I found quite a few using non-fat Greek yogurt, and went with the one I wanted to try, making a couple of modifications. I love that this is about half the calories of your traditional blue cheese dressing and the only fat comes from the blue cheese/gorgonzola. Blue cheese lovers rejoice.

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp. gorgonzola or blue cheese crumbles
  • 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yogurt (I used Fage)
  • Juice of 1/4 small lemon
  • 1/2 tbsp. white vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Pinch garlic powder
  • Pinch onion powder
  • Drizzle of honey or agave
  1. Combine blue cheese, Greek yogurt, lemon juice, Worcestershire and vinegar in a bowl and mix well.
  2. Add all seasonings and a drizzle of agave or honey and stir well with a fork.
  3. Serve with chicken wings, your favorite salad, veggies, etc.

The thickness of the dressing will vary depending on the brand of Greek yogurt you use. If necessary, add water (one tablespoon at a time) and stir until dressing reaches desired consistency.


This is a digital download ebook. You will not receive a hard copy.

You deserve to have something that will make all that hard work a little easier. That’s why I created the Guiltless Nutrition | Lifestyle + Recipe Book! It’s got over 130.

This is a digital download ebook. You will not receive a hard copy.

You deserve to have something that will make all that hard work a little easier. That’s why I created the Guiltless Nutrition | Lifestyle + Recipe Book! It’s got over 130 totally delish recipes, tips on how to clean out your cabinets, healthy swaps, grocery shopping guides, meal prepping made way easy, cooking 101, the best ways to hit up a girls night without getting too cray, and so much more! It’s pretty much the healthy living guide of your dreams.

Guiltless Guide & Recipe Book Includes:

  • 130+ delicious healthy recipes
  • Pantry clean out plan
  • Guide to eating out, learn how to navigate any menu
  • Grocery shopping list with my “Must Have” items
  • Easy to follow meal prep guide
  • Cooking 101 to teach you how to make the staples
  • Pre & Post Workout Snacks
  • REAL healthy easy swaps for your favorite "treat meals"
  • Learn how to deal with cravings
  • My do’s and don’ts of eating
  • Nutritional education to start your healthy lifestyle

NOTE: This is not a meal plan. You can find the LSF 4 Week Hot Body Meal Plan here.


Wrap up dinner with 7 recipes for simple, flavorful packet cooking

My initial introduction to packet cooking was definitely some kind of hodgepodge meal put together in foil and thrown on a grill at summer camp overnights. (Yes, including banana boats!) Not a bad first take, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to this cook-friendly strategy.

Packet cooking has a number of things going for it. If you’re a family, it’s fun to let everyone choose and assemble their own parcels. Enclosing food in parchment or foil packets allows for steaming, a particularly efficient cooking method that is gentle enough for delicate proteins, especially fish. Because the steam is so intense and cooks the exterior of the food so quickly, it’s best to stick with smaller cuts and pieces of vegetables. The sealed environment traps moisture — no dry food here! — and lets you infuse the ingredients with a variety of flavors, especially wine and herbs. And, of course, the cleanup, whether you’re popping the packets into the oven or onto the grill, is minimal when everything is self-contained. There’s also the dramatic reveal, when each diner can open their packet and be greeted with a whoosh of aromatic steam.

So let’s take a gander through our archives for some great options to help you practice packet cooking.

Cajun Shrimp in Foil Packets. Bold spices and andouille sausage make this simple recipe pop. The yield is 8 servings, great for a group, though it also includes an option for freezing portions to cook later.

Fish en Papillote. A heady blend of herbs, pepper, lemon and wine lends oomph to fish fillets. Try with cod, pompano or trout.


Safety Tips for Grilling with Propane

Here are a few safety tips to keep in mind when grilling with propane, courtesy of PERC:

  1. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions- follow your grill manufacturer’s instructions for assembly, use, maintenance, cleaning, or storage.
  2. Position the grill in a safe place- keep your grill outdoors and at least 5 feet from the house on a level surface that is clear of outdoor furniture, overhead trees, or other potential fire hazards.
  3. Check for leaks- Check connections to the propane cylinder for leaks using a soapy water solution. Expanding bubbles indicate a leak.
  4. Follow proper lighting/relighting procedures- Follow your grill manufacturer’s instructions and owner’s manual for proper lighting and relighting procedures.
  5. Be present- stay close and never leave your grill unattended.

Select the right meats

Vasiliy Budarin/Shutterstock

Chef Samuel Hess at Grays Restaurant and Bar at the Hilton in Vancouver, Washington, tells us one of the most important steps before you even grill is choosing the right protein-packed meats. "Meats suitable for quick grilling will yield to the touch and not spring back. Think of the difference between raw chicken breast and pot roast," he says. "Meats that fit this description and have a little marbling are good choices for healthy grilling. Keep in mind that lean meats will overcook and dry out more quickly."

Learn more about how to enjoy meat healthily with the Best-Ever Proteins for Weight Loss!


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  • 2 tablespoons grass fed butter or ghee or drippings from any meat or poultry you are cooking
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or bone broth
  • 1 tablespoons arrowroot depending on desired thickness
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or tablespoon fresh) chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or tablespoon fresh) chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup precooked meat of your choice finely chopped (uncured ham works well- when heated in a pan it tastes like bacon. Or use chicken, ground turkey etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream or full fat coconut milk
  • 2 tablespoons grass fed butter or ghee or drippings from any meat or poultry you are cooking
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken broth or bone broth
  • 1 tablespoons arrowroot depending on desired thickness
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme (or tablespoon fresh) chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or tablespoon fresh) chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup precooked meat of your choice finely chopped (uncured ham works well- when heated in a pan it tastes like bacon. Or use chicken, ground turkey etc.)
  • 1 tablespoon coconut cream or full fat coconut milk

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  • 1 box lemon cake mix
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 small box sugar free/fat free instant lemon pudding mix
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest (about one medium-sized lemon)
  • 1 box instant coconut pudding mix
  • 1 cup cold fat-free milk
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 4 ounces fat free or reduced fat cream cheese, room temperature
  • 8 ounces Cool Whip Free, thawed
  • Shredded coconut

Step 1

Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

Liberally grease two 9" cake pans with cooking spray and set aside.

In a large bowl, beat together the cake mix, egg whites, water, applesauce, lemon pudding mix and lemon zest with a handheld electric mixer until combined. Portion the batter evenly among the two greased cake pans

Bake for approximately 18-20 minutes or until the cakes spring back lightly when touched and a toothpick inserted near the center comes out mostly clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before gently inverting them onto wire racks to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make your frosting: in the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the coconut pudding mix, powdered sugar and milk. Whisk until the frosting is smooth. Stir in the cream cheese until combined. Then fold in the whipped topping into the mixture. Refrigerate the frosting until ready to serve, or about 1 hour.

Place a cake round on a serving platter or cake stand. Top with half of the frosting mixture, spreading it just to about the border -- don't actually spread to the border or else it'll all mush out.

Top with the remaining cake

Spread the remaining frosting to top of the cake.

Generously pat on the shredded coconut to cover the top and sides of the cake. Serve!


Watch the video: GUILTLESS CRISPY OVEN BAKED BUFFALO CHICKEN WINGS (January 2022).