Most people think of grilling out in the summer, but the fall is a perfect time to heat up the grill. As the weather gets cooler it is more pleasant to cook outside and sit on the patio for a nice meal.
It doesn’t have to be time-consuming to have a great meal on the grill, in fact, simple is often better. Meat and veggies by themselves make a solid meal, but you can add grilled fruit for a yummy dessert.
Eating these simple, real foods - specifically the meats and the veggies - is a healthy easy option for a dinner everyone will love.
Here are my top grilling tips for you to enjoy this fall.
Start planning your meal by choosing your meat. With most food, there is a large spectrum of quality. You may not be able to get the highest quality variety, so just do your best with the options available! Let’s see what to look for when buying your meat.
- Good - Meat that is not breaded with flour or breadcrumbs or loaded with sugary or processed sauces. (Note: The first ingredient in many BBQ sauces is high fructose corn syrup).
- Better - Meat from a healthy animal that had a chance to walk around and eat its natural diet while it was alive. If you are purchasing meat, look for words like pasture-raised, grass-fed (for beef), or wild caught (for fish).
- Best - Meat from a local farmer’s market where you can meet the farmer! When you talk with the farmer ask them how their animals are raised. If you like their answer, get the meat from them when you can!
Grill the meat and keep it simple! If you have good quality meat, the flavor will be great. You don't need to add much to it.
It's easy to get stuck in a rut of always buying the same veggies but trying some new ideas can really spice things up. When you eat a variety of veggies you tend to eat more of them. You can choose a few of the ones below to throw on the grill.
- Eggplant - Simply cut it into ½-inch patties.
- Asparagus - Bend the stock to snap off the thick base, leaving the pretty flowery end.
- Zucchini - Slice into ¼-⅓ inch slices.
- Onions - Just cut it in half and grill that way. You can also cut it smaller for kebabs!
- Bell Peppers - These really shine when used in kebabs.
- Mushrooms - Portabellas are a good size for the grill, but smaller ones are great in a grill veggie tray or on a kebab!
- Cauliflower - Take the whole head of cauliflower, remove the green leaves off, and slice it into ½ - ¾ inch slices to make large “steaks”.
- Acorn Squash- Simply cut it in half, scrape out the sides and grill it face down. Then for an added treat, top it with butter when it's done!
- Yellow Squash - Slice into ¼-⅓ inch patties.
- Carrots- We love throwing whole carrots on the grill simply as they come!
Make foil packets to combine a variety of vegetables. Just cut the veggies into pieces, wrap in foil, add a bit of fat (i.e. coconut oil or ghee), some seasonings, and grill.
Grilled fruit is delicious. Peaches, pineapples, and pears are some of my favorites. They make an easy and tasty dessert!
What About a Starch?
If you have talked food with me in the past few months, you know that I am all about eating the "Roots, Fruits, and Fruit vegetables (squash)". I try to incorporate something from one of groups at every single meal (along with protein). They are higher in carbohydrates which are great for our energy, hormones, and sleep. As an added bonus, they tend to be much easier on the body to digest! They are great sources of key minerals such as potassium.
While there are some starch sources listed above, here are a few others that I love. White potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, carrots, and butternut squash are great options. You can wrap them in foil and place them on the grill. The smaller you dice them, the faster they will cook.
One option you might want to consider is skipping is the bun. Take a moment to read the ingredient list on your bread products. It tends to be a long list of many names that you have trouble pronouncing and wouldn’t want to eat on their own. Try one of the following options and you may be surprised that you don’t even miss the bun.
- Use some lettuce and other veggies to make a lettuce wrap. Sure, it can be a little messy, but it is tasty and healthy.
- Try a kebab with meat and veggies on a stick. These are easy and delicious to eat.
- Make a salad with your meat and veggies. Olive oil and a bit of seasoning can make a simple refreshing salad dressing.
- Simply use a fork and knife to eat your meal. Simple and delicious!
What do you like to grill? Hop over to Facebook and share some of your favorite ideas!