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12 Surprising Foods to Grill

Grilled Chilaquiles with Grilled Green Salsa

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Who knew you could grill breakfast—and eggs? Here’s a lightened up take of the traditional Mexican breakfast dish chilaquiles. Grilling rather than frying not only makes these much healthier, they’re also fresher tasting and more delicious.

Serves: 6

For salsa:
1 pound tomatillos, husked and washed
2 jalapenos, halved and seeded
1 red onion, halved and cut into thirds
3 garlic cloves, skin on
Vegetable oil
Juice of 1 lime

For chilaquiles:
8 taco-size yellow corn tortillas
Vegetable oil
10 large eggs
1/3 cup skim milk
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces queso fresco
2 avocados, cubed and tossed in lime juice
1/3 cup cilantro leaves
1/2 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
1 lime, cut into wedges
Hot sauce (optional)

1. Preheat grill to medium heat. Clean grates and place a grill basket directly on the grates to heat as well.
2. In a bowl combine tomatillos, jalapeno, red onion, and garlic. Drizzle with vegetable oil and a sprinkling of pepper. Toss to coat. Pour into grill basket and grill for 15 to 20 minutes until charred and softened, flipping and turning every 5 minutes or so.

 3. Remove from basket and let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, remove garlic cloves from skins and place everything in a blender with lime juice and 1 large pinch each salt and pepper. Blend until smooth. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt or lime juice if needed. Set aside.
4. Lightly spray or brush tortillas with oil on both sides. Grill with grill open for 4 to 5 minutes on each side until nicely grill-marked and crispy. Remove and set aside.
5. Place a cast-iron pan directly on grill, close lid, and let it heat up for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt, and pepper. Crumble in queso fresco, leaving it in small to medium crumbles.
6. Once pan is heated, oil liberally with vegetable oil. Pour beaten eggs into pan and let sit 3 to 4 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, gently move eggs around, working from the outside in. Continue doing this every couple of minutes for 8 to 10 minutes until eggs are set but still soft. Carefully remove pan from grill.
7. To assemble, in a shallow bowl or plate, break up 2 tortillas and lay flat. Drizzle some salsa over chips and top with 1/4 scrambled eggs. Top with a little more salsa, avocado chunks, crumbled cheese, cilantro, and a drizzle of Mexican crema or sour cream. Top with hot sauce, if using. Continue with remaining servings and serve immediately.

Nutrition score per serving: 404 calories, 29g fat (9g saturated), 20g carbs, 18g protein, 6g fiber, 695mg sodium, 209mg calcium

Recipe courtesy of Megan Mitchell, host of Grill Next Door, a new cooking series on Yahoo! Screen

Grilled Romaine Hearts with Caesar Vinaigrette

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Turn up the heat on the classic salad and cut major calories at the same time with this delicious side.

Serves: 4

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 small clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/8 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Oil for grill grates
2 hearts romaine lettuce
Olive oil spray

1. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, lemon juice, garlic, mustard, Worcestershire, and pepper. Stir in Parmesan.
2. Preheat grill to medium-high heat and oil grates. Remove any wilted outer leaves from romaine hearts and cut hearts in half length-wise, leaving ends in tact so each half holds together. Spray lightly with oil spray. Grill until grill marks form and lettuce wilts slightly, about 6 minutes, turning once or twice. Serve drizzled with vinaigrette.

Nutrition score per serving: 100 calories, 8g fat (1.5g saturated), 3g protein, 5g carbs, 1g fiber, 85mg sodium

Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger

Grilled Watermelon Salad

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Watermelon may seem like a wacky food to grill, but this classic summer fruit tastes delicious with a slightly smoky flavor and will wow you when paired with a syrupy balsamic reduction, salty crumbled feta, and fresh red onion.

