According to the 23rd annual grill-owner survey sponsored by Weber, a manufacturer of outdoor gas and charcoal grills and accessories, about 74% of grill owners will fire up the backyard BBQ at least once per week during the summer months. The survey said that most people like to stick to basics – hamburgers and chicken are the most popular – while desserts, seafood and pizza are reported as the most challenging. For families looking to mix things up and for Moms wanting to add variety to outdoor BBQ, it’s time to tackle these grill challenges with some easy, but better-for-you ideas. Elizabeth M. Ward, MS, RD, mother of three and author of MyPlate for Moms, How to Feed Yourself & Your Family Better is an expert in nutrition, and master at simplifying the most difficult dish for a family-friendly meal. Here is what Ward suggests:
Challenge #1: Desserts on the grill
“Dessert doesn’t need to be difficult and it also offers a great opportunity to increase your fruit consumption,” says Ward. “For about 80 calories per thick slice, you can enjoy the natural sweetness of a grilled pineapple.” Ward recommends slicing a fresh pineapple and grilling until it’s warm and has eye-catching grill marks line each side.
Challenge #2: Seafood
“Few foods are easier to grill than kabobs and if you’re new to fish, start with seafood, like shrimp,” says Ward. For a flavorful kabob with a spicy zip, Ward suggests trying Serrano-Lime Marinated Shrimp. The recipe uses Country Crock®, not butter, so it has 70% less saturated fat than butter and no hydrogenated oils – so no trans fat!*
Challenge #3: Pizza on the Grill
“Homemade pizza is delicious on the grill and a great way to help your family eat more veggies,” says Ward. Ward says that you can make your own dough, purchase raw dough or even use the pre-cooked variety. “Use the grill to cook the dough, and then top it with your favorite fixings,” recommends Ward. She suggests that once the dough is lightly browned on both sides, top with tomato sauce, chopped tomatoes, onions, green peppers or any favorite veggies – such as, zucchini, broccoli or red peppers – sprinkle with low fat mozzarella and close the lid. Once the cheese melts, you’ll have a veggie-full grilled pizza! For a festive, American flag-themed veggie pizza the whole family will love, try this recipe for a Pizza Flag by Clare Crespo.
* Country Crock® Regular and Churn Style have 60 calories, 7g fat, 2g saturated fat and 0g of trans fat per serving. One serving (1Tbsp.) of butter contains 100 calories, 11g total fat, 7g saturated fat. (http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/).