We love to eat outside whenever possible around here, and we count ourselves very lucky that our beautiful California climate allows us to indulge regularly at the grill with interesting, healthy recipes.
In addition to being good for you, grilling is energy-saving (no heating ovens or burning stoves), and it’s fun!
So in honor of this heart healthy and low-maintenance way to cook, we wanted to share with you some delicious recipes to try on the grill- some of them may surprise you!
Tofu on the grill, it’ll impress you…
I know, tofu isn’t necessarily the first thing you think of when you think about grilling, but grilling tofu is easy and there are some really diverse ways to grill it up. The best place to begin is learning how to grill it successfully on its own, for that check out Allrecipes’ method.
Once you’ve gotten that down, the sky’s the limit! Here are a couple of gorgeous grilled tofu recipes. Prepare to love tofu in ways you never thought possible…
The marinade in this dish is what gives it that distinct Italian flavor, and there’s so much you can do with it. Serve it plain with a beautiful Caprese salad, or you could even create tofu parmesan. However you like your Italian food, this is a healthy, delicious meat substitute.
Tofu, pineapple, a rainbow of peppers, onions, and mushrooms all grilled up with barbeque sauce? Yes, please!
All right, now that we took a short healthy tour, let’s look at some grilled pork recipes that’ll make your mouth water. Chops, tenderloins, ribs- you name it, it’s grillable and you’ve probably tried it before, so we’re gonna throw a couple at you that you may not have tried yet:
Oh my goodness. If you like spicy, and if you like Korean food, and if you like Pork, this is all you’ll need. Ever. Served with lettuce wraps, they can be pretty healthy. This recipe includes sticky rice, but if you’d like to omit that, have at it, it’ll still be delicious and filling.
Those of you who know me know we like to keep up with our Greek heritage as much as possible. Preferably with food. So when I saw this grilled pork souvlaki recipe, I couldn’t help but share. It’s got all the Greekness you want with a marinade of dried mint, lemon juice, garlic, finely crushed bay leaves, olive oil, and red wine. Soak a pound of pork shoulder in all that for a couple of hours, or even better, overnight and serve with some tzatziki and a nice salad, then close your eyes and pretend you’re on the Mediterranean.
Most everyone has thrown some vegetables on the grill, and they’re delicious, but sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in the same old marinated, grilled vegetables. We wanted to introduce you to a couple of grilled veggie recipes that you may have never heard of:
The potatoes in these interesting skewers do need to be par-boiled for a minute or two after you’ve cubed them, but just barely. If they’re cooked through, it won’t work, so firm but a little fuzzy on the outside. Then, marinade with raw zucchini vinegar, honey, dried dill, celery salt, mustard, and olive oil for 15 minutes in the fridge. When they’re done, skewer, grill, drizzle with a nice aioli or mayo thinned with a drop of milk, and some green onion. Boom. Potato salad, only healthy.
You may have grilled broccoli at home before, but we think this simple, elegant recipe is the best. Just some good old salt and pepper, red pepper flakes, lemon juice, parmesan cheese, and olive oil go into this marinade. Let your broccoli bask in it for 30 minutes or so (refrigeration not required) then grill. By the way, you can do this with cauliflower too. Cruciferous vegetables never looked so glamorous.
If you aren’t doing red meat these days, you’re not alone. If you’re doing Atkins or keto these days, you’re even more not alone. So you’re in good company, is what we’re trying to say. Anyway, beef on the grill is always a summer staple, so you may be getting tired of the same old steaks and kebabs. Here are some interesting things to try out the next time you’re thinking about beef for dinner:
“Meatballs on the grill?” You ask, “Does that even work??” Answer: yes, and yes. And it’s easy to do. Most everyone’s got their own favorite way to make meatballs, so do that, pack ‘em nice and tight, skewer them, and grill. That’s it. Serve on crusty bread with some fresh mozzarella and marinara and there you go. Make it personal by putting what you like on top, or just eat them without the bread if you’re avoiding gluten. Delicious.