Serves: 4

1/2 (5-pound) seedless watermelon
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

 Extra-virgin olive oil

 Kosher salt
2 cups fresh field greens, washed and dried
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 cup thinly sliced red onion
Fresh finely cracked black pepper

1. Stand watermelon cut-side-down on a cutting board and slice away rind, leaving solid block of melon. Turn block on its side and cut out 4 squares (you should have some melon to spare), roughly 3-by-3 inches and 1-inch thick.
2. Pour vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium-high heat. Cook until reduced to a thick syrup consistency. Set aside.
3. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Drizzle just enough olive oil over watermelon slices to thinly coat and place on hot grill. Grill each side about 2 minutes until grill marks appear; transfer to a plate and season with salt.
4. To assemble salads, put about 1/2 cup field greens on a serving plate and sprinkle with 1/4 cup red onion. Follow with 1 watermelon slice in the center and top with 1 tablespoon feta. Finish each salad with a very light drizzle of olive oil and balsamic syrup. Dust with black pepper.

Nutrition score per serving: 271 calories, 15g fat (7g saturated), 36g carbs, 7g protein, 3g fiber, 445mg sodium

Recipe courtesy of Big Girls, Small Kitchen; photo credit: Hannah Doolin

Grilled Radicchio and Kale

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A grill’s direct heat turns the outside edges of kale charred and crispy while the inner leaves become tender and stay intact. Soaking the kale is essential so steam can build and cook the tough.

Serves: 8

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon canola oil, plus more for brushing
1 large shallot, chopped
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
8 juniper berries (Find them in the loose spice section of your grocery or on
1/2 teaspoon caraway seeds
1/2 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
3 sprigs thyme
1 to 2 tablespoons sugar
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 heads (about 1 1/2 pounds) radicchio, halved lengthwise
2 big bunches (about 1 pound) kale, soaked in cold water

1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar, juniper berries, caraway seeds, mustard seeds, thyme, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil and cook 1 to 2 minutes until sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove from heat. Let sit for 15 minutes, then strain into a small bowl, discarding solids. Slowly whisk in remaining 1/2 cup oil until emulsified.
2. Heat grill to high for direct grilling. Brush cut sides of radicchio with oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Grill cut-side-down about 2 to 3 minutes until golden brown and slightly charred. Brush tops with oil, flip, and continue grilling 2 to 3 minutes longer until just heated through. Remove from grill. Thinly slice and place in a bowl.
3. Remove kale from water and shake gently to get some water off. Season with salt and pepper and place on grill. Cook until slightly wilted and charred on all sides, about 30 seconds per side. Remove from grill. Thinly slice and add to radicchio. Add dressing and toss to coat. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to allow flavors to meld.

Nutrition score per serving: 207 calories, 16g fat (1g saturated), 15g carbs, 3g protein, 2g fiber, 101mg calcium, 43mg sodium

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson; photo credit: Quentin Bacon

Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Hazelnut Vinaigrette

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Tender on the inside and slightly charred and crisp on the outside, these little cabbages are transformed into a surprisingly dynamic dish. The grill’s high heat does more than blister the sprouts’ outer leaves; it also lends a nutty taste that’s echoed in the rich hazelnut-studded vinaigrette.

Serves: 6

1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems trimmed and outer leaves removed
Kosher salt
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon clover honey
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Canola oil
3 tablespoons finely chopped toasted hazelnuts
1 teaspoon grated orange zest

1. Heat grill to high for direct grilling. If using wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for at least 15 minutes. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add Brussels sprouts and cook until crisp-tender (a skewer inserted into the center should meet a little resistance), about 5 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain well again. Pat dry with paper towels.
2. Whisk together vinegar, shallot, honey, mustard, and salt and pepper to taste in a medium bowl. Slowly whisk in olive oil until vinaigrette is emulsified.
3. Toss Brussels sprouts with a few tablespoons canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Thread onto skewers and grill on both sides until golden brown, slightly charred, and just tender, about 2 minutes per side. Remove sprouts to a cutting board and cut in half. Transfer to a platter. Drizzle vinaigrette over warm Brussels sprouts, and top with hazelnuts and orange zest.

Nutrition score per serving: 268 calories, 26g fat (3g saturated), 11g carbs, 3g protein, 3g fiber, 37mg calcium, 41mg sodium, 5g sugars

Recipe adapted from Bobby Flay's Barbecue Addiction by Bobby Flay with Stephanie Banyas and Sally Jackson; photo credit: Quentin Bacon

Grilled Guacamole with Roasted Corn and Basil

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This delectable take on everyone’s favorite Mexican dip has a delicious, smoky flavor that simply screams summer.

