Fat-Watchers Can Enjoy a Holiday Meal From Grill


Memorial Day usually signals the beginning of the outdoor barbecue season, but it can also begin a period of anxiety for fat-watchers since some favorite grilled items are major sources of saturated fat--the dietary element most recently implicated in raising serum cholesterol.

Beef roasts and steaks, cheeseburgers and frankfurters are among the top sources of saturated fat in the diet, according to a recent issue of Environmental Nutrition, a diet, nutrition and health newsletter written by registered dietitians. Health-conscious consumers should keep this in mind when planning the holiday cookout menu.

A bill of fare built around lean-meat alternatives (avoiding such items as beef and pork ribs) and augmented with fresh fruit, vegetable and whole grain accompaniments will preserve the festive theme of the holiday and still adhere to recommendations that fat in the diet be held to 30% of total calories.


Newsletter Suggestions

The newsletter suggests: choosing select grades of beef instead of the more fat-marbled cuts such as choice or prime; using non-stick vegetable sprays; removing skin from poultry before cooking, and opting for white poultry meat over dark.

Some other ideas for preparing flavorful but low-fat grilled meals:

--Choose lean top round steak, which contains about 166 calories per 3-ounce cooked serving. Marinate in a tenderizing mixture with a minimum of oil, then grill.

--Season ground turkey with spices or packaged flavorings such as instant soup mixes to give additional flavor and use as a substitute for ground beef in hamburgers.

--Rub chicken or Cornish hens with a spicy dry marinade or marinate in a no-oil dressing for extra flavor before grilling.


1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

3 tablespoons oil

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 Cornish hens, halved

Combine tomato sauce, oil, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder and cayenne pepper. Brush on hens, then place hens on rack of covered grill, sprayed with non-stick vegetable coating spray, over medium-low charcoals. Cover and cook 25 to 30 minutes or until done. Baste and turn hens every 10 minutes. Makes 4 servings.


1 envelope onion-mushroom or beefy onion recipe soup mix

1 pound ground turkey

1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/4 cup finely chopped green pepper

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 cup water

Hamburger rolls

Shredded lettuce

Reduced calorie Cheddar cheese

Combine soup mix, turkey, tomato, green pepper, chili powder and water in bowl. Mix well, then shape into 4 patties. Grill on rack, sprayed with non-stick vegetable coating spray, until done. Serve on hamburger rolls topped with shredded lettuce and cheese. Makes 4 servings.




1 pound ground turkey

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1 (4 1/2-ounce) jar sliced mushrooms, drained

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

1/2 teaspoon basil leaves

Combine turkey, onion, bread crumbs, Worcestershire sauce and garlic in medium bowl. Shape into 8 thin patties. Spoon 2 tablespoons cheese and 1 tablespoon mushrooms onto centers of 4 patties, reserving remaining mushrooms for sauce. Cover with remaining patties, pressing edges to seal. Reshape patties if necessary. Grill on rack, sprayed with non-stick vegetable coating spray, 3 to 4 inches from heat 12 to 16 minutes or until browned, turning once.

Meanwhile, combine tomato sauce, basil and reserved mushrooms in small saucepan. Heat until bubbly. Serve over turkey patties. Makes 4 servings.


3 skinned and boned chicken breasts, split

1 envelope no-oil Italian salad dressing mix

1/4 cup water

1 (10-ounce) package frozen broccoli spears, thawed

1 large sweet red pepper, cut into 6 wedges

1 head Romaine lettuce, sliced

3 tablespoons lemon juice

Place chicken breasts in shallow pan. Combine salad dressing mix and oil. Stir or shake in jar with tight fitting lid until thickened. Pour over chicken breasts,

tossing well to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.

Place chicken on grill, sprayed with non-stick vegetable coating spray, over hot coals. Cook, uncovered, 15 to 20 minutes or until chicken is tender, brushing frequently with marinade. Remove from grill. Place broccoli and red pepper on grills and cook, turning frequently, until just crisp, about 3 minutes.

Place romaine lettuce on serving platter. Thinly slice chicken breasts and arrange on lettuce along with broccoli and red pepper. Sprinkle with lemon juice. Makes 6 servings.


1 cup packed spinach leaves

1 cup packed basil leaves

1/2 cup packed Italian parsley

1/4 cup sliced green onions, tops only

2/3 cup dry, seasoned bread crumbs

1/4 cup plain nonfat yogurt


4 pork chops, cut 1 1/4-inches thick, trimmed of excess fat


Combine spinach, basil, parsley and green onions in food processor. Process until coarsely chopped. Combine chopped greens, bread crumbs, yogurt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in small bowl. Set aside.


Slit each side of pork chop opposite bone to make deep pocket. Fill each with spinach mixture, then secure with wood picks. Season chops with salt and pepper to taste, then grill on rack sprayed with non-stick vegetable cooking spray, 10 minutes per side, 6 inches from heat. Makes 4 servings.


4 turkey tenderloin steaks, about 1 pound

1/3 cup chili sauce

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon sugar

2 bay leaves

8 medium cherry tomatoes

8 medium mushrooms

1 large green pepper, cut into 8 pieces

2 small onions, peeled and quartered

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 tablespoons oil

Cut turkey into 2-inch cubes and place in bowl. Combine chili sauce, lemon juice, sugar and bay leaves and pour over turkey. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. Stir to coat several times during marinating.

Thread turkey on skewers, alternating with tomatoes, mushrooms, green pepper, onion and zucchini. Brush lightly with oil. Grill on rack, sprayed with non-stick vegetable coating spray, over hot coals 6 inches from heat, turning occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Brush with reserved marinade while turning. Makes 4 servings.


2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon crushed dried red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon oil

1/4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons rice or white wine vinegar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1/4 teaspoon sugar

1 pound beef top round steak, cut 1-inch thick

Cook garlic and red pepper in hot oil in small skillet over medium-high heat 2 to 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Combine seasoned oil, lime juice, soy sauce, vinegar, sesame oil and sugar. Place beef in plastic bag and add marinade, turning to coat. Tie bag securely and refrigerate 6 to 8 hours or overnight, turning at least once.

Pour off marinade and discard. Grill steak on rack, sprayed with non-stick vegetable coating spray, over medium coals. Turn only once. Broil 16 minutes for rare, 20 minutes for medium. Carve into thin slices to serve. Makes 4 servings.



2 teaspoons coarse salt

1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1 1/2 teaspoons paprika

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

2 (3 to 3 1/2-pound) chickens, quartered

Combine salt, pepper, paprika, chili powder, cayenne, cumin and coriander. Rinse chicken, then pat dry with paper towels. Rub spice mixture on both sides of chicken pieces. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours.


Grill chicken on rack, sprayed with non-stick vegetable coating spray, over low to medium heat, turning often, 35 to 45 minutes. Makes 8 servings.