With Memorial Day weekend as the not-so-official kickoff of summer, the grill just moved up as the top cooking tool to use. Grills are great for cooking healthy, whole foods filled with flavor–all without heating up the kitchen or dirtying up a bunch of pots and pans.
There are endless grilling options when it comes to food, but many people with fat loss in mind tend to head straight for chicken. Poultry packs a protein-filled punch, while still being a mean, lean way to stay on track with eating right. The only problem with grilled chicken is that eat enough of it, and you’ll bore before you know it.
Sure you could switch it up and make some space on the grill for salmon or turkey burgers, but before you give chicken the boot, try these tasty ways to bring it back as the best of your barbecue.
Flavor Fave: Change up the flavor of your chicken by soaking it in a sauce. You can buy these pre-made from the supermarket, but for an alternative that is filled with fresh whole foods and flavors, mix up one at home. A simple marinade base can start with oil and vinegar before adding in seasonings, spices, herbs, and sweeteners. Get creative using freshly squeezed fruit juices and blending with chopped herbs. For a hint of sweetness, try honey, agave nectar, or fresh maple syrup. Taste as you go and adjust the flavors until you find one you like. After that, it’s as simple as letting the chicken soak up the liquid mixture in a closed, air-tight container for at least 30 minutes.
Salad Star: Grilled chicken sitting solo on a plate doesn’t evoke much excitement. Switch up how you serve your protein by adding it atop a bed of spinach, fresh veggies, raw nuts, and dressing made similar to how you mix up a marinade (but never use leftover marinade that’s been in contact with raw chicken!).
Taco Time: Give your tortillas a summer makeover by adding outdoor-cooked chicken to you fiesta-based food. Try a dry rub of cumin, chili powder, and a touch of salt on your chicken before getting it on the grill. Make some space to sear veggies, such a red and green peppers, jalapenos, and onions. Slice up everything and top a tortilla. Add a squeeze of lime, some fresh pico de gallo, and a sprinkling of cheese for an amazing meal.
Shish Style: Chunk up your chicken and skewer it with veggies or even fruit for an incredible flavor combination. Zucchini, mushrooms, bell peppers, and onions are super in shish kabobs. But to really kick up the heat, marinate chicken in a jerk seasoning blend then skewer with peaches. Serve over quinoa with a dash of fresh cilantro.
Stuffed Up: Instead of keeping breasts whole, butterfly each piece to create the perfect place to pack in some goodies. For an Italian style, make caprese chicken. Within each piece, add two slices of tomato, fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced whole mozzarella, and a drizzle of olive oil. Close the chicken breast and lightly drizzle with olive oil again. Add a dash of Italian seasoning before grilling.
Grilled chicken is really quite versatile. Connect with your inner creative chef to keep poultry as your prime protein source when cooking outdoors.
What’s your favorite way to prepare grilled chicken? Share with others in the comments!