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Healthy Independence Day Grilling Alternatives

By HERWriter
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Barbecues on the 4th of July are part of being American.

As we head into the height of grilling season, it is important to pay attention to the extra calories we may consume from our feast.

For example, according to FitDay.com, one cup of potato salad contains 325 calories and 17 grams of fat. My suggestion is to fill your plate with lots of green, like a fresh spinach salad or grilled veggies.

LiveStrong.com has these suggestions for cutting calories and fat, “Instead of fatty burgers and hot dogs, stick to lean protein options for your healthy foods picnic. Switch to turkey or veggie burgers on the grill. You can also grill chicken and serve it on skewers along with grilled veggies, like tomatoes and onions.”

Here are some of my favorite original recipes for grilling:

½ small eggplant sliced thin lengthwise
6 ounces of chicken tenderloins thinly sliced
2 tablespoons of olive oil
Garlic powder
Pinch of salt

Coat eggplant with olive oil, season with garlic and salt. Grill eggplant on indoor or outdoor grill. Grill chicken. Place each piece of chicken on each piece of eggplant, roll up and serve.

6 ounces of stewing beef
1 small zucchini diced
1 red bell pepper cut into thick strips
2 tablespoons of pimiento sauce (found in ethnic food aisle of grocery store)

Prepare Grill
Mix shrimp with pimiento sauce. Thread the shrimp, cubed zucchini and peppers onto skewers. Grill kabobs turning frequently until cooked through.

6 ounces of ground turkey
1tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of red pepper spread (usually found in ethnic food aisle of grocery store)
1 slice of pepperjack cheese
1 slice of multi-grain bread

Mix together ground turkey and red pepper spread and form patty. Cook thoroughly in medium skillet on both sides. Top with a piece of pepperjack cheese. Served open-faced on a slice of multi-grain bread.

4 ounces of lean ground chicken
1 tablespoon of olive oil
¼ teaspoon of garlic powder
½ teaspoon of Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon of chopped scallions
2 medium shiitake mushrooms chopped
1 slice of Swiss cheese

Mix together chicken, garlic, Worcestershire sauce and set aside. Sauté scallions and mushrooms in medium skillet for about 5 minutes. Mix onion mixture in with chicken and form two small burgers. Cook over medium heat flipping over until juices run clear. Top with Swiss cheese.

Serve with side spinach salad and balsamic vinaigrette.


“Nutrition Info For: Side dishes, potato salad – FitDay.” FitDay. Web 3 July 2012.

“Make Healthy Picnic Foods- LiveStrong.com.” Live Strong. Web 3 July 2012.

Joanne Sgro-Killworth is a Television Fitness Expert, Certified Personal Trainer and Sport Nutritionist. She is Certified in Pilates, Pre-natal/Post-Partum, Yoga and Senior Fitness. She specializes in Weight Loss, Post-Rehab and Post Cancer Training.

Joanne's fitness plans and recipes are available globally on her website www.fitnessanswer.com/ She resides in the Phoenix, AZ area with her husband, where she runs her personal training business, Fitness Answer, LLC.

Reviewed July 4, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.


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