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It’s time to fire up the grill

By Elizabeth Hall, MS, RDN, LDN • Jul 3, 2019 at 11:00 AM

Warmer weather means it’s time to get out of the kitchen and fire up the barbecue. Grilling is a great way to prepare meats and vegetables that are packed with flavor and often lower in fat since little fat is typically added during preparation. Follow these simple steps for a cookout that’s tasty and good for you.


Meat is often the star of the cookout, so make sure you choose high-quality lean proteins for a delicious and healthy main course. At Food City, our meat and seafood department has got you covered. From Certified Angus Beef steaks to all-natural chicken and fresh seafood, you can find something to satisfy every taste bud. Make sure to store proteins promptly when you arrive home, and if you buy frozen, make sure to thaw properly as well.


If you are choosing leaner proteins for less saturated fat, marinating them for 30 minutes to one hour prior to cooking helps to break down the proteins, keeping your meat tender and juicy similar to a fattier cut of meat. You can even make your own marinade! The ingredients include olive oil, something acidic like citrus fruits or vinegar, and your favorite herbs and spices. Get creative and mix up different flavor pairings using what you have on hand.


When proteins in meat, chicken and fish are cooked at searing temperatures, cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, can form, especially where meat is charred. Lower temperatures keep charring to a minimum, so think low and slow when grilling meats. Flipping food frequently can also prevent crusting.


Don’t forget to add a healthy side like a salad or vegetables from our “Shortcuts” section of the produce department or a fresh signature side from the Food City bakery/deli for an easy finish to your balanced meal. You can even grill fruits and vegetables! Grilling fruits like watermelon or pineapple caramelizes the sugars and intensifies the flavor. Pair alongside frozen yogurt for a sweet treat that is full of vitamins and minerals as well.

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