Fire up the grill. Summer lures people outdoors and sparks many to ignite the grill.

If grilling causes thoughts of high-calorie, high-fat burgers and hot dogs, think again! Chicken, fish, vegetables and fruit can add some health and creativity to your backyard barbecue.

Grilling is a low-fat cooking method and an easy way to trim fat from the diet. Grilling allows fat to drip away from the meat unlike many other cooking methods.

Here are three creative options to improve the health of your grilling.


The possibilities are limitless when preparing kabobs. Choose lean meat, chicken, shrimp or even tofu. Tofu adds soy protein to your grilling fare. Tofu can be cut into cubes and easily slides onto skewers.

Fruits and vegetables make a sweet and savory accent to kabobs and are delicious when combined with poultry, tofu, seafood and meats. Try cherry tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, zucchini slices, onions, peppers, pineapple chunks or apple slices.

Create the kabob of your choice and brush with olive oil or find a marinade to enhance the flavor and keep food moist while grilling. Turn the kabobs as needed during grilling. Grill over the barbecue until the meats are thoroughly cooked and the fruits and veggies are tender and roasted.

Grilled Asparagus

Asparagus is a delicious spring and summer vegetable and adds a certain delicacy to your barbecue. Grilling asparagus is simple. Choose a bunch with thicker stalks that is bright green in color.

Simply clean and trim the bottoms of the asparagus, brush with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill asparagus until tender, turning frequently, about three minutes.


Salmon is very easy to grill. The American Heart Association recommends that healthy adults eat at least two servings of fish per week, including salmon. If you have never tried to grill salmon, here is an easy recipe idea: Sprinkle lemon juice, salt and pepper on some salmon filets or steaks, and grill them for approximately 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Flip them once if your grill does not have a lid.

For the best flavor, it is important not to overcook salmon. Appearance is the best gauge of doneness with salmon. Insert the tip of a knife at the thickest part of the filet and pull away slightly. Well-done salmon will be completely opaque and flake easily. Salmon continues to cook after removing from heat, so count a minute or two of standing time to complete cooking.