Serves: 8

Vegetable oil
2 ears corn
3 small or 2 large Hass avocadoes, halved and pitted
1/2 red onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of 2 lemons
Juice of 1 lime
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 teaspoons salt
1 bunch basil, chopped

1. Bring grill to medium heat. Clean grates. When grill is heated, lightly oil grates with oil. Grill corn until cooked and charred on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
2. Grill avocado halves 5 minutes until nice grill marks appear but avocado still holds its shape. Remove from heat.
3. Scoop avocado flesh into a large bowl and add red onion, garlic, lemon and lime juice, and jalapeno. Mash with a fork until combined but still chunky. Remove kernels from corn cobs and add to mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add basil and stir to combine.

Nutrition score per serving: 192 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated), 16g carbs, 3g protein, 6g fiber, 593mg sodium

Recipe courtesy of Megan Mitchell, host of Grill Next Door

Grilled Potato Salad with Herbs and Mustard

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Hold the mayo (and added fat): This version of the classic cookout side is light, fresh, and tangy, with plenty of flavor from fresh herbs.

Serves: 6

2 pounds baby red skinned potatoes
Vegetable oil

1 red onion, sliced into 1/2-inch slices
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup chopped dill
2 tablespoons minced chives
3 green onions, chopped

For dressing:
1/2 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons grainy mustard
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon pepper

1. Add potatoes to a large pot and cover with salted cold water. Bring to a boil and turn down to a simmer for 7 minutes. Drain and let cool. Once cool enough to handle, cut in half and drizzle with vegetable oil and a sprinkling of pepper.
2. Preheat grill to medium heat (400 to 425 degrees). Clean and oil grates. While grill is preheating, make dressing. In a bowl, whisk all ingredients. Set aside. In a separate bowl combine all herbs. Set aside.
3. Grill onion slices about 5 minutes per side until charred and slightly softened. While onions are grilling, grill potatoes cut-side-down for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook another 3 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and add herbs. Stir to combine.
4. Remove grilled onions and roughly chop. Add to grilled potatoes and herbs. Add half the dressing, mixing well without breaking up potatoes too much. Taste for flavor, adding more dressing if needed by the tablespoon. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition score per serving: 281 calories, 15g fat (2g saturated), 36g carbs, 3g protein, 4g fiber, 66mg sodium

Recipe courtesy of Megan Mitchell, host of Grill Next Door

Grilled Spicy Broccolini

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Bright, fresh lemon contrasts with spicy red chili flakes in this easy yet impressive dish. The recipe also works well with regular broccoli or asparagus.

Serves: 4

Vegetable oil
2 pounds or bunches broccolini
Zest and juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Preheat grill to medium high heat. Clean and oil grates. Clean and trim woody ends, if any, on broccolini. Place in a bowl and toss with 1 drizzle vegetable oil and a sprinkle of pepper. Grill 5 to 7 minutes until charred and cooked but not soggy or overly wilted.
2. While broccolini is grilling, whisk together lemon zest and juice, chili flakes, and olive oil in a large bowl. Remove grilled broccolini and place in lemon and olive oil bowl. Toss to combine and serve immediately.

Nutrition score per serving: 193 caloies, 14g fat (2g saturated), 12g carbs, 8g protein, 67mg sodium

Recipe courtesy of Megan Mitchell, host of Grill Next Door

Grilled Mushroom and Leek Flatbread Pizza

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The hot coals of an outdoor grill impart a traditional wood-fired flavor to pizza that a typical oven can’t recreate. With a crispy crust, this pizza is an ideal alfresco dinner or can be cut into small bites for a crowd-pleasing appetizer.

Serves: 6

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 cups cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (preferably on a mandolin)
1 leek, halved, rinsed, and finely chopped
2 1/2 teaspoons sea salt, divided
All-purpose flour
1 pound store-bought pizza dough
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup basil leaves

1. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, reduce heat to low, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and continue to cook until fully caramelized, approximately 20 minutes. (If onion slices start to stick to the pan, add a bit of water and stir and scrape up any browned bits.)
2. Increase heat to medium. Stir in mushrooms and cook 2 to 4 minutes until just beginning to soften and lose moisture. Add leek and 2 teaspoons salt and cook for an additional minute. Set aside.
3. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Sprinkle work surface with flour and roll dough into a 1/2-inch-thick circle. Brush grill grates with 1 teaspoon oil and gently lay dough on grates. Grill until underside of crust is golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Use a spatula to flip dough. Brush top with remaining 1 teaspoon oil and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon sea salt. Grill 1 to 2 minutes until underside is golden. Transfer to a cutting board.
4. Top pizza with mushroom and leek mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and finish with basil.

