Grilling makes it easy to knock fat out of food

(ARA) – From juicy burgers to savory chicken breasts, it seems like everything just tastes better grilled. Meats including burgers (85 percent), steak (80 percent), hot dogs (79 percent), and chicken (73 percent) top the list of the most popular foods prepared using a grill, according to the National Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Association. With summertime upon us, men and women alike are focused on cutting calories, and grilling is a great way to do just that.

What was once only a summertime treat, grilling has become a year-round activity, with many taking grilling indoors with the increase in popularity of indoor grills, such as the George Foreman. And while burgers, steak and hot dogs reign supreme as the kings of the grill, many home cooks are getting creative with their culinary grilling explorations and are adding fruit and desserts to their grilling repertoire because it’s a great way to add flavor, and not fat.

Another feature of grilling is that it can be a great way to lose the fat, but keep the flavor. George Foreman, the indoor grill category leader, recently revealed results of independent testing that showed their grills remove up to 42 percent of fat from quarter-pound burgers made with 80/20 ground chuck beef. This translates to a reduction of approximately 89 calories per burger which is good news for families wanting great-tasting burgers, but with less fat.

Looking for some reduced-fat burger inspiration? Check out this mouth-watering recipe for Veggie-Topped Beef Burgers developed by the Meal Makeover Moms and registered dietitians Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss that combines the delicious taste of grilled veggies with a lean mean burger, sure to please the entire family’s palate. For more great-tasting recipes, visit www.georgeforemancooking.com or www.facebook.com/georgeforemanhealthycooking.

Veggie-Topped Beef Burgers

Makes four servings.

Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and quartered

1 small red onion, sliced 1/4-inch thick

Extra virgin olive oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 1/4 pounds 80 percent lean ground beef, shaped into four 3/4-inch thick patties

4 whole wheat hamburger buns, lightly toasted

4 teaspoons basil pesto

Directions:

Preheat George Foreman grill for five minutes. Brush both sides of bell pepper and red onion with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill for four to five minutes or until softened. Remove from grill and keep warm.

Sprinkle both sides of the beef with salt and pepper. Grill for about eight minutes or until the meat is no longer pink in the center. Spread equal amounts of pesto evenly over the bun bottoms. Top with burgers, peppers, onions and bun tops.