Grilling What’s in Your Garden

Iowa State University Extension and Outreach, Registered Dietitian & Media Spokesperson Rachel Wall shares her tips & recipes on KCRG News 9.

Summer is here, and it’s time to fire up the grill and enjoy fresh foods! Grilling is a healthy, quick, and easy way to prepare meals. You can use little or no fat when grilling meats and vegetables, without sacrificing flavor. You can even reduce dirty dishes by grilling veggies in foil! Summer squash, like zucchini, tomatoes, corn, and peppers, are all typically ready to harvest in July – and are great on the grill.

Here are some fun ways to grill healthy meals:

  • Grill a vegetable pizza (there are many recipes online).

  • Chop two or three veggies (summer squash, onion, tomato) and a lean meat into cubes, layer on a kabob, and grill.

  • For a grilled “stir-fry,” cut up chunks of onion, pepper, and lean beef. Toss together with low sodium soy sauce and spices such as garlic powder and ginger. Grill in foil pan and serve with brown rice.

Chicken Fajitas


  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast

  • 2 teaspoons chili powder

  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder

  • 1 ½ tablespoons oil (canola or vegetable)

  • 1 red bell pepper (thinly sliced)

  • 1 green bell pepper (thinly sliced)

  • 1 medium onion (thinly sliced)

  • 6 (8 inch) whole wheat tortillas

  • 6 ounces low fat cheddar cheese, shredded (optional)

  • 1 cup tomato, chopped (optional)

  • Cilantro, chopped (optional)

  • Jalapeno, sliced (optional)

Instructions 1. Freeze chicken 30 minutes until firm and easier to cut. Cut chicken into 1/4" strips. Place in a single layer on a plate. Wash hands, knife, and cutting board. Sprinkle both sides of strips with chili and garlic powder. 2. Add oil to a 12-inch skillet. Heat to medium high. Add chicken strips. Cook about 3-5 minutes, stirring frequently. 3. Add bell peppers and onion. Stir and cook until vegetables are tender and chicken is no longer pink. (Heat chicken to at least 165°F). 4. Scoop chicken mixture (2/3 cup each) onto tortillas. Top with your favorite toppings. 5. Serve flat or rolled.

Serves: 6 (1 tortilla + 2/3 cup filling per serving) | $1.23 per serving Nutrition information (per serving): 260 calories, 9g total fat, 2g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 50mg cholesterol, 410mg sodium, 27g total carbohydrates, 4g fiber, 2g sugar, 22g protein

Recipe courtesy of ISU Extension and Outreach’s Spend Smart. Eat Smart. website:


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