Food services provider Aramark and the American Heart Association recently collaborated to raise awareness about healthy eating, focusing on plant-based grilling for the summer.
The two organizations have consulted with chefs and other experts for tips on eating more plant-based food this summer while reducing the consumption of meat in order to promote healthier diets.
“Summer is the perfect season to start incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your diet,” explained Aramark health and wellness lead Dan Wainfan in a press release. “Our dietitians and chefs have collected their favorite tips and tricks to help put a new twist on summer favorites, and offer a fresh and healthy way to enjoy the best of the season.”
“Many people find it’s easier to add color to their meals this time of year thanks to the abundance of fruits and vegetables in our stores and gardens,” said AHA Nutrition Committee Chair Jo Ann Carson. “We all have our go-to summer dishes, but challenge yourself to experiment with new flavor combinations or cooking techniques. You might just find a new seasonal favorite.”
One of the tips the AHA and Aramark offered was to grill some veggies in place of meat. Prime candidates for grilling include eggplant, peppers, or even mushroom skewers. They also recommended experimenting with plant-based burger options instead of traditional burgers, recommending falafel burgers, black bean burgers with guacamoles, and a grilled portobello burger.
Another tip was to cool down with cooling snacks and sides during your grilling time. Some suggestions for “stay cool” foods include seasonal fruits like berries and melon, a classic three bean salad, or chilled soups like gazpacho.
You can even use seasonal herbs and spices like dill, cumin, mint leaves, and fresh ginger to bring out the delicious flavors of vegetables like corn, peppers, and eggplant.
Try grilling up some veggies and plant-based burgers this summer! After all, there’s evidence that eating plant-based fats over animal fats can reduce the risk of heart disease.
Use the AHA’s Grilling Tips!
Want some ideas for how to grill healthier food this summer? Take a look at these recipes.
Vegan burgers are a great option for getting more veggies onto your plate during grill season. They come in all kinds of flavors and styles, so try a bunch to find your favorite.
Give this Falafel Burger With Avocado Sauce, Spinach, and Homemade Burger Buns, these Hefty, Hearty Mushroom Burgers, or these Black Bean Burgers With Cilantro Lime Sauce a try!
Maybe you’d rather grill some veggies for a healthy grill option? There are plenty of ways to make vegetables taste delicious on the grill, and some of them may even surprise you!
Try this Grilled Avocado With Roasted Tomatoes, these Carrot Dogs, or these BBQ Veggie Skewers With Loaded Rice!
Keep Cool This Summer
Looking for some snacks and sides to help you cool off while you’re grilling? Here are some delicious, healthy, and cooling ideas!
Try this Summer Watermelon Salad, this Mango and Black Bean Salad With Quinoa, or The Ultimate Summer Gazpacho!