Healthier grilling requires just one step: grill something other than meat. Studies show that cooking meat at high temperatures causes chemicals called HCAs (heterocyclic amines) and PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) to form. These carcinogens can cause changes in DNA that can lead to cancer.

If you do make meat, marinate it in a non-sugary marinade before grilling; the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii found that a teriyaki marinade reduced HCAs by 67%. A turmeric-garlic sauce reduced them by 50%. But a sugary marinade can actually triple the amount of HCAs! And if you do get char on the meat, experts recommend cutting away those bits before eating.

The best news is…you can still have an amazing bbq minus the meat. In fact, some of the most delicious items ever thrown on a grill are actually plants. The New York Timesoffers their Top 40 Vegetarian Grilling recipes here. Read on for more fruit & veggie recipes for your next summer bbq.


Grilled Watermelon Salad

Grilled Cantaloupe Brûlée

Grilled Banana Splits 

Ginger-Peach Ice Cream in Grilled Peach Cups


Grilled Herb Potatoes

Layered Vegetable Torte 

Grilled Summer Squash with Chimichurri Sauce 

Grilled Brussels Sprouts

Grilled Corn, Tomato, Feta and Herb Salad