Healthy Grill Swaps


Click to view Take 5 Segment

If you ask people why they grill their answer includes:

  • It tastes better
  • It’s faster, more convenient and there’s little mess
  • It’s great for entertaining
  • It keeps the heat out of the kitchen
  • It’s a cheap alternative to dining out
  • It’s healthier, but is it?

If you ask people what they grill, it’s typically the main, entrée (protein) of the plate. The portions can be pretty hefty, void of fruits and vegetables and the sauces quite salty. Let’s review the top items and identify healthier swaps.


Swap out a 6-8 ounce, New York Strip Steak for our beef kabob recipe. Consider the fact that you cover ½ your plate with vegetables and save 50% at the register and in your saturated fat and cholesterol intake.


Sirloin Strip Steak                        8 Ounces Beef Shish Kabob
Calories 480 460
Fat 33 30
   Saturated Fat 13 8
   Cholesterol 152 76
Carbohydrate 0 10
   Fiber 0 2.5
Protein 45 25

Grill 2For the same amount of calories, you get a complete meal, with less saturated fat and cholesterol, more fiber and 25% of your Daily Value for Vitamin A, and 70% Vitamin C.  Don’t be concerned with the lower protein content as the majority of Americans get far too much protein at dinner, much more than the body can use in one load for muscle growth.

Beef Shish Kabob Recipe (4 servings)

Ingredients for Marinade                                        Ingredients for Kabobs

1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil                                    12 cherry tomatoes

¼ cup low sodium soy sauce                                 1 onion (1 inch squares)

1/8 cup lemon juice                                                 1 red pepper (1 inch squares)

1 Tbsp. prepared mustard                                       1 green pepper (1 inch squares)

1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce                               8 mushroom caps

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp. cracked pepper

1 pound sirloin steak cut into 1 inch cubes

  1. Marinate above ingredients overnight (or for 8 hours) in a plastic bag.
  2. Add mushrooms to marinade mixture and continue chilling throughout day.
  3. Preheat grill and lightly oil grates.
  4. Remove beef and mushrooms from marinade. Pour remaining marinade into a small saucepan and bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes and reserve for basting
  5. Skewer sliced peppers, onions, tomatoes and mushrooms.
  6. Grill on medium heat for 15 minutes while turning frequently and brushing with marinade.



Regular Barbeque Sauce 4 Tablespoons Homemade Blueberry Bourbon Barbeque Sauce
Calories 140 52
Sodium 580 130
Sugar 32 4

photoThis recipe is easily made in 5 minutes, simmered for 20 and it’ll save you 66% of the calories and sodium and 80% of the sugar compared to a traditional BBQ sauce.

Bourbon Blueberry Barbeque Sauce


1 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 small red onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped

½ cup bourbon

2 cups blueberries

½ cup ketchup

1/3 cup cider vinegar

2 Tbsp. brown sugar

1 Tbsp. molasses

1/8 tsp. ground allspice

  1. Saute onion in extra virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add garlic and jalapeno, stirring for 30 seconds.
  3. Add bourbon and bring to a boil. Continue cooking, allow sauce to reduce for about 5 minutes.
  4. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat, stirring about 20 minutes until thickened.


There aren’t many healthy swaps for a bratwurst so I suggest viewers enjoy this meal without the bun and balance their plate with a blend of sautéed red and green peppers and onions. It’ll leave you fuller longer and provide 80% your Daily Value for Vitamin C.


Bratwurst on A Bun Bratwurst with Health Sides,                  No Bun
Calories 360 290
Fat 23 21
   Saturated Fat 8 8
   Cholesterol 60 60
Carbohydrate 21 9
   Fiber 2 4
Protein 18 15
Sodium 870 680


Where’s the beef? Swap out your traditional beef burger with this recipe made from ground turkey.

Beef Burger 4 oz. patty                 (80:20 Beef Chuck) Whole Grain Bun Turkey Burger 4 oz. patty                  (97% lean)Whole Grain Bun
Calories 390 280
Fat 23 10
   Saturated Fat 10 2.5
   Cholesterol 70 80
Carbohydrate 22 22
   Fiber 4 4
Protein 24 26

Ground Turkey Burgers (6 servings)


1 ½ pounds lean ground turkey

1 egg white, lightly beaten

1/8 cup bread crumbs

1/8 cup finely diced onions

1/8 cup chopped parsley

1 clove garlic

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

  1. Combine all ingredients and form 6 patties.
  2. Preheat grill and lightly oil grates.
  3. Grill patties until an internal temperature of 165 degrees is reached.


Categories: Recipes

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

1 reply

  1. Always great nutritional advice and great recipes. Can’t wait to try that blueberry bourbon bar-b-que sauce!


Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: