When it’s too hot to cook, it can be tempting to forgo homemade meals and resort to take-out or delivery instead. In our household, spending cash on food we could make ourselves is just impractical, and I’ll bet many of you feel the same. BUT IT’S HOT and no one wants to stand in a heated kitchen. Additionally, heating your oven or stove for a long period of time raises the temperature of the house, thus forcing you to turn on your air-conditioning, or fans, or both! Because of this, many people fire up the grill! Grilling saves heat in the kitchen, but not only that, there are some healthy reasons why you should add grilling to your dinner menu.
- Excess fats drip off meats and cook away leaving less fat in the food itself
- Vegetables retain more vitamins and minerals
- The high heat from the grill seals in moisture and keeps food tender so there’s no need to add oil or butter in the cooking process and you’re less likely to add more sauces or other condiments – thereby reducing calories
- Meats retain more riboflavin and thiamine which are essential vitamins
These are great reasons to start grilling this summer and add some healthy eating habits. Besides, who wants to spend the summer cooking in a hot kitchen?
Summer is the time for lots of fresh produce. These sides are easy and breezy, and since we’re in the days of summer, they’re light enough not to weight you down.
Save yourself some time, energy, and money with these 3 simple summer sides.
Chili-Lime Grilled Corn-on-the-Cob
The perfect grilled corn for a summer barbeque! Always a huge success because it is the perfect mix of spicy and tangy. It is also a great option for the grill because there is no need to smother the corn in butter to make it taste good. Goes great with barbequed steaks or chicken.
6 ears corn on the cob, husks and silk removed
½ cup lime juice
1 tablespoon chili powder
Salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat an outdoor grill foe medium-high heat and lightly oil grate
- Soaked husked ears of corn in a bowl of water for 5-10 minutes. Mix lime juice, chili powder, salt, and black pepper in a separate bowl.
- Remove corn from water and grill, turning often, until corn is golden brown on all sides, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Brush ears with seasoned lime juice as you turn the corn.
Marinated Grilled Eggplant
Simple prep plus simple ingredients equals great food! Serve warm as a side dish or with all your favorite burger fixings.
Makes 4 servings
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 large eggplant, sliced into 1-inch thick rounds
¼ teaspoon Asian fish sauce (optional) or (may substitute Bragg’s Liquid Aminos or Tamari Sauce)
1 tablespoon dried basil
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons grapeseed or refined coconut oil
- Sprinkle garlic salt over both sides of eggplant slices; let sit for 30 minutes to release water.
- Place eggplant slices in a large dish; drizzle with fish sauce. Add basil, balsamic vinegar, and olive oil; stir to evenly coat. Marinate for about 15 minutes.
- Preheat grill for medium heat and lightly oil the grate.
- Remove eggplant from marinade and arrange on preheated grill; cook until tender, occasionally basting with marinade, about 5 minutes per side.
If grilling isn’t your thing, cut eggplant into 1-inch cubes instead of slices and bake for 10 minutes at 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Serve with flat bread, kalamata olives, and feta cheese.
10-Minute Tomato Basil Salad
Perfect for summer, delightfully delicious!
Makes one serving
1 large tomato, cut into wedges
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 ½ teaspoons red wine vinegar, or to taste
1 pinch salt and ground pepper to taste (optional
- Combine tomato, basil, olive oil, vinegar, salt, and black pepper in a large bowl; toss until tomato wedges are evenly coated.
Make it a goal to source locally grown organic produce, organic pastured eggs, raw dairy products, oils, and grass-fed meats as much as possible.