Out of the Box Backyard Grilling

If you’re firing up the grill for your entree, why not make the most of it and make your entire meal outside? It’s easy to throw some veggies on the grill to round out your dinner, but have you tried preparing appetizers, desserts, or drinks? Impress your guests with these easy recipes that are both delicious and nutritious!


GRILLED WATERMELON LIME MARGARITA (AGUA FRESCA)

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

Half of a large seedless watermelon, cut into 1-inch slices
2 limes, cut in half length-wise
1 T canola oil
2 T honey (local is best)
2 cups ice or 1 cup chilled tequila
Salt and lime for garnish

Directions:

Preheat grill on medium-high. Brush watermelon and limes with canola oil. Grill fruit for about 1-2 minutes or until flesh is charred, only grilling one side. You want to caramelize, but not cook the fruit. Cut watermelon into chunks and add to a blender. Squeeze the juice of grilled limes into a blender. Add honey and ice or tequila. Process until smooth.

Place 1 tablespoon of coarse salt in a saucer. Rub the rims of 8 glasses with a lime wedge; dip rim of each glass in salt to coat. Pour watermelon mixture into each glass. Garnish with lime wedge if desired.

Watermelon is loaded with lycopene and citrulline (amino acid), both of which are important for cardiovascular and bone health, as well as maintaining a healthy weight.


GRILLED PEACH APPETIZERS

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

4 firm peaches, halved and pitted
1 T canola oil
2 cups arugula
½ cup pecans
½ cup crumbled blue cheese
2 T reduced balsamic vinegar

Directions:

Preheat grill on medium-high. Brush flesh of peach halves with canola oil. Grill peaches flesh side down for about 1-2 minutes or until flesh is charred. You want to caramelize, but not cook peaches. When peaches are ready, they will easily release from the grill. Note: if peaches are too ripe, they will become too mushy.

Place arugula on a serving dish. Place grilled peaches flesh side up and sprinkle with blue cheese and pecans. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar (simmer plain balsamic vinegar for about 10 minutes until reduced by half – keeps in fridge for months).

Peaches are good sources of lycopene and lutein. These phytochemicals are especially beneficial in the prevention of heart disease, macular degeneration, and cancer.


GRILLED SWEET PINEAPPLE DESSERT

Serves: 8

Ingredients:

1 fresh pineapple, peeled and sliced into ½-inch slices (canned will fall apart on the grill)
1 T canola oil
½ cup sliced almonds
½ cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 T honey (local is best)

Directions:

Preheat grill on medium-high. Brush one side of pineapple slices with canola oil. Place almonds and coconut on a piece of aluminum foil and fold into a packet. Grill pineapple for about 1-2 minutes or until flesh is charred, only grilling one side. You want to caramelize, but not cook the pineapple. Grill almond/coconut packet next to pineapple, keeping a close watch as they will brown quickly. When the pineapple is ready, they will easily release from the grill. Serve with a small scoop of yogurt and sprinkle with toasted almonds and coconut. Drizzle with honey.

Pineapple contains bromelain, which aids in digesting protein. Yogurt contains probiotics or “good” bacteria that aid in digestion and immune function. Always pick Greek yogurt, which contains twice the protein and half the sugar as conventional yogurt.


Special thanks to Dyan Damron from Coach D Consulting for being our out of the box backyard grilling expert! For more information about these and other recipes or health and wellness services, visit her website or follow her on Facebook or Instagram!

Also a special thanks to Trace Construction for use of their beautiful home!

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