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BBQ Food Ideas: Beyond Ribs and Burgers

Dallas homeowners pride themselves on their grilling skills. Most North Texans grew up on barbecued ribs, burgers, Grandma’s potato salad, pork ‘n’ beans, and white bread slices. But health-conscious options abound.

Dallas homeowners pride themselves on their grilling skills. Because the winter is generally mild, most people grill year round. Most North Texans grew up on barbecued ribs, burgers, Grandma’s potato salad, pork ‘n’ beans, and white bread slices. But today’s more health-conscious barbecue fans have found some delectable, more nutritious options.

Grill Fruits and Veggies

Foodie haven Central Market provides some BBQ food ideas for Dallas-area grillers who want some healthier or vegetarian options. Start by keeping an eye on your grill temperature: Medium-hot coals work best for fruit and veggies, so consider cooking them first before you increase the heat for the meat.

The best way to cook vegetables is to prepare them on planks. Long planks keep the food from falling off the grill. Or use skewers and grill fruits and veggies as kabobs. Be sure to coat the food with olive or canola oil and season with your favorite spices and fresh herbs. Onions can be cut in slices, and you can even grill a whole head of garlic away from the flame.

If you want to avoid the whole issue of vegetables falling off the grill, there are plenty of barbecue accessories that will help, like kabob racks and grilling baskets. The downside is that it’s one more item to clean after your barbecue is over.

Central Market foodies say the best vegetables to grill include yellow squash and zucchini. Also consider corn on the cob, baked potatoes, and asparagus. Top picks for grilling fruit include apples, pears, and pineapples.

Start a new hamburger tradition by going vegetarian with grilled portabella mushroom burgers or black bean burgers. Go with whole wheat buns to cut down on the processed flour.

Healthy Protein Options

BBQ food ideas today go way beyond beef and pork, or chicken slathered with sugar-laden barbecue sauce. New poultry favorites include chicken rubbed in mint and lime cooked with pineapple or grilled chicken quesadillas.

With proper preparation and grilling tools, fish is easier to grill than ever before. Place shrimp on skewers and add your favorite spices and sauces, like with this ginger-garlic shrimp recipe. Or wrap your fish and vegetables in foil packets to create a yummy meal — a versatile whitefish like tilapia works well with this grill-friendly en papillote method.

With such a wide variety of healthy and flavorful grilling options, you’ll have lots of delicious reasons to fire up your grill every weekend.

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