It’s Summer… Gluten Free Grillin’ is Easy
It’s hot here in Oregon. Dry hot… Stupid hot… Way too hot at times! Days like this, you don’t want to heat up the oven and by extension, the kitchen. And so we grill.
Grilling is an incredibly easy way to get a whole bunch of flavorful and healthful food prepared at the same time.
I’m a huge believer in preparing ahead for healthy gluten free eating success. If you are cooking, you might as well cook big. By cooking big, I mean so that you have lots of food leftover, and ready to package into your own takeaway meals.
Case in point—I made a reduced fat version of scalloped potatoes last weekend. It was awesome, very flavorful, and by using smaller amounts of flavorful cheese and a lower fat cheese all the cheesy goodness was maintained. I also used about 3 pounds of potatoes. That’s a lot of potatoes. However, we had plenty of food for a few days.
Grilling imparts that wonderful smoky flavor to food.
Probably I could eat a shoe if it was marinated and grilled. Or not, I don’t know for sure, and let’s not test that out. Anyway; everything tastes better on the grill… right? Think you don’t like a particular vegetable? Betcha you’d like it grilled. This weekend I experimented with jicama on the grill. In all fairness, I like jicama raw, but grilling it brought out even more sweetness and yumminess.
Generally, we grill a bunch of meat. If there’s room on the grill, I’ll add on some veggies. Summer squash, mushroom, onion, and bell pepper are my favorite veggie kabob. Stone fruits, like peaches, are incredible grilled. I’ve heard you can grill romaine lettuce, although I admit I’ve not yet tried it. How about placing a block of cheese on the grill and smoking it? We’ll saving smoking for another time but until then, think about how that might taste.
The grilling process starts a few hours before the actual onset of grilling.
In the morning I’ll trim and clean whatever meat will be grilled. In this case, it was several pounds of chicken breast and a flank steak. I then use zip top bags to hold my marinade until it’s time to grill.
Happily, most marinades you make at home are naturally gluten free. However, if you are trying a store bought marinade, be sure to read your labels very carefully. Also check your spice mixes.
- Steak: garlic, steak seasoning spice mix (I use Montreal Steak), fresh squeezed lime juice, 1 TBSP of coconut oil
- Chicken: garlic, lemon pepper seasoning, fresh squeezed lemon juice, 1 TBSP coconut oil
- Veggies: fresh chopped basil or thyme, sea salt, cracked pepper, minced garlic (or use a garlic press), dash of coconut oil
- Put the ingredients of the marinade in the bag, shake to combine. Add your meat/poultry/veggies but use separate bags for each. Fish generally doesn’t need to marinade as long, so you could get away with marinating the fish just before grilling.
- Stick these babies back in the fridge and go have fun doing something active. Or cleaning your house and doing laundry, which seems to happen so often on weekends.
- When grill time comes, pull your food out of the fridge and it’s ready to go. Let your meat come to room temperature before grilling, and also pat it dry. Drying the surface will help it sear.
- Grill for appropriate time. This is based on the suggested internal temperature found in your cookbook
- Enjoy cold gluten free adult beverage of choice while food is cooking. Or water or iced tea. But it’s the weekend, kick back and have an adult beverage if you’d like.
Love the grill marks. Don’t they look great! Awesomeness. Here is one of recipes for Grilled Corn
You’ve now created not just a great meal for the night, but great food for a couple days.
Package it up in some portable containers, make lunch for work, have it ready for grab and go.
You’ve now made it easier to make more healthful choices.
When you have easily accessible real food, you will be much less tempted to grab a convenient but less nutritious snack.
A resource for more grilling ideas is Eating Well. I read the magazine and visit the site often. Many of their dishes are naturally gluten free – score!
For more tips on eating gluten free and healthfully, check out Gluten Free and Fit 101. If you’re looking for a system for living more healthfully (ie: gluten free), check out our other articles here on Gluten Free Fitness.
I’d love to hear your tips and experiences with grilling! What’s your favorite thing to grill? Share it below in the comments!