Nutrition score per serving: 369 calories, 8g fat (1g saturated), 65g carbohydrates, 10g protein, 3g fiber, 829 mg sodium, 5g sugars

Recipe adapted from Cook Yourself Sexy by Candice Kumai; photo credit: Lauren Volo

Photo: Lauren Volo

Grilled Corn, Onion, and Whipped Cilantro Goat Cheese Quesadilla

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Think outside the cheddar-and-chicken box: This quesadilla features an herbed goat and cream cheese mixture and one of summer’s show-stopping ingredients: fresh sweet corn.

Serves: 2

2 ounces goat cheese
1 ounce cream cheese
1 large ear sweet corn
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 medium red onion, cut into 1/4-inch slices
1/3 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1/2 lime
2 to 3 whole-wheat tortillas

1. Light grill. Place goat cheese and cream cheese in a bowl, and set aside.
2. Remove husk and silk from corn and rub with olive oil. (For a little extra kick, rub with a bit of chipotle powder.) Place corn and onions on grill. Cook until both are charred, about 8 to 10 minutes, turning corn and flipping onions as needed.
3. Stir goat cheese and cream cheese together. Once combined, stir in lime juice and vigorously whip until lighter. Add cilantro.
4. Spread cheese mixture on the side of 1 tortilla. Layer onions and sprinkle corn on one half. Fold quesadilla over and return to grill. Cook on both sides until tortilla is browning and crispy, about 3 to 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining tortilla.

Nutrition score per serving: 558 calories, 22g fat (11g saturated), 72g carbs, 22g protein, 11g fiber, 855mg sodium

Recipe and photo courtesy of Erin Alderson, who blogs at

Smoky Greyhound

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Grilling grapefruit caramelizes the sugars and brings out the natural sweetness. Paired with vodka and ginger-infused honey, this refreshing cocktail will be an instant hit at any outdoor parties.

Serves: 2

2 large grapefruits, halved
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon ground ginger
4 ounces vodka

1. Preheat grill to medium direct heat (about 350 degrees). Grill grapefruit for 6 to 8 minutes until deep char marks form. Meanwhile combine ginger and honey.
2. Juice grapefruit into a container. Add ice to two cocktail glasses. Split vodka, honey, and grapefruit juice between glasses, and stir. If grapefruit juice is too tart, add a little water.

Nutrition score per serving: 270 calories, 0g fat, 36g carbs, 2g protein, 31g sugars

Recipe and photo courtesy of Robyn Medlin Lindars of the blog

Dark Chocolate Cherry Galette

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Cherries and dark chocolate form an irrestible combination, especially when grilled in a crispy, sweet galette. Though it’s surprisingly easy, this decadent dessert will make you look like a grilling goddess.

Serves: 4

Cooking spray
1 to 2 cups ripe pitted cherries
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 pre-made pie crust
1 teaspoon butter
1 sea salt dark chocolate bar, cut into pieces
1 egg, beaten
Zest of 1 lemon

1. Prepare grill for indirect heat (one burner off, one burner on) and heat to 350 to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with foil and spray foil with cooking spray.
2. In a bowl, combine cherries with sugar and lemon juice. Mix and let sit for 5 to 10 minutes so sugar and lemon juice macerate cherries and bring out their juice.
3. Lay pie crust on a baking sheet and put cherry mixture on top, being careful to fold edges of pie crust over to form a free-form crust. Make sure cherry mixture cannot escape. Crumble butter and layer all over. Sprinkle chocolate pieces evenly over top. Brush pie crust with egg wash to help brown the edges.
4. Bake galette on indirect heat with grill top closed for 30 minutes or until edges of crust are golden brown and cherries are bubbly. Finish galette with lemon zest.

Nutrition score per serving: 456 calories, 27g fat (11g saturated), 49g carbs, 6g protein, 4g fiber, 2g iron, 224mg sodium

Recipe and photo courtesy of Robyn Medlin Lindars of