Gluten-Free Grilling Ideas for Summer Cookouts

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Think outside the bun for a feast of flavor!

Why be cooped up in the kitchen? These warmer days and nights are the perfect excuse to cook outdoors. And there’s almost no food that isn’t made better on the grill.

Grilling is so versatile. Think beyond the usual suspects (burgers, hot dogs, chicken breasts) and use your grill to make tacos, salad and even soup. These recipes, which break away from hamburger’s long shadow, are guaranteed to get you all fired up.

grilled romaine wedge salad

Oksana Charla

Grilled Romaine Wedge Salad

PREP: 25 minutes
GRILL: 10 minutes

MAKES 4 SERVINGS.

Grilling imbues wedges of romaine lettuce with smoky flavor and tender texture and it makes cherry tomatoes become impossibly sweet. Add a chunky vegetable-bean medley and a punchy pesto dressing, and you’ve got an extraordinary salad.

Each serving contains 316 calories, 9g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 122mg sodium, 50g carbohydrate, 17g fiber, 12g sugars, 16g protein, 18Est GL.

grilled romaine wedge salad

Oksana Charla

Pork Tacos with Pineapple Salsa

PREP: 30 minutes
GRILL: 20 minutes

MAKES 4 SERVINGS.

Pork tenderloin is often overlooked when it comes to grilling but it’s a fuss-free protein to cook and tends to resist drying out more than chicken breast. Top it off with this flame-licked salsa for a taco night worth remembering.

Each pork taco with pineapple salsa contains 517 calories, 21g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 88mg cholesterol, 530mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate, 12g fiber, 10g sugars, 33g protein, 22Est GL.

gluten free pork tacos with pineapple

Oksana Charla

Chipotle Plum Drumsticks with Sweet Potato Wedges

PREP: 30 minutes
GRILL: 40 minutes

gluten free chipotle plum chicken

Oksana Charla

MAKES 4 SERVINGS.

Step up your grilled chicken game with these meaty drumsticks that are bathed in a naturally sweet plum sauce. Wedges of crispy sweet potato are a perfect sidekick. If feeding a big backyard crowd, you can easily double or triple the plum sauce, chicken and sweet potatoes. To allow the inside of the potato wedges to finish cooking before the outsides become completely charred, it’s best to parboil the potatoes in a pot of water just until slightly tender. If you have a large grill, you can cook the sweet potatoes and chicken at the same time. If not, cook the chicken and then cover to keep warm while you prepare the potato wedges.

Each serving of chicken contains 404 calories, 22g total fat, 6g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 177mg cholesterol, 362mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate, 1g fiber, 4g sugars, 43g protein, 1Est GL.

Thai Carrot Soup

grilled carrot soup

Oksana Charla

PREP: 20 minutes
GRILL: 20 minutes

MAKES 6 SERVINGS.

Over the fire, vegetables like carrots and bell peppers become even sweeter. Blend them into chilled soup for a riot of sweet, sour, salty and fiery flavors. Want even more Asian-style flavor? Stir 1 teaspoon of fish sauce (if tolerated) into soup before serving. If using thicker carrots, slice them in half lengthwise so they can cook through before charring too much on the outsides.

Each serving contains 131 calories, 7g total fat, 1g saturated fat, 0g trans fat, 0mg cholesterol, 260mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate, 3g fiber, 7g sugars, 3g protein, 5Est GL.

Grill Master

There’s more to great grilling than just slapping food on the grate. These tips will help you use fire to your advantage.

Sticky Situation: Keep your food from adhering to the grill grate. Allow ample time for the grill to pre-heat, since food is less likely to cling to very hot rails. Once heated, use a long-handled brass bristle brush to scrub away any left-on food bits from previous grilling sessions. A spotless grate goes a long way to reducing sticking. Then grease the grill grate, using a silicone brush or a paper towel dipped in cooking oil (rub it on the grate using tongs). Never use cooking spray on a hot grill.

grilling

© DUSTYPIXEL/ISTOCK/GETTY IMAGES PLUS

Oil Slick: Use a cooking oil that can handle the heat, such as avocado oil, canola oil, grapeseed oil, safflower oil or sunflower oil.

Nicely Done: For perfectly cooked meat, probe it in the center (not touching any bones) with a digital instant-read thermometer. Cuts of poultry are done when an internal temperature of 165°F is reached, 160°F for ground meat, and 145°F for steak and cuts of pork. Let meat rest 3 minutes after cooking.

Crowd Control: For more even cooking and easier flipping, don’t over-crowd the grill. Leave at least an inch of space between items. Grill in batches, if necessary.

Sweet Spread: Brush on sugar-containing sauces (like plum sauce) during the last few minutes of cooking to avoid an unappetizing burnt crust.

Tool of the Trade: An inexpensive grilling basket is an ideal way to cook small chunks of vegetables like cherry tomatoes and baby potatoes without worrying they’ll fall through the grate.

grilled bread

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Lid It: Control your curiosity. Opening the lid several times during grilling reduces the temperature, increasing the cooking time as well as the chances of drying out your meat.

Loaf Around: Try toasting slices of gluten-free bread on the grill. For best results, preheat the grill to medium heat and gently brush bread slices (both sides) with a high-heat cooking oil or butter. Place on the grill grate, close the lid and toast about 2 minutes per side. For extra flavor, lightly sprinkle the bread with garlic powder. Enjoy!

Reprinted with permission from Eat Complete: The 21 Nutrients That Fuel Brainpower, Boost Weight Loss, and Transform Your Health by Drew Ramsey. Copyright © 2016 by Drew Ramsey. Published on May 17, 2016, by Harper Wave, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.