Sliced Right Nutrition’s tips for outdoor cooking

With warmer weather right around the corner it’s time to get out and get cooking! Nothing is quite as therapeutic as a little fresh air and sunshine. Plus, with all the cooking we’ve been doing why not change it up and take the cooking outdoors for a change of pace, but keep in mind food safety. Kristina Adams Smith, registered dietitian of Sliced Right Nutrition suggests following the tips below to help with preparing tasty, nutritious and safe meals:

* Cooking food to proper internal temperatures 

* Cuts of beef/pork and fish fillets – 145 degrees

* Ground beef/pork – 160 degrees

* Chicken –ground or parts – 165 degrees

* Avoid cross contamination – separate raw vs cooked; produce; dairy

* Keep hot foods hot; cold foods cold

* Discard marinade once meat has been removed

* And something we are all familiar = sanitizing surfaces and utensils (cutting boards, plates, etc)

* Cooking at home whether inside or outside allows you more control of what ingredients you use

* Portion control

* Manage food allergies/intolerances

* Seasonings and sodium content

* Types of fats/oils/spreads

* Outdoor cooking offers healthier options when grilling foods

* different flavors and textures – meats, vegetables, fruits

* less fat used when cooking and fat can drip off of meats

* garden burgers/Portobello mushrooms

Try this recipe out for a delectable yet healthy grilled option. The fresh flavors along with the grilled technique will have you craving more and cooking outside more!

Stuffed Portobello Mushroom

4 Portobello mushrooms, remove stems, cleaned, rinsed and dried

2-3 Tbsp olive oil

2 cups chopped fresh spinach

1/3 cup fresh shredded parmesan cheese

1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cubed

¼ cup finely chopped shallot

1 clove minced garlic

¼ tsp Season salt 

¼ tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp Italian or Mediterranean seasoning

Chives for garnish

Balsamic vinegar reduction

Directions

Preheat grill on high. Brush mushroom caps with olive oil and place top down on grill. Grill mushrooms for 15 minutes. While mushrooms are grilling, mix remaining ingredients together (except for chive and vinegar). Remove mushrooms caps from grill. Flip mushroom caps and place on foil. Fill with spinach mixture. Drizzle additional olive oil over the tops before baking. Return mushrooms to grill by placing foil on grill with mushrooms and cook additional 10-15 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and melted. Remove from grill and sprinkle with chives, fresh parmesan and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

For more information on healthy meal planning and preparation contact registered dietitian, Kristina Adams Smith at slicedrightnutrition@gmail.com or visit www.slicedrightnutrition.com

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