(ARA) - The flowers are blooming, temperatures are rising, and the smell of charcoal is in the air. It's officially grilling season -- the perfect time to fire up that commitment to a healthy lifestyle. While this outdoor tradition adds flavor to foods, it also helps remove fat and calories.
Whether it's camping and preparing food over an open fire, or cooking from the barbeque on the deck, Weight Watchers offers tips to use the grill for every element of a healthy meal from salads to dessert.
* Seared Salads: Take a break from ordinary lettuce, and substitute it with those favorite vegetables, such as asparagus, squash or red peppers. Serve in a bowl as a traditional starter, or pile in paper cones to encourage mingling at outdoor get-togethers.
* Beefless Burgers: While extra lean ground beef (93 percent lean) is always a smart favorite, why not try a patty with a punch, such as salmon, tuna, chicken or turkey? Bulk up these burger alternatives by adding chopped vegetables or fruits, as well as low calorie sauces or rubs. Nestle burgers onto a whole grain bun or pita for added fiber and flavor.
* Side Pockets: Not every side needs to be served in a dish. Put it in a pocket -- a tinfoil pocket, that is. Tear off a 12-inch sheet of foil and fill with sliced red potatoes, onions, herbs and salt and pepper. Fold over the foil and seal tightly until veggies are tender, turning at least once. Grilling in foil locks in flavors and nutrients, and makes for easy clean up.
* Sweet Endings: Swap the cakes and cookies for Mother Nature's favorite dessert -- fruit. Make a tropical treat with easily prepared fruit kabobs. Fill water soaked skewers with chunks of bananas, pineapple and mangos and sear over the fire. For extra flavor, lightly brush with a touch of melted butter, brown sugar, ginger and rum.
Try these flavorful, healthful grilling recipes from and find more at www.WeightWatchers.com.
Feta-Stuffed Chicken Burgers
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 16 minutes
Level of Difficulty: Easy
1 pound uncooked ground chicken breast
1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
7 tablespoons feta cheese, crumbled
4 small wheat pita(s)
4 piece lettuce, romaine
2/3 cup roasted red peppers, sliced (without oil)
5 small olive(s), black, sliced (about 4 teaspoons)
Preheat grill or broiler. Mix chicken, oregano, garlic powder and feta together in a medium-sized bowl; divide mixture into four balls and then press them gently into patties.
Grill or broil patties until internal temperature of burgers reaches 165 F, about 7 to 8 minutes per side. Serve each burger in a pita with a lettuce leaf, 1/4 of peppers and 1 teaspoon of olives.
Courtesy of ARAcontent