Wellness Matters

Healthy Recipes for Summertime Grilling

May 26, 2017

When the weather warms up and the days get long, many folks turn to the grill to prepare meals. Grilling is a great American pastime. It brings people together in celebration, so why not celebrate with some healthier and more creative options that you, your family and your friends will enjoy?

PB&J Sliders

Mini beef and mushroom burgers topped with roma tomato and roasted grape and jalapeno jam on pretzel rolls. Served with watercress fennel salad.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 Portions

8 slices plum tomato, sliced ¼ inch
8 small pretzel rolls (about 1 ½ ounces per roll)

Roasted Grape and Jalapeno Jam
Prepare a day or two ahead
1 jalapeno pepper, halved, seeds removed
1/3 cup red seedless grapes (about 10-12 grapes)
1 clove garlic, peeled
2½ teaspoons shallots, sliced
Pinch Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon canola olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice (not from concentrate)
1½ teaspoons apple cider vinegar
½ teaspoon honey

Orange Chipotle Vinaigrette
Can be prepared a day or two ahead
1½ teaspoons orange marmalade
½ teaspoon chipotle pepper in adobo sauce, minced fine
¼ teaspoon clove fresh garlic, minced
¼ teaspoon shallots, chopped
1½ tablespoons fresh squeezed orange juice (not from concentrate)
2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar
½ teaspoon honey
Pinch black pepper
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

Beef and Portobello Burger
Can be prepared a day ahead
7 ounces lean ground beef
2 portobello mushrooms, chopped fine (about 1½ cups)
1 teaspoon whole garlic, minced
2 teaspoons fresh cilantro, chopped
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dry ground mustard
¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper

Watercress and Fennel Salad
3 cups watercress (packed)
6 tablespoons fresh fennel, shaved
4 tablespoons red onions, sliced thin
4 tablespoons Granny Smith apples, julienne
4 tablespoons red delicious apples, julienne
3 tablespoons orange chipotle vinaigrette (recipe above)


  1. Roasted Grape and Tomato Jam: In a small bowl combine jalapeno pepper halves, grapes, shallots, garlic clove, salt and oil. Toss to coat well. Place mixture, in single layer, onto a cookie sheet. Roast at 400°F for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from oven. 
  2. In a sauce pot combine roasted vegetable mixture, orange juice, vinegar and honey. Simmer for 5 minutes. 
  3. Place mixture into a food processor or blender and process until smooth. 
  4. Refrigerate jam overnight to allow flavors to blend and mixture to thicken. 
  5. Orange Chipotle Vinaigrette: In a bowl or blender combine all the ingredients EXCEPT for the olive oil. Blend well. Slowly whisk or stream in oil and mix well. 
  6. Watercress and Fennel Salad: In a large bowl combine watercress, fennel, red onions and both apples. At service time add chipotle orange vinaigrette and toss well to coat. Serve 1 cup per person. 
  7. Slider Assembly and Service: In a preheat non-stick skillet or well-oiled grill place slider patties. Cook for 2 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. 
  8. Lightly toast pretzel rolls. 
  9. For each slider, spread 1 teaspoon roasted grape and jalapeno jam on heel of roll. Top with 1 cooked slider patty and 1 slice plum tomato. 
  10. Spread another 1 teaspoon jam on crown of roll and place on sandwich to close. 
  11. Serve 2 sliders and 1 cup watercress and fennel salad per person. 

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 102
Carbs 1g
protein 16g
fat 3g
sat. fat 50g
Cholesterol 0mg
sodium 219mg
fiber 0g

Baja Fish & Quinoa Tacos 

Broiled Mahi Mahi with a quinoa and cabbage slaw served in a toasted corn tortilla topped with pickled onions 

Yield: 8 tacos
Serving: 4

3/4 pounds Mahi Mahi fillets, cut into strips, about 3” long x ½” thick
3/4 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 6-inch corn tortillas
1/4 avocado, sliced thinly

Quinoa Cabbage Slaw
1 tablespoon low-calorie mayonnaise
1 tablespoon low-calorie sour cream
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
1 tablespoon cilantro, minced
1/2 cup quinoa, cooked
1/2 cup cabbage, shredded

Pickled Red Onions
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup red onions, julienned
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon Oregano
2 teaspoons white vinegar
1/4 teaspoon Habanero peppers, minced

