What? It’s 95 degrees in the shade? Worked up a legendary appetite riding those waves at the beach all day? There’s no way I’m turning on the oven today! The dog days of summer have truly arrived.
Let’s light the barbeque, but what can we make other than old fashioned hot dogs and hamburgers?
Well for starters, try new fangled hot dogs and hamburgers. Huh?
They are often found in healthy grill recipes. Turkey hot dogs tand burgers that are not bad. Really. Turkey and chicken burgers that are much lower fat than beef burgers.
A frozen “Bubba” beef burger has 420 calories, a staggering 35 grams of fat and 25 grams of protein. In comparison, a frozen “Jennie-O” turkey burger has just 160 calories, 9 grams of fat and a respectable 18 grams of protein. Chicken burgers have a similar nutrition breakdown to the turkey ones.
Frozen veggie, bean or soy based, burgers save even more fat and calories with about 75 calories each, just a measly half gram of fat and and 13 grams of protein and 2-3 grams of fiber. A cheeseburger can be made by adding a low fat slice of cheese or veggie cheese, made from rice or soy. The veggie cheese slices ,especially on a burger, melt and taste like their high fat counterparts.
Turkey frankfurters are a healthy alternative as well. Trader Joe’s carries an uncured, nitrite free turkey hot dog by Applegate Farms. These hot dogs have just forty, yes 40 calories, 2 grams of fat and 6 grams of protein each. So go ahead and down two! A “standard” beef based hot dog, such as Sabrett, has 140 calories, 15 grams of fat and 7 grams of protein.
Turkey hot dogs and burgers don’t taste like their beef counterparts, but they are good. You have to give them a chance. Put a little mustard on the dog, ketchup , onion, and tomato slices on the burger, and they can satisfy your hunger. If you have been told by your doctor that you must watch your dietary intake of saturated fats due to high cholesterol and or triglycerides, you really must modify your eating habits and eliminate most beef.
Chicken has been a grill favorite for a long time as well. I like to marinate chicken pieces in Olde Cape Cod sesame ginger marinade, found in most supermarkets (and no high fructose corn syrup- we don’t need sugar on our meat!) to keep it tasty and juicy. Remove skin from chicken after cooking to preserve juiciness and cook on low fire.
Fish is a good grill choice as well, especially salmon, flounder and similar type fillets. Make sure you spray the grill with non stick spray, such as Pam for the grill, in all major supermarkets or cook on special fish grate to keep from falling apart. Cook on low and until flaky, season with marinade or olive oil. It really is a delicious choice. Trader Joe’s sells a frozen salmon burger that is pure salmon fillet, no fillers.
They are delicious and easy to keep in the freezer. No need to stop at fish market. They are surprisingly inexpensive, too, at about $7.00 for 5 “burger” fillets. Shrimp or chicken can be made into kabobs with new potatoes, cherry or grape tomatoes or cubed squash, peppers or onions.
To along with these, in addition to a green salad, grill some sliced summer squash or red or white pototoes. Cut lengthwise and place olive oil or trans fat free spread on them before grilling. Avoid potato and macaroni salads as they are prepared with high fat mayonnnaise.
You can enjoy a steak or cheeseburger on occasion, but there are healthy, tasty alternatives available.