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Guy's Guide to Grilling

Tips, tricks, and recipes for delicious, heart-healthy meals.
WebMD Magazine - Feature

Firing up the grill is a delicious summer ritual. This year, before you start shaping your burgers and salting your steaks, check out these four full-flavored recipes courtesy of Dave Grotto, RD, author of 101 Optimal Life Foods  and self-described "dad who grills."

Grotto has a long list of things he likes about grilling. The smoky accent it imparts is No. 1. On the grill, even the veggies his family normally dubs boring are transformed into treats. But Grotto also grills because it's easy on the arteries. A quick spray of cooking oil is all you need to keep things from sticking, lean meats and fish are standouts, and for dads dead-set on steaks, much of the saturated fats found in well-marbled meats drip down into the pit rather than ending up on the plate. That's an ideal recipe for healthy summer eating.

Flank Steak Tacos

You'd be hard pressed to find a more delicious or grill-friendly cut than flank steak. It's tender, lean, and quick-cooking. And with a tangy papaya marinade, not only does it taste great, but the marinade can help prevent the buildup of potential carcinogens called heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, that form on grilled meats.

Servings: 8


1½ pounds flank steak

1/3 cup papaya juice concentrate

1/3 cup white vinegar

½ cup light soy sauce

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 limes, juiced

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp ground white pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp chipotle or chili powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

¼ tsp nutmeg

1 tsp paprika

8 corn or wheat tortillas

Assorted toppings: onions, tomatoes, green peppers, cilantro, grated Monterey Jack cheese


1. Place the flank steak in a large glass baking dish.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the papaya juice, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic cloves, juice of two limes, and olive oil. Add in all of the dry seasonings. Whisk until well blended, and then pour it over the flank steak, turning the steak over once to coat both sides.

3. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate at least four hours, but preferably overnight.

Grill Time

1. Heat the grill to medium high. Lightly oil the rack.

2. Grill the flank steak for about 5–7 minutes on each side.

3. Remove the steak from the grill and let it rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes to allow the juices to absorb back into the meat before slicing.

4. While the steak is resting, warm the tortillas in a slightly oiled skillet over low heat for about a minute on each side.

5. Thinly slice the steak on the diagonal.

6. Arrange two or three tortillas on each plate. Lay several pieces of steak on each tortilla and top with your choice of chopped onion, cilantro, tomatoes, green peppers, and cheese. Garnish with lime wedges.

275 calories, 12 g fat (3 saturated fat),40 mg cholesterol, 410 mg sodium, 15 g carbohydrate, 1 g fiber, 26 g protein. Calories from fat: 39%.

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