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Stroke Smart Magazine

July/August 2008

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Summer BBQ: Time to Get the Grill Out

By Deb Vevea, RD, ID, CDE

As the temperatures rise and the days get longer, we find ourselves drawn to the grill.
But now you and your family are dealing with special diets, access issues, balance and coordination problems, and more. These tips will help you plan a family BBQ that meets your new needs.

Choose lean proteins for grilling:

  • Filet mignon
  • Beef flank steak
  • 90% lean ground beef
  • Center cut pork chops
  • Salmon filet
  • Chicken

Season wisely:

  • Use a low-salt herb rub.
  • Add a delicate, smoky flavor by using applewood or mesquite wood chips in your grill; remember to soak them in water first.
  • Buy wood planks for grilling these are especially good for fish and chicken tenderloins.

Include vegetables:

  • Try something new sweet potato, jicama and zucchini are excellent grilling choices.
  • Add flavor by squeezing fresh lemon or lime juice, then sprinkling a few sesame seeds on your veggies right before serving.
  • Grill vegetables until tender for easy cutting, chewing and swallowing.

Add fruit:

  • Fresh fruit is a great summer side dish or dessert.
  • Use what’s in season; melon and berries are at their peak and can be served over a scoop of light ice cream or angel food cake.
  • For a twist, marinate slices of watermelon with mint extract (mix 1 tsp extract with 2 tablespoons of water and spread on lightly with a pastry brush or the back of a spoon and refrigerate for several hours).

Tips for the Stroke Survivor Host:

  • If midday fatigue is a problem, prepare food in the morning for your afternoon BBQ. See Plan Ahead Pork recipe below.
  • Don’t relinquish the head griller role just because you have decreased arm strength or use a wheelchair; instead try a grill with adjustable heights.

Tips for the Family:

  • If necessary, make sure that your BBQ site has wheelchair/walker access (including bathrooms).
  • Have a table set up for guests with motor coordination problems so they do not have to balance a plate, drink and silverware in their lap.
  • Place rubberized pads under the stroke survivor’s plate to keep it from sliding around.

Plan Ahead Pork
6-8 hours before you want to serve:

  • Grill boneless pork (1-2 inch thick) for 5 min. a side.
  • Season cooked pork with pepper and put in a Crock-Pot with 12 oz of beer.
  • Cook on low for 6-8 hours.
  • Take pork out of beer and pull apart meat into pieces.
  • Serve on a toasted bun with your favorite BBQ sauce mixed with some of the cooking liquid.

Deb Vevea is a dietitian at North Memorial in Minnesota.


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