Healthy Grilling: Shrimp kebabs and quinoa

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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Grilling food can potentially be dangerous if cancer-causing carcinogens are created from flare-ups and too much smoke.  PinnacleHealth Dietitian Marykaye Flatley, RD, LDN and Harrisburg Hospital/Sodexo’s Executive Chef Paul Gusst show us the way to minimize your risk and enjoy grilled foods that are both flavorful and nutritious.

kebabs-plateOn the menu: Grilled shrimp kebabs over quinoa with mushrooms

Watch the video below to learn how you can make this delicious menu at home!  And, you don’t have to be a chef to make it!  You can watch another video of Paul and Marykaye preparing steak, grilled mixed veggies and a delicious grilled watermelon and feta salad!

Below are some of Marykaye and Paul’s top grilling secrets for flavorful, nutritious, and safe meals:

  1. Keep your grill clean. A clean grill not only cooks better but it also reduces the amount of carcinogens that will form on your food.
  2. Choosing a low-fat protein like shrimp is heart-healthy and reduces flare-ups, caused by fat dripping onto heat. Flare-ups can cause dangerous carcinogens to form.
  3. Another way to reduce the amount of carcinogens- HCAs and PAHs- that end up in, and on, the meat, slow down the cooking time with a low flame and keep burning and charring to a minimum.
  4. Be certain your food reaches a safe internal temperature. Scroll down for a downloadable .pdf temperature guide to follow.
  5. Studies show that specific herbs like basil, mint, rosemary, thyme, oregano, and sage can reduce HCA formation in foods. Thai spices like chili, ginger and turmeric also reduce carcinogens. (Check out chef Paul’s rosemary “brush” in the video)
  6. Choose brightly-colored veggies to grill, like bell peppers, tomato, and red onion. These are packed with antioxidants and flavor!
  7. The USDA recommends making ½ of your plate fruits and veggies- so keep that in mind when building your plate. Fill up that half with tasty grilled veggies and fruit, and the other with a whole grain side, like Quinoa, and your grilled meat.

What are your favorite things to grill? What tips can you share? Would you try this menu and healthy grilling tips at home? Please leave a comment!

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