Nutrition Articles

Beyond Burgers: Fun Foods You Can Grill

Turn Up the Heat for a Nutritious, Balanced Meal

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Quesadillas can be cooked on the grill, too. Like pizza, the sky's the limit when selecting quesadilla ingredients. Choose cheese, veggies, beans, onions, corn and more. Place one whole-wheat tortilla on the grill, sprinkle with a bit of cheese, add other toppings, then sprinkle with a bit more cheese and top it off with a second tortilla. Grilled both sides, using a spatula to flip the ‘dilla and press down slightly as the cheese melts. Remove from the grill once it’s browned and melty, cut into wedges and enjoy with salsa! 

Fresh fruit from the grill is a great summertime treat! The heat of the grill caramelizes the natural sugars found in fruit, leaving you with an amazing dessertlike dish that is full of fiber and vitamins but not calories! Try placing whole bananas (peeled), or sliced peaches directly on the grill. Skewer whole strawberries. Add your favorite fruits to a meat (or tofu) and veggie kabob for additional color and flavor. Apple, pineapple and pear slices are also great on the grill. (Remember that larger is better to prevent burning.) Pair the grilled fruits with your salad, eat them as-is for a sweet side dish, use them to top your protein source, or indulge in an after-dinner treat of frozen yogurt with grilled fruit. Some great combos are grilled apple slices over pork tenderloin cuts, grilled pears with low-fat feta cheese over a bed of salad greens, and grilled pineapple with brown rice, mushroom and grilled chicken breast. The possibilities are endless!

Corn on the cob is generally boiled in water on the stovetop, but it is delicious when prepared on the grill. The trick? Soak the corn in cold water for 10-15 minutes, then transfer them (husks intact) to the hot grill. Cook for 3 minutes on one side, then rotate 180 degrees for 3 more minutes. Then, carefully remove the ears and shuck the corn, removing husks and silk. Place the husked corn on the grill for about 5 minutes, rotating frequently. Your guests will be impressed with the fancy look of the grill marks on the corn, which will have a slightly smoky taste. The corn will be so sweet and moist, you won't need butter or salt!

Zucchini and summer squash are delicious, vitamin-packed additions to any summer meal. Both are easy to grill. Cut them on the diagonal to create strips that won’t fall through the grates of the grill. You can also cut the veggies lengthwise into quarters (to resemble pickle spears) to ease the grilling process. Brush the sides of each strip with olive or canola oil and grill to desired tenderness. For extra flavor, you can sprinkle the veggies with your favorite dried herbs. Or try crushed red pepper for a spicy kick!
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About The Author

Sarah Haan Sarah Haan
Sarah is a registered dietitian with a bachelor's degree in dietetics. She helps individuals adopt healthy lifestyles and manage their weight. An avid exerciser and cook, Sarah likes to run, lift weights and eat good food. See all of Sarah's articles.

Member Comments

  • My dad has a very restricted diet, due to advanced kidney disease. (No chocolate, no pastries, no dairy, no nuts, no cakes.) So for his birthday one year, we split a banana in half and grilled it, then topped it with a non-dairy whipped topping. It was a special sweet treat to celebrate, but was withing his dietary guidelines. - 5/25/2014 2:14:15 PM
  • Doesn't mention beets. Grilled beets are delicious! cut off the top and leave a little stem, wrap in foil and grill until tender, then peel. Great in salad too!
    - 5/25/2014 6:32:52 AM
  • Yum! I'm hungry now! - 8/22/2013 10:37:25 AM
  • Excellent article! I cook potatoes in pockets on the grill often, but never thought to add a bit of water. I can imagine that will help a lot!

    I'm looking forward to trying fruit on the grill now! : ) - 7/31/2013 3:50:17 PM
  • BBARKER9
    I just received a big Green Egg and am looking for cooking times on it.
    - 7/18/2013 1:14:37 PM
  • DEDYDEWANTHO
    I prefer to grill food, its more simple and save for the ingridients - 7/6/2013 11:35:05 AM
  • PEACENCARROTS
    This makes me want to fire up my grill right now! Thanks. - 7/3/2013 11:03:26 AM
  • CORALRELKOV
    My favorite is green,yellow,oran
    ge and red sweet peppers with some olive oil but the ones you shared aregreat too - 7/2/2013 1:26:09 PM
  • I will have my hubby grilling some of our fresh veggies out the garden on Saturday. I know they going to taste really good because they are fresh. - 7/2/2013 9:03:10 AM
  • I love grilling. yummy stuff definitely going to have grill some veggies after reading this :) - 6/28/2013 10:15:45 PM
  • Everytime I BBQ I REMEMBER doing so with my parents. Good times ! - 6/28/2013 2:43:58 PM
  • I have a charcoal grill that I LOVE! I use it several times a week!! I like to grill peppers, onions, corn, asparagus, and zuccini along with my chicken, chops, or steak. Sweetpotato and pineapple are also great on a grill. - 6/20/2013 1:09:39 AM
  • We grilled three times this week. First night was flatiron steak with portobello caps, sliced peppers, squash and zucchini with herbs de provence, all splashed with olive oil and balsamic. Next, bison medallions with simple salt and pepper, more portobello and grilled corn. Finally (my favorite): salmon in balsamic maple marinade with more summer veggies and grilled corn. So satisfying and healthy! So glad I let the husband talk me into the gas grill...well worth the cost. - 6/15/2013 11:23:57 AM
  • For my fellow vegans out there who are looking for a tasty alternative I highly recommend the Seitan BBQ Riblets recipe that I found in the SparkPeople Recipes. I baked some up yesterday and today I'm going to throw some more BBQ sauce on them and reheat them on the grill along with some sweet corn! - 9/2/2012 1:22:04 PM
  • KRULAK
    Grilling a pizza is great...on charcoal. You get so much extra flavor. If you use a gas grill you might as well use the oven. Since it does not make a difference in flavor but does keep the heat out of the kitchen. When I cook pizza on the grill I will turn the pizza every 5-7 minutes due to hot spots in charcoal to avoid burning. - 8/29/2012 4:52:34 PM

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