As a dietitian, I’m totally down with the grill. There are just too many positives, and the few potential negatives can easily be rectified (see previous post).
Among the advantages of grilling: it adds unique intense flavors without fat. In fact, the high, dry heat of the grill helps remove excess fat. How many foods can you say that about? Grilling and barbecuing (the first involves direct dry heat; the latter, indirect moderate to low heat and a lot of wood smoke) both make extensive use of rubs, herbs and spices—all three intense providers of flavor without fat.
For most of us, barbecue means animal proteins, but don’t stop there, grill vegetables and starches. The high dry heat caramelizes the plant sugars, making vegetables like corn, asparagus, peppers and eggplant (my favorite) taste even sweeter than normal. You can also grill those healthy, nutrient- rich greens, like broccolini and kale. (I like to brush them with a mixture of sesame oil and sea salt).
Here in the U.S., we’re a country of carnivores, but not in other countries where it means grilled seafood, cheese, breads, soy products, and even desserts. Fruits, like peaches and sliced pineapples make a healthy dessert either by themselves or over frozen yogurt.
Grilling is also fast—ideal for people who claim they have no time to cook. If I haven’t sold you yet… there’s little clean up. No pots and pans to scrub—just a few swipes of a stiff wire brush over the grate before and after grilling to make sure you grill is ready for next time.
RX: Grill on.
Recipes to follow.