Recipes: Not Your Average Summer Cook Out!

By Elisa D. Wallace and Emily Eileen Carter

Fire up the grill, summer is almost over. The summer cookout is a time where family and friends excitedly gather in back yards to enjoy company, conversation, and of course, delicious, freshly grilled cuisine. The sharp smell of a grill being fired up makes many mouths water, as guests ponder what it is exactly that’s being cooked. “Grill Masters” across the area work hard to please all with their own masterpieces. However oftentimes, these classic recipes—such as the grilling staple of a beef cheeseburger—are rather unhealthy. Rather than preparing the usual and expected summer grilling recipes, Forsyth Woman wants you to surprise family and friends with a few variations on the classics. Read on for these interesting recipe twists that are both delicious and healthy!

Grilled Romaine Lettuce

  • 3-4 Romaine hearts
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 Tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, thyme, basil)
  • 1 lemon, juiced


  1. Preheat grill to medium and grease grate.
  2. Mix olive oil, vinegar, and fresh herbs, brush over romaine hearts.
  3. Place lettuce, cut side down, on grill grate.
  4. Cook until lettuce is slightly wilted and charred, about 5 minutes.
  5. Drizzle with lemon juice and serve.

Grilled Fruit Kebobs

  • ½ fresh pineapple, peeled, and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 medium peaches cored, and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 3 medium pears peeled, cored, and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • 12 large strawberries washed and hulled
  • 3 Tablespoon honey


  1. Thread fruit alternatively on metal or wood soaked skewers.
  2. Grill uncovered on medium-hot heat until fruit is heated through, about 6 minutes.
  3. Drizzle honey over fruit during last minute of grilling.

Spicy Tomato and Pork Skewers

  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon chili paste
  • 16 cherry tomatoes
  • Cooking spray
  • 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil


  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Combine first 7 ingredients.
  3. Cut pork in half crosswise; cut each half into 8 lengthwise strips and combine with chili paste in a shallow dish; toss to coat.
  4. Sprinkle brown sugar mixture evenly over pork; toss to coat. Let pork stand 10 minutes.
  5. Thread 1 pork strip and 1 tomato onto each of 16 (10-inch) wooden skewers.
  6. Place skewers on a grill rack coated with cooking spray.
  7. Grill 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  8. Combine soy sauce and oil; drizzle over pork.

Stuffed and Grilled Portabella Mushrooms

  • 2/3 cup chopped plum tomato
  • 1/4 cup (1 ounce) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh or 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 4 (5-inch) portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce
  • Cooking spray


  1. Prepare grill.
  2. Combine the tomato, cheese, 1/2 teaspoon oil, rosemary, pepper, and garlic in a small bowl.
  3. Remove brown gills from the undersides of mushroom caps using a spoon, and discard. Remove stems; discard.
  4. Combine 1/2 teaspoon oil, juice, and soy sauce in a small bowl; brush over both sides of mushroom caps. Place the mushroom caps, stem sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray, and grill for 5 minutes on each side or until soft.
  5. Spoon 1/4 cup tomato mixture into each mushroom cap. Cover and grill 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Grilled Honey Rum Bananas

  • 2 tablespoons rum
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 4 medium firm unpeeled bananas
  • Vanilla ice cream


  1. In a small bowl, combine the rum, honey and cinnamon; set aside.
  2. Cut bananas in half lengthwise, leaving the peel on.
  3. Place bananas cut side down on grill. Cover and grill over medium heat for 3 minutes.
  4. Turn and brush with honey mixture. Cover and grill 5-6 minutes longer or until tender. Peel bananas. Serve immediately with ice cream.