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kebabsBy Lauren Miller, Dietetic Intern, Tufts University

Summer is a chance to relax with family and friends, while having fun, sharing stories, listening to music, and enjoying food together. Warm weather and sunshine bring cookouts and mouth-watering food from the grill! Burgers, hot dogs, chicken, potato and pasta salad, coleslaw, and corn come to my mind. Are you looking to try new recipes, with foods that are easy to prepare and healthy without sacrificing flavor?

Kebabs are a great way to prepare healthy and delicious dishes quickly and easily as you can cook everything at once! Choose foods you enjoy with a combination of meat, seafood, vegetables, or fruit. If you want meat, try lean steak, chicken, sausage, lamb or pork. Try grilling pineapples or add veggies like Portobello mushrooms, tomatoes, squash, onions and peppers to your menu. Fish and shrimp are other healthy options. Here’s a guide to create your own kebobs for your next summer cookout!

1.) If you plan to grill meat, consider a marinade for added taste and flavor. Place the meat in an airtight container for at least an hour or overnight with olive oil and seasonings such as pepper, garlic, parsley, thyme, cumin, or paprika.

2.) Buy wooden or metal skewers. If using wooden skewers, remember to soak anywhere from 10-30 minutes prior to use to ensure grill safety.

3.) Slice ingredients into small pieces that are equal in size so they cook at the same rate.

4.) Pierce each vegetable or meat onto the skewer and slide to the end. Alternate between meat and vegetable, but make sure to leave a small gap between each piece to allow for full cooking.

5.) Preheat the grill on medium for 10-15 minutes prior to cooking, as this will allow for a tasty sear on your kebabs.

6.) Use a grill brush to brush olive oil onto the grill to prevent sticking and leave space between each kebob for even grilling.

7.) Turn the kebobs to allow even cooking on all sides, which will take about 15-30 minutes to cook, depending on the type of meat.

8.) Continue to cook all meats until the juices run clear and desired doneness is achieved. Serve and enjoy!

What are your favorite cookout summer dishes? We would love to hear from you!

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