Butterflied flank steak wrapped around fresh scallops and grilled with teriyaki glaze is out of this world with basic, grilled veggie kabobs. Make it your own with mushrooms, grilled bok choy, or whatever you like. It’s good. That is all.
We’re so lucky to have a bounty of fresh seafood here in Southern Cali, and it makes for some amazing grilling, but we’ve included a couple of recipes here with ingredients that should be pretty easy to find fresh even if you’re land-locked.
Cut your salmon into cubes, mandolin your zucchini into ribbons (or cut into cubes if you want to keep it simple), and marinate it all in salt and pepper, olive oil, juice and zest from half a lemon, chili flakes, and dried oregano in the fridge for 30 minutes. Skewer, grill, and serve with grilled flatbread. This particular recipe includes a gorgeous homemade broad bean dip to accompany, but we personally think you could serve this with a lovely hummus or creamy bean dip of your choice if you’d like to keep it simple, and it would be good too.
Sweet, spicy, southwestern inspired grilled red snapper is so fresh and perfect on a summer day, not to mention healthy. You can make the salsa in advance and stick it in the fridge if you like, and snapper can be substituted with any mild, grillable whitefish. Ask the fishmonger at your local grocery, he or she will probably be able to recommend a great seasonal substitution if needed. You can even serve them up with corn tortillas in taco form if you’d rather (with cilantro!), to fill everyone’s bellies at the table.
Oh, chicken. How boring we’ve managed to make you in the name of simplicity. Fear not! There are plenty of grilled chicken recipes out there that make a great pinch-hitter for the usual barbecue chicken:
Marinate chicken thighs in oil (vegetable or grapeseed oil are good options for the grill, but here are some others, too), grated ginger, garlic, spicy chili paste, lime juice, coconut milk, brown sugar, and salt and pepper for 15 minutes to four hours in the fridge. Throw them on the grill, reduce the marinade until syrupy, and slather it on the thighs upon serving. Fantastic with grilled veg and/or sticky rice and garnished with lime, cilantro, and green onions.
This chicken is exotic and so delicious, you’ll want to share it with everyone, and it’s beautiful enough to be Instagram and YouTube ready. It might be a little bit extra, but it’s so worth it.
Make Achiote oil with garlic, ginger, oil, lemongrass, and achiote seeds by simmering in a saucepan over medium heat until it’s bright red and smells like it wants to be eaten with some delicious grilled chicken. We won’t go into the details here, because it would take up our whole blog so go to the link and get to work. If you’re not already intrigued, it’s got Sprite and lemongrass in it. You know you want to try it.
Finally, we’ve gotten to dessert! Thank goodness for grilled dessert recipes to save the day- we’ve been cooking over flame all night but still want dessert but don’t want to waste those hot coals (if you’re cooking with a traditional grill). Solution: grilled desserts. Done and done.
Peaches are the ambassador of summer fruit, so it’s only fitting that they’re amazing on the grill. In this recipe, reduce sugar, water, and plums in a saucepan then throw them in a food processor to make them saucy then stir in some fresh lemon juice. Grill peaches with a nice butter and sugar baste until soft then serve with a dollop of mascarpone and plum sauce. You could probably use a sugar substitute with this one if you’d like, but it may not create that caramel baste you want on the peaches…
This is a perfect dressed up s’ mores recipe for when you’ve still got heat on the grill that you don’t want to waste after dinner. Layer Nutella, banana, and marshmallow fluff sandwiched between graham crackers (this recipe even gets fancy with crushed hazelnuts in there). Wrap your delicious little sandwiches in parchment, enclose in foil, then heat in the grill until the fluff is melty. This should take anywhere from just a couple of minutes to 10 minutes depending on the heat of your grill.
We hope these unconventional recipes inspire you to get outside and grill this month. July may be National Grilling Month, but we advocate for grilling year-round if you can get away with it. Share some of your favorite grilling recipes with us on Instagram @newportcenterorthopedic_ or on our FaceBook page, we’d love to hear about what you’re cookin’ up!