Recipe corner: grilled summer vegetable kabobs and honey drizzled peaches
Cooking on the grill is a staple within many households, especially during the summer months. Lab studies show potential carcinogens may develop from intense heat while preparing meat, fish or other foods during the grilling process but research does not suggest the need to eliminate this method of food preparation. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) has identified grilling techniques that are in compliance with cancer prevention. Try these 5 steps below to make summer grilling not only safer but healthier as well!
- Marinate your food prior to grilling. Studies have shown that marinating meat at least 30 minutes prior to cooking may reduce the risk of carcinogen formation.
- Pre-cook large cuts of meat. This allows them to cook faster and decreases the amount of time prepared at high temperatures.
- Choose lean cuts of meat or remove fat prior to grilling to reduce charring.
- Cook food items at a low temperature, on the center of the grill and flip frequently.
- Replace animal proteins with plant-based to add vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals to your diet.
Research notes a connection between red meat and colorectal cancer. The AICR recommends consuming no more than 12-18 ounces of red meat per week and limiting processed meats to rare occasions. Check out these delicious summer recipes prepared using the suggested grilling techniques and plant-based nutrients! For more detailed information, visit https://www.aicr.org/enews/2018/07-july/enews-guide-to-safe-summer-grilling.html.
Grilled Summer Vegetable Kabobs
- Mushrooms, 2 cups sliced
- Cherry tomatoes, 1 cup
- Orange bell pepper, 1 medium sized cut into chunks
- Zucchini, 1 medium sized sliced into thick rounds
- Yellow squash, 1 medium sized sliced into thick rounds
- Olive oil, ¼ cup
- Garlic, 3 cloves pressed
- Juice from a lemon, 1 tablespoon
- Dried oregano, ½ teaspoon
- Dried basil, ½ teaspoon
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat grill to medium high heat. In a small mixing bowl whisk together olive oi, garlic, lemon juice, oregano and basil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Thread vegetables onto skewers then place them on a baking sheet. Once skewers are prepared brush them with the olive oil mixtures and let them set for approximately 10-15 minutes. Cook skewers on preheated grill until tender (about 10 minute, 5-6 minutes per side). Turning and basting them with olive oil mixture occasionally. This dish is great served over brown rice or with a lean meat such as fish or chicken.
**You can prepare the skewers in the oven as well if you prefer, set temperature to 400 degrees fahrenheit and roast for about 10-12 minutes.
Grilled Honey Drizzled Peaches
- 3 peaches, pitted and halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
Preheat grill to medium high heat. Cut peaches in half and remove the pits. Brush cut side of peach halves with olive oil and place cut side down on the grill. Grill until golden brown and caramelized, approximately 2-3 minutes. Turn peach halves over and grill until slightly soft, about 2 minutes. Remove from the grill and drizzle with honey. This is a sweet and nutritious treat!
Recipes prepared by Allie Farley, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietitian at VCU Health. Visit Allie's blog on Diet and Nutrition for more recipes and information about the connection between diet and cancer survivorship.