It’s that time of year again, and nothing screams “summer” more than a backyard barbeque.
It’s a shame that many of us wait until the weather warms to be able to enjoy cooking outside. There are so many benefits to grilling – cooking for a crowd is not a chore, prep and clean-up are a breeze, and it’s one of the healthiest cooking methods.
Although it’s often synonymous with meat, grilling outdoors doesn’t have to be all fatty cheeseburgers and processed mystery meat hot dogs. There’s so much more you can cook up that’s delicious while being kind to your waistline. Watermelon, corn on the cob, fish, and avocado are just a few things that taste better with a little char.
Below you’ll find two great grill recipes – sans meat – for when you’ve got entertaining on your calendar or you only have time for “quick and easy” and don’t want to sacrifice flavor.
Grilling Tip: Generally, I like using citrus, herbs, and garlic in marinades because they balance out the smokiness of the “grill taste.”
Lime Garlic Cilantro Shrimp Skewers
Shrimp is the answer if you are looking for a quick, easy dish or something a little different from the grill. This outrageously delicious recipe takes mere minutes to prepare and cook. With two pounds of jumbo shrimp, I prepared twelve skewers, enough to feed my hungry family of 4.
Most of the ingredients I picked were from my herb garden and lime trees. With only 167 calories per skewer and very few carbs, I can honestly say it’s one of my all-time favs.
Grilling Tip: Buy fresh shrimp on the day you plan to grill. Make sure they are at least extra large for easier skewering. Extra large is considered 26/30 shrimp per pound, which is 6 to 7 shrimp per 3 oz serving. Jumbo shrimp is what I used and is typically 21/25 shrimp per pound.
• 2/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
• 3 teaspoons grated lime zest
• 2/3 cup lime juice
• 4 tablespoons olive oil
• 6 garlic cloves, minced (2 tablespoons if using pre-minced garlic)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/2 teaspoon pepper
• 2 pounds uncooked jumbo shrimp (21/25 per pound), peeled and deveined
• Lime slices
1). Mix cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, olive oil, garlic, salt, cumin, and pepper. Toss mixture with shrimp. Let marinate for 15 minutes.
2). Thread 4 shrimp and lime slices onto metal or wooden skewers. Grill, covered, over medium heat until shrimp turn pink, 2-4 minutes on each side.
3). Plate and serve.
Servings: 6 | Serving Size: 1 Kabob (as shown) | Per Serving: 175 Calories, 11g Fat, 4g Carbohydrates, 1g Sugar, 1g Fiber, 21g Protein
Summer Grilled Vegetables
These summer veggies are the perfect healthy complement to the Lime Garlic Cilantro Shrimp Skewers – full of nutrients and low in carbs and calories.
Or make them alone for the perfect vegetarian dish that you can enjoy grilling and serving all summer long. Seasoned with fresh herbs, lemon, and garlic, take the veggie flavor to a new level.
Tip 1: Vegetables are better when marinated after cooking because they suck up the flavor much more quickly when they are hot. Charring them first brings out their natural flavor, and you won’t consume nearly as much oil or salt.
Tip 2: Grilled vegetables are easier to cook and taste better when you make the cuts bigger.
• 2/3 cup olive oil
• 1/3 cup lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
• 3 crushed garlic cloves
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 pound fresh asparagus, trimmed
• 3 carrots, cut in half lengthwise
• 2 large sweet red pepper, cut into 1-inch strips
• 3 zucchini (cut into thirds and halved)
• 1 pound button white or brown mushrooms
• 1 large red onion, cut into wedges
1). Whisk the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, oregano, thyme, salt, and garlic) in a small bowl and set aside.
2). Cut vegetables as described above.
3). Place vegetables on the pre-heated hot grill rack. Grill covered over medium heat until crisp-tender, 8-12 minutes, turning occasionally.
4). Place charred vegetables in a large bowl. Pour marinade onto vegetables and let them marinate for 5 minutes.
5). Plate and serve.
Serves: 4 | Serving Size: Mixed Veggies with Dressing Marinade | Per Serving: 435 Calories, 37g Fat, 24g Carbohydrates, 11g Sugar, 7g Fiber, 10g Protein