Healthy Grilling Tips


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  14 comments   :  10,175 Views

By Regina Ragone, R.D., Family Circle Magazine Food Director

Most women do the happy dance when their other half offers to make dinner. The downside: What arrives at the table is usually not very healthy. But when chef Michael Lomonaco of Porter House New York cooks at home for his wife, Diane, the steak guru refuses to be typecast, often opting for fish and flavorful veggies, with plenty of hot chiles, garlic, herbs and spices. If he does serve meat outside the restaurant, he looks for a leaner cut, like top-round London broil, and serves it with a garlicky chimichurri sauce and sweet onions. Taste his other suggestions for lighter but still manly meals.

Light the fire. Meat, fish, poultry, vegetables, potatoes—they all hit the rack at Casa Lomonaco. Grilling food produces an especially satisfying flavor and is so much better for you than frying or sauteing in butter. Just before serving, brush on a little amped-up olive oil. To make, heat 1 cup olive oil in a saucepan, season with 1 to 2 tablespoons of your favorite barbecue spice mix (he uses smoked paprika), let steep for an hour, cool, then strain through a paper coffee filter.

Walk the plank. Cedar-plank salmon is one of the most popular picks at Porter House. Michael soaks untreated cedar shingles, readily available at lumber yards, in warm water for an hour before cooking (planks specifically for cooking are also available in many hardware stores). Season the fish fillet with salt, pepper and other spices as desired, then lay it on a cedar plank set in a roasting pan. Slide pan into a 375-degree oven or place it on the unfired side of an outdoor grill, covered, 8 to 10 minutes per inch thick.

Roast for the most. Preheat a cast-iron pan over medium heat, sear meat or fish on one side for 3 minutes, flip, then slide the whole pan into a 375-degree oven for 5 to 7 minutes or until cooked to desired doneness.

Create your own barbecue rub with your favorite spices—or use Michael's (Click here for Chef Lomonaco's Chile Rub Recipe). It complements meat, fish and poultry, and lasts for weeks in the fridge.

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Who works the grill in your house?

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  • 14
    I can not grill at the condo. I enjoy grilling so much, I will go to the park for a grilled burger and veggies. - 6/8/2011   6:42:11 PM
    We started doing healthy pizzas on the grill and it's so awesome to have that kind of treat without heating up the whole house... and it's a lot neater with so much less clean up too!! - 6/8/2011   11:45:00 AM
  • 12
    My husband works the barbecue, and I work the inside grill. I love a barbecue, especially, since I only make the salads. - 6/8/2011   10:53:53 AM
  • 11
    That would be me! I hate to heat up the kitchen in the summer time. I've just bought a new grill and can't wait to start using it. - 6/8/2011   9:49:49 AM
    My husband used to, he did the best ribs, but health problems have sidelined him, everyone in the family misses his flair with the ribs - 6/8/2011   9:15:54 AM
  • 9
    DH is usually in charge of the grill at our house (when he remembers to get propane) - 6/8/2011   8:47:18 AM
    We don't own a grill since neither my husband nor myself know how to use one. It's an expensive investment to get a good one without knowing if either of us could successfully grill. - 6/8/2011   8:02:25 AM
  • 7
    We only have a George Foreman Grill and I use that. - 6/8/2011   1:17:25 AM
    I have a camping grill - the bigger kind is illegal in my neighborhood - so I'll have to try these out sometime - sneakily. - 6/7/2011   8:22:35 PM
  • 5
    My husband does the grilling at our house. He can cook a steak better than any restaurant we've been to! - 6/7/2011   5:20:04 PM
  • 4
    husband does all the grilling at our house. He does like to try out new spices and herbs. - 6/7/2011   1:13:17 PM
  • 3
    My husband, we grill all year long and experiement with all types of herbs to get a diffetent flavor. - 6/7/2011   12:07:49 PM
  • 2
    Me and I love it. This weekend I made some of the juiciest boneless skinless chicken breast. I marinated it some white wine, garlic, rosemary and pepper. I put it on a very hot grill, turned the burners off under the chicken but left the burners on the other side. I put a pan of water on the direct heat, made sure the internal temp of the grill was around 300-325. I slow cooked on one side until white and firm. I basted with homemade BBQ sauce, turned, basted the top side and cooked on the other side until meat was cooked with the girll lid closed the entire time. No burn marks, just light grill marks. The chicken was the juciest I have ever cooked. - 6/7/2011   11:32:46 AM
  • 1
    I love when my husband hits the grill or even cooks in the kitchen...he always mixes up a hit and finds things that will be as tasty as they are low in calories & carbs! I'm always telling him he should have his own TV would be a GREAT hit! I love it when he cooks/grills! It is Mmmm...Oh so YUMMY good! - 6/7/2011   9:33:09 AM

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