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A Healthier Way to Grill

6 ways to avoid the pitfalls of barbecuing
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6. Skewer It

A fun way to cut down on grilling time is to thread small pieces of meat or fish on a skewer. Scallops and shrimp are naturals for skewers, too. I like to alternate pieces of meat, chicken, or seafood with bell pepper and onion pieces, zucchini slices, cherry tomatoes, and/or small mushrooms.

Don't have skewers? No problemo. I love to use branches of rosemary as my skewers. They infuse a hint of rosemary into the food as it cooks -- not to mention the beautiful presentation it makes.

Fire Up the Barbie

Now that you've learned some healthy grilling secrets, here are three lightened-up recipes to try.

Teriyaki Portabella Mushroom Burger with Garlic Mayonnaise

Journal as: 1 veggie burger OR 2 slices bread + 1/2 cup vegetable without added fat + 1 teaspoon mayonnaise.

Burgers:
2 portabella mushrooms (about 3 1/2 inches wide), cleaned and stems removed
2 tablespoons bottled teriyaki sauce
2 large, thin slices reduced-fat Jack cheese (1-2 ounces)
2 multigrain or whole-wheat hamburger buns
2 leaves lettuce
4 tomato slices

Garlic Mayonnaise:
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4-1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
A few drops Worcestershire sauce (optional)
Ground pepper and seasoning salt to taste

  • Fire up the coals or grill. Spread teriyaki sauce over the mushrooms and let marinate while the coals heat.
  • Grill the mushrooms about 6 inches from the heat until tender (about 4-5 minutes a side).
  • Put cheese on top and grill briefly to melt.
  • Assemble burgers by placing lettuce and tomato on each bottom bun. Top with the cheese-topped mushroom. Spread each top bun lightly with half the garlic mayonnaise and place on top of the mushroom (the lettuce keeps the bottom bun from getting soggy).

Makes 2 burgers.

Per burger: 268 calories, 14 g protein, 32 g carbohydrate, 9.5 g fat (3.4 g saturated fat, 2.5 g monounsaturated fat, 0.8 g polyunsaturated fat), 11 mg cholesterol, 5 g fiber, 410 mg sodium (not including seasoning salt). Calories from fat: 32%.

Cajun Sirloin Burgers

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