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Simple Summer Burger Guide for Healthier Cookouts

We’re still a full month away from the first day of summer, but the season unofficially starts this weekend with Memorial Day. Gas and charcoal grills the nation over are primed and ready to fire up the best warm-weather eats. But are you ready for what’s about to be dished out?

The grill can be a friend and a foe. Rather than deep- or pan-frying, you can grill for better flavor and far less calories and fat. However, depending on the cut of meat, how you dress it after, and even how you prepare it to cook can turn perfectly healthy foods in to calorie bombs. Follow our simple guide for healthier cookouts and you won’t have anything to regret by summer’s end.

Grill a Better Burger.

If you can’t bare to part with beef then select the leanest cut you can find. A 93/7 ground beef is pretty widely available and will still hold up on the grill. If you’re buying local meat, be sure to specifically request lean cuts.
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How to Grill Simple Summer Seafood

With a summer heat wave affecting most of the country, home cooks are more enthusiastic than ever about recipes that don’t involve turning on the oven or stove. If you’re already tiring of salads, sandwiches and simple grilled chicken, it’s time to look to the sea for some grilling inspiration.

Lauren Salkeld , Senior Editor, Epicurious, likes to keep things simple when she’s preparing or cooking seafood on the grill.

Use healthy oils. Sometimes people perceive fish to be difficult to grill because it falls apart during the cooking process. “Fish often falls apart because it sticks to the grill,” said Salkeld. “Be sure to gently rub or brush fish with oil and you shouldn’t have too much trouble.” To keep your favorite fish figure-friendly, opt for a heart-healthy oil, like canola or olive.


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6 Foods You Aren’t Grilling but Should

By Melissa Breyer for Care2.com

Meat, meat, meat, occasionally corn, and more meat. That’s the dedicated job of many a grill, but it doesn’t have to be that way. The surprising items listed here can become the components of a vegetarian barbecue dinner, or can be grilled alongside meat as accompaniments.

 

1. Salad

Grilled salad, yum, the antithesis of a big slab of meat on the grill. You can grill many kinds of lettuce, but the heartier varieties hold up better to the char. Use romaine, endive or cabbage–you can separate leaves, use clusters of leaves, or cut the head in two and grill the halves face down. Brush them lightly with oil and grill over medium heat until just charred and not yet wilting into smithereens. There are many recipes online for caesar salad using grilled romaine, but you can make just about any salad you like.
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Six Vegetarian Main Dishes Fit for the Grill

When you’re planning a picnic or cookout, creating a perfect menu can be challenging when you have vegetarians coming to dinner.

Though most vegetarians eat a varied, balanced diet, carnivores might have a difficult time coming up with inventive main dish options for guests with dietary restrictions.

Rainbow Sandwich: If cold cuts are on the menu for your next picnic, don’t relegate the vegetarians to cheese sandwiches or peanut butter and jelly. Tomatoes, avocado and pesto make for such a delicious sandwich that even your meat eaters in the group will want one.


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How to Grill Perfect Vegetables

Either as a side dish or the main event, grilled vegetables are a fresh, healthy way to celebrate the summer season.

Not only is it important to eat more vegetables as part of a healthy diet, but if you’re eating more vegetables, chances are you’re eliminating higher-fat foods in favor of colorful, plant-based foods.

Opt for Veggies that Grill Well

Just like meats, different types of vegetables stand up to heat differently. Eggplant, summer squash, button mushrooms, peppers, corn on the cob and onions are all excellent on the grill. To serve them in a more creative way, opt for kabobs or a grilled vegetable salad.


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