Tips for Hosting a Healthy Summer Cookout

When people think of barbecues, many think of foods loaded with fat, salt and sugar, which can seem challenging if you are trying to eat healthy. However, it is possible – and easier than you think – to host a balanced cookout with nutritious options, without sacrificing flavor or quality.

Smithfield nutritionist Erin Thacker, MA, RDN, recommends these tips for hosting a backyard barbecue that will leave your guests healthy and happy:

  • Stick to lean protein: fresh pork cuts such as sirloins, tenderloins, boneless loins and chops are packed with protein and contain key nutrients like vitamin B6, thiamin, phosphorus, niacin, potassium, riboflavin and zinc. Smithfield fresh pork tenderloins and boneless sirloin roasts are even certified by the American Heart Association* as heart-healthy foods.
  • Layer on fruits and veggies: grilled vegetables make for a quick and delicious side dish, and grilled fruits are a health-conscious way to end the meal on a lighter note.
  • Lighten up: swap mayonnaise and heavy creams for Greek yogurt and vinegars, and opt for homemade dressings or sauces instead of store-bought condiments, which often have high sugar contents.

Try these simple, dietitian-approved recipes for Grilled Fresh Pork and Veggies with Lemon or Sweet and Spicy Fresh Pork Mini Kebabs. For more healthy and great-tasting recipe ideas, visit Smithfield.com.

Grilled Fresh Pork and Veggies with Lemon

Prep time: 8 minutes

Cook time: 22 minutes

Servings: 4

  • 1 Smithfield Fresh Pork Tenderloin, cut into four thick slices
  • 2 teaspoons garlic pepper
  • 1 zucchini squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 yellow summer squash, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 large portobello mushroom
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, cut in half lengthwise and flattened
  • 1/2 large red onion, cut into slices
  • 1 lemon, cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Heat charcoal or gas grill to medium-high. Season fresh pork slices with garlic pepper; grill about 5 minutes per side until internal temperature reaches 145-160° F.
  2. Brush both sides of zucchini squash, yellow squash, mushroom, pepper and onion, plus cut sides of lemon, with oil.
  3. Grill vegetables for 10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add lemon to grill, cut-side down, and cook additional 2 minutes.
  4. Place vegetables and lemon on cutting board; coarsely chop vegetables. Serve with fresh pork slices on top; squeeze lemon over meat.

Nutritional information per serving: 200 calories; 6 g total fat; 1 g saturated fat; 75 mg cholesterol; 75 mg sodium; 8 g total carbohydrates; 2 g dietary fiber; 4 g sugars; 30 g protein.

Sweet and Spicy Fresh Pork Mini Kebabs

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Servings: 16 kebabs

  • 1 Smithfield Roasted Garlic and Cracked Black Pepper Marinated Fresh Pork Sirloin, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/2 pineapple, cored and cut into 16 (1-inch) cubes
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into 16 (1-inch) pieces
  • 16 bamboo skewers (6 inches), soaked in water and drained
  • 2/3 cup honey
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning
  1. Heat gas or charcoal grill to medium-high.
  2. Thread two pieces of fresh pork sirloin, one pineapple cube and one red pepper piece onto each skewer. Wrap exposed end of skewer with foil to discourage scorching.
  3. Mix honey, vinegar and jerk seasoning together for glaze.
  4. Grill kebabs approximately 10 minutes, turning occasionally, until fresh pork reaches internal temperature of 145° F and then rest for 3 minutes. Generously brush kebabs with glaze during last 2-3 minutes.

Nutritional information per serving: 80 calories; 1 g total fat; 0 g saturated fat; 20 mg cholesterol; 90 mg sodium; 12 g total carbohydrates; 1 g dietary fiber; 9 g sugars; 8 g protein.

*Information and recipes not provided by the American Heart Association unless expressly stated. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Smithfield

Be the Hero of Your Grill This Summer

Nothing brings people together like a barbecue. There seems to be something about being outdoors and the sizzle of fresh food on the grill that makes you want to gather with family and friends.

This summer, you can be the hero of your grill with a few simple tips and tricks:

  • A great meal starts with great meat. Make sure to use versatile, high-quality and tender cuts like Smithfield Fresh Pork ribs, chops and tenderloins.
  • Cut down on time, not flavor. Look for pre-seasoned meats such as pork chops, or slice, dice or cube larger cuts like boneless loin to shorten cook time and increase flavor.
  • Grill like a pro. Use direct heat for burgers and chops, and indirect heat for larger cuts like ribs.

Find more summer grilling tips and pitmaster-perfected recipes at SmithfieldGetGrilling.com.

St. Louis Style Pork Spare Ribs with Coffee Cocoa Dry Rub

Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Chris Lilly

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 3 1/2 hours

Servings: 4-6

  • 7          teaspoons salt
  • 2          tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 4          teaspoons chili powder
  • 1          tablespoon ground coffee
  • 2 1/2    teaspoons unsweetened dark cocoa powder
  • 2          teaspoons black pepper
  • 1          teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1          teaspoon onion powder
  • 3/4       teaspoon ancho chile pepper
  • 1/8       teaspoon coriander
  • 1/8       teaspoon turmeric
  • 2          racks Smithfield St. Louis Style Pork Spareribs, membrane removed
  1. Build charcoal fire for indirect cooking by situating coals on one side of grill, leaving other side empty. Heat grill to 250° F.
  2. To make dry rub: In small bowl, combine salt, brown sugar, chili powder, coffee, cocoa, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, ancho chile pepper, coriander and turmeric.
  3. Generously apply dry rub onto front and back of pork ribs. Gently pat to ensure rub adheres.
  4. Put ribs meat-side up over indirect heat, away from coals, close lid and cook until ribs are tender, about 3 1/2 hours.
  5. Remove ribs from grill and let rest, uncovered, 5 minutes. Slice ribs between bones and serve.

Pineapple Pork Kebabs

Recipe courtesy of pitmaster Sterling Ball

Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 1 hour

Servings: 3-4

  • 1/2       Smithfield Prime Boneless Fresh Pork Loin
  • 1          sweet onion, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces
  • 1          red bell pepper, cut into 1-1 1/2-inch square pieces
  • 2          cups pineapple chunks
  • 3-4       tablespoons barbecue rub
  • 2 1/2    cups teriyaki marinade
  • 3-4       flexible skewers
  1. Heat grill or smoker to 250° F. Cut pork loin into 2-inch cubes.
  2. Season pork loin, sweet onion, red bell pepper and pineapple chunks with rub.
  3. Thread pork loin, onion, pepper and pineapple on skewer; repeat until length of skewer is almost full. Repeat with additional skewers.
  4. Put assembled kebabs in large re-sealable bag and add teriyaki marinade. Carefully remove air from marinade bag and refrigerate 20 minutes.
  5. Remove kebabs from marinade bag and place on grill over indirect heat; cook 12-14 minutes, remove and set aside.
  6. Increase grill temperature to 400° F. Sear kebabs at high heat, until caramelized. Using meat thermometer, check pork loin cubes for doneness; remove from heat once pork reaches internal temperature of 145° F.

SOURCE:
Smithfield