  1. Brush fish strips with olive oil and then dip into Old Bay Seasoning, turning to coat. Refrigerate for about an hour to allow flavors to penetrate the fish. Place on a baking sheet. 
  2. Meanwhile make the Quinoa Cabbage Slaw by combining the mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice, chipotle peppers and cilantro in a medium-sized bowl and mix. Add the cooked quinoa and cabbage and mix well. Place in the refrigerator and chill until ready to serve. 
  3. To make the Pickled Red Onions, combine the lime juice, onions, salt, oregano, vinegar and peppers in a small bowl and allow to marinate for at least a half hour before serving. 
  4. Preheat the broiler, and heat the baking sheet of fish strips for about 3 minutes, flip and heat for another 3 minutes until cooked through. 
  5. Heat a dry skillet over medium-high heat and gently heat the tortillas on one side for about 3 minutes and flip over and toast for another two minutes, until pliable. Wrap each tortilla in aluminum foil to hold the heat and continue to skillet toast the remaining tortillas. 
  6. To assemble each, place a slice of fish on the tortilla and top with some quinoa slaw and pickled onions. Top with a slice of avocado. 
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 327
Carbs 36g
protein 29g
fat 8g
sat. fat 4g
Cholesterol 90mg
sodium 295mg
fiber 5g

Greek Black Bean Burger

A zucchini and black bean burger topped with lettuce, tomato and feta 

Prep Time: 25 min
Cook Time: 6 min
Yield: 4 Sandwiches

1/2 cup lemon herb ricotta spread
4 zucchini and black bean patties
4 100% whole wheat (4 inch) hamburger buns
4 leaves green leaf lettuce
8 slices tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch
1/4 cup feta cheese

Lemon Herb Ricotta Spread
1 teaspoon roasted garlic, minced
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon shredded parmesan cheese
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon Mediterranean sea salt seasoning
1/8 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon fresh parsley leaves, chopped
1/8 teaspoon fresh grated lemon rind

Zucchini and Black Bean Patties
1 cup canned seasoned black beans
1/2 cup zucchini, shredded
1/4 cup flax seed
1/2 teaspoon Montreal steak seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves, chopped

  1. Lemon Herb Ricotta Spread: In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mix until well blended. 
  2. Zucchini and Black Bean Patties: In a mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Mash with a fork. Allow to sit to allow flax seed to form a gel. Spray griddle with vegetable oil. Preheat to medium high heat. Portion burger mixture into 4 equal balls. Place on griddle, using a spatula, press mixture firmly to make 3 inch diameter patties, about 1/2 inch thick. Cook for 3 minutes on each side until golden brown. 
  3. For Service: Spread 1 tablespoon ricotta spread on heal of bun and 1 tablespoon ricotta spread on crown of bun. Place 1 black bean patty on heal of bun. Top with 1 lettuce leaf and 2 slices tomato. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon feta cheese. Close sandwich with crown of bun. 
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 360
Carbs 45g
protein 21g
fat 13g
sat. fat 3g
Cholesterol 14mg
sodium 690mg
fiber 12g

Chicken Bruschetta Sandwich 

An Italian twist on a grilled chicken sandwich with the flavors of a traditional tomato, basil and garlic bruschetta topping.

Serving: 4 Servings

4 4-ounce chicken breasts
1 teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon Canola oil
½ teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
4 multi-grain sandwich flats
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated

Garlic Dijon Mustard
3 garlic cloves
½ teaspoon Canola oil
2 tablespoons low-calorie mayonnaise
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

Bruschetta Topping
1 teaspoon olive oil
½ teaspoon garlic, minced
½ cup plum tomatoes, diced
¼ cup basil, chopped
½ teaspoon Balsamic vinegar
1/8 teaspoon Kosher salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. In a large Ziploc bag, place the chicken breasts together with the Balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper, Canola oil, oregano and thyme and seal. Shake the bag to thoroughly mix the ingredients. Place in the refrigerator for one to two hours to allow for chicken to marinate. Set aside. 
  2. Garlic Dijon Mustard: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Toss the garlic cloves in the Canola oil and place on a baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, let it cool to handle and chop. Toss the roasted garlic with the mayonnaise and Dijon mustard and set aside. 
  3. Bruschetta Topping: In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, basil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper and toss to combine. Set aside. 
  4. Remove the chicken breasts from the Ziploc bag and place on a preheated grill and grill for 3 to 4 minutes on one side and then flip over to the other side for another 3 to 4 minutes, until cooked through. Cool quickly. Slice each breast into ½-inch slices. 
  5. To assemble the sandwich, spread some of the garlic Dijon mustard on a sandwich flatbread, then place the sliced chicken breast on the bread and top with some of the bruschetta topping. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Close the sandwich and slice in two. 
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 297
Carbs 2g
protein 28g
fat 10g
sat. fat 1g
Cholesterol 57 mg
sodium 368 mg
fiber 6g

