My husband loves Time Magazine and I love my husband (as evident in this photo of us…and yes, I know; the 80’s called and they want their hair back…but it was the 80’s…).
Anyhow, I read Time because he loves it. A recent issue featured an article: “Four Ways to Grill Healthier.” Naturally, my curiosity was piqued. And the gorgeous photo on the page showed luscious grille vegetable kabobs. My hopes soared. The sing-song beginning of the piece was all about cooking outdoors being the hallmark of summer. On top of that it lauded how grilling is home cooking so we are gathered with friends and family, eating food that we prepared.
It was downhill from there.
The article went on to speak to the many problems and dangers of grilling meat and how cooking it at temperatures over 300oF could produce cancer-causing chemicals called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). The article when on to quote experts on meat and fish cooking and how to avoid the potential hazard of HCAs: It talked about not over-cooking your entrée; it talked about grilling poultry, fish or “plant-based proteins” (with no specifics on what those might be) as safer alternatives to beef or pork. It talked about processed meats, like sausage, bacon and hot dogs releasing more HCAs than other meats (true that). It talked about slicking down your meats with marinades to help partially block the release of HCAs.
But nowhere in the article…nowhere, did it reference the gorgeous veggie kabobs pictured. Nowhere did it state that grilling vegetables would be the healthiest choice for summer cooking out. The nod to fruit and vegetables came from one expert who professed, “But fruits and vegetables like corn, peaches, peppers, eggplant, pineapple, squash and watermelon hold up well on the barbecue and don’t form HCAs when they’re cooked.”
Was there a recipe for grilled vegetables? Nope. Tips for grilling vegetables? Nope.
How about this as the greatest tip for healthier grilling? Skip the meat, fish and whatever other animal you might want to throw on the grill (no shrimp on the bar-bie, thanks…) altogether and grill healthfully with veggies, fruits, tempeh and tofu…and veggie burgers.
Happy grilling, kids!