Healthy Grilling Guide

May 26, 2021
| Created by Genevieve Daly, RDN, CD

Meat gets all the attention during Memorial Day, but there’s so many other foods that taste delicious when cooked on the grill. Here are some ideas for foods to grill up during the summer, and a few tips on how to do it like a pro!  

All-vegetable kabobs: Unlike mixed meat and vegetable kabobs that have a shorter cook time, these veggie kabobs can stay on the grill longer, resulting in a softer, smokier, charred vegetable side. These kabobs are a perfect no-prep option that gets easily thrown on the grill with the rest of your favorite BBQ foods. Toss them on the grill plain, or drizzle with a flavored olive oil like one of our Sciabica oils for added flavor. 

Romaine hearts:  What’s better than a refreshing summer salad? A refreshing summer salad served right off the grill! Slice romaine hearts in half, drizzle with a bit of olive oil (if desired) and grill for 2-3 minutes, cut side down. Serve with your favorite dressing, cheese, and crushed up crostini. 

Portobello mushrooms: One of my favorite vegetarian options, portobello mushrooms make the perfect meat substitute for a summertime barbecue, due to their savory, meaty texture. Simply season with olive oil and spices or marinate for 10-20 minutes if you have a bit more time on your hands. Mushrooms cook quickly, so plan on these taking about 3-4 minutes per side. Use grilled portobellos in place of a beef patty in a burger, or slice and add to the top of a salad. 

For other smaller items, like green beans, sliced mushrooms and shrimp, use a grill basket, a sheet tray, or place a sheet of foil down directly on the grill. This keeps everything from falling between the grill grates but gives you all the smokey flavor you get from grilling. 

Grill fish, like salmontrout or ahi tuna. Use a cedar plank (soaked in water for a minimum of one hour, but ideally overnight) or wrap in foil and place directly on the grill. For added flavor, try grilling your fish on fennel fronds. Simply cut fronds off the fennel bulb, lay on grill, and place fish directly on top of it. Not only does this provide a bit of a barrier between the flame and the fish, but it also infuses the fish with more flavor–a win-win! 

BBQ oysters: For a quick, fancy appetizer you can whip up in no time, look no further than barbecued oysters. Add oysters directly to the grill (preferably on the top rack, if your grill has one) and heat until the oysters open (if any oysters are open prior to cooking, be sure to discard those). While oysters are cooking, I like to combine shallots and champagne vinegar to make a mignonette and use to dress the oysters with.  

Grill fruit, like these pineapple spears: Focus on caramelizing the sugars in the fruit, which will bring out even more of their natural sweetness. Add slices of fruit directly to the grill and cook until grill marks form. For a bit of extra sweetness, add a drizzle of honey prior to serving. 

Vegan farro patty: These made fresh in-store patties have black beans, mushrooms, and farro, which are both filling and delicious. They’re a great vegan option to have at your gathering, and since they’re fully cooked, all you need to do is warm them through before serving. 

Looking for any specific recipes for your Memorial Day grilling feast? Email and we’ll send you ideas! Happy grilling!