Memorial Day Weekend is the Perfect Opportunity to Fire Up Your Grill
Warmer weather calls for doing more things outdoors, like eating. This Memorial Day Weekend is the perfect time to fire back up your grill and get outside for a barbecue. Grilled foods are an easy way to utilize fresh summer ingredients to make a nutritious meal that is packed with flavor.
Before you heat up that grill for the season, there is one thing to look out for when preparing for your barbecue. When proteins, like chicken, steak or fish are grilled at high temperatures, cancer-causing compounds (carcinogens) called HCAs form, especially where the meat is charred. This does not mean you should not cook your meats fully on the grill, just grill meat low and slow to prevent excess charring. Also, you should use a meat thermometer to ensure that it had reached a safe minimum internal temperature.
However, you don’t need that perfect char on your grilled foods to get flavor. Marinades are an easy way to prepare barbecue proteins and vegetables to ensure that they will have a strong flavor. Marinating is especially important when choosing healthier, leaner cuts of meat, because it adds tenderness as well as flavor. Certain marinades such as ones with lemon juice or orange juice also contain beneficial vitamins and minerals like vitamin C. If you don’t have time to make your own marinade, The local Philadelphia company, Condiment, located at the Reading Terminal Market, sells a large variety of freshly made preservative-free marinades, dressings and sauces that are the perfect add-on to any barbecue. Check their stand out, open every day of the week, to get a fresh, tasty marinade that will make your grilled foods taste great.
Philadelphia Condiments Signature BBQ Sauces
Many people think that grilling and marinating only involves meat products but there are unlimited options when it comes to the grill. At your next barbecue, try swapping some of your meat products for a plant based protein. You can cook veggie burgers on the grill, or add pieces of tofu to skewers.
Seafood is also tasty when grilled and filled with nutrients such as Omega 3. You can add shrimp to kabobs with pineapple or vegetables. Make fish in foil packets or grill it on a cedar plank that you either buy presoaked or soak your own the night before your barbeque. This link from our Pinterest page has tips and instructions on making the perfect cedar plank salmon. https://delishably.com/meat-dishes/Culinary-Basics-Cedar-Planked-Salmon
Another great way to change up your barbeque this weekend is to have seasoned grilled vegetable kabobs on the side. In-season vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and peppers taste great on the grill. You can either make these kabobs separately or stick veggies in between your proteins for a more complete meal. Fruits like pineapple or peaches get even sweeter when grilled, so try having those for healthier dessert.
Finally, when preparing food for a barbecue you don’t want to forget about the side dishes. There are many ways to incorporate summer fruits and vegetables in grain salads that go perfectly with grilled proteins. Serving infused waters with fruits like strawberries, lemons, or watermelon and herbs like fresh basil and mint, are a refreshing and healthy way to cool off from the grill heat. Check out Key Nutrition’s Pinterest page for many other tips, recipes and inspirations for you perfect Memorial Day Weekend barbecue. https://www.pinterest.com/keynutritionllc/
Reading Terminal Market Produce Section
Sarah Domino, Penn State Intern