Grilled Tilapia with Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Spinach

Grilled garlic and herb tilapia with maple mashed sweet potato and fresh spinach with onions 

Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 20 min

1 pound mashed sweet potatoes with maple
1 1/2 cups sautéed spinach and onions
4 fillets grilled garlic and herb tilapia

Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple
1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and diced 1/2 inch
2 tablespoons fat free milk
1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons maple flavor pancake syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sauteed Spinach and Onions
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 cup yellow onions, julienne
6 cups fresh spinach
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

Grilled Garlic and Herb Tilapia
4 fillets tilapia (3 to 5 ounce each)
1 teaspoon salt free garlic and herb seasoning

  1. Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Maple: Place potatoes in boiling water. Cook for 10 minutes or until fork tender. Remove potatoes from heat, and drain in colander. Place potatoes in mixer bowl with paddle attachment. Mix slowly to break up potatoes. Add milk, salt, syrup and vanilla. Mix to combine until smooth. 
  2. Sautéed Spinach and Onions: In a sauté pan, heat over medium high heat. Add onions. Saute until caramelized. Add spinach. Season with pepper. Mix well and remove from heat. Stir until spinach just wilts. 
  3. Grilled Garlic and Herb Tilapia: Evenly sprinkle each fillet with 1/4 teaspoon seasoning. Place on preheated 350 degree griddle. Cook for 4 minutes. Flip and cook for 2 minutes more. 
  4. For Service: Place 1/4 cup potatoes and 1/3 cup spinach next to each other in center of plate. Top with 1 grilled fillet overlapping onto both vegetables. 
Nutrition Facts:
Calories 300
Carbs 30g
protein 26g
fat 5g
sat. fat 1g
Cholesterol 53mg
sodium 240mg
fiber 5g

Don't Forget the Beverages!

Mix each combination below in a pitcher with six to eight cups of water. (Remember to rinse all of the ingredients before adding them to the pitcher.) You’ll also need a long wooden spoon to gently mash some of the ingredients. The finished refreshers can be served immediately, but for more flavor let them sit for a few hours (or longer) to infuse. Cheers!

  • Cherry-Limeade: Add 1 pint pitted cherries to a pitcher. Gently mash the cherries; stir in 2 sliced limes and water.
  • Raspberry-Basil: Add 1 pint raspberries along with 10 basil leaves to a pitcher. Mash the ingredients together and add water.
  • Berry-Vanilla: Mix together 1/2 cup each blueberries, blackberries, and chopped strawberries in a pitcher. Mash the berries and stir in the water. Split 1 vanilla bean lengthwise and scrape out the seeds with a small knife; add the seeds and pod to the pitcher. (Remove the pod before serving.) If you don’t have a vanilla bean, stir in a small drop of vanilla extract for a similar taste.
  • Pineapple-Ginger: Add 2 cups chopped pineapple, a thinly sliced 2-inch piece of fresh ginger, and water to a pitcher. (Remove the ginger prior to serving.)
  • Watermelon With Chile-Salt: Add 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon to a pitcher; crush the fruit and add water. To serve, mix equal parts chile powder and sea salt on a plate; wet the rim of  a glass with water and turn the rim in the chile-salt combo. Add the watermelon water to the glass and serve.
  • Apple-Cinnamon: Add 3 cinnamon sticks, 2 chopped apples, and water to a pitcher. (Remove and discard cinnamon sticks before serving.)
  • Blueberry-Lavender: Add 1 pint blueberries to a pitcher, along with 2 teaspoons culinary lavender buds (find them online or at specialty grocery stores). Mash the berries and lavender and stir to combine.
  • Cucumber-Mint: Add 12 mint leaves to a pitcher and mash. Stir in 1 thinly sliced English cucumber and water.
  • Grapefruit-Peach With Rosemary: Add 2 chopped peaches to a pitcher and gently mash. Next, add 1 thinly sliced ruby red grapefruit, 1 small rosemary stalk, and water. (Remove rosemary before serving).

Thanks to our partners at Sodexo for making mindful eating so delicious!


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