The summer season is here, so it’s time to light up the flames under some mean, tasty food. Of course, no summer get-together is complete without some skewers thrown onto a grill. I have partnered with the National Pork Board’s “Pork Es Sabor” this grilling season to give you 3 hacks for a nutritious and delicious BBQ experience.
1) The star of any BBQ: the protein. Despite what you may have heard, pork is a healthy, lean protein and safe product. It’s also full of flavor, convenient to cook, and can be easily prepared, especially on the grill. Another reason why I love to use pork is that it offers lean cuts to keep your heart healthy. On average, a lean cut of pork has 16% less fat and 27% less saturated fat than 20 years ago.
2) Grilling your fruits and vegetables is a delicious way to increase the number of servings you consume for good general health. For example, pairing pork with mango and avocado can make for a sweet and savory combination that’s sure to be a healthy hit at your party.
According to the USDA, the average American eats about 3 servings of fruits and vegetables per day, but it is recommended that Americans have 9 servings per day. Luckily, there is no limitation on creativity when grilling as it’s a cooking method that can help you meet the recommended intake of fruit and vegetable servings per day.
3) Try replacing sugary soft drinks with infused water to cut down on added sugars and calories. Making your own infused water is simple: Store your water in jars or a pitcher with slices of your favorite fresh fruit such as lemons with mint, oranges, or strawberries for a tasty and refreshing infusion. Of course, don’t forget to store them in the cooler so they can be cold and ready to enjoy this grilling season.
Below you can find a pork recipe that’s sure to be a crowd pleaser due to its mouthwatering combination of lean, marinated pork with grilled mango, avocado, and some fresh vegetables.
Grilled Pork Mango Avocado Skewers
Serving Size: 2 skewers
For the marinade:
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
¼ cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons aji chili paste, or other chili paste
½ cup cilantro, finely chopped
2 pounds of sirloin pork chops, cut into 2-inch cubes (approx. 1 oz each)
1 medium red onion, rough chop
1 red bell pepper, rough chop
1 mango, cubed
1 avocado, cubed
Skewers, wooden or metal
Sea salt to taste
- Whisk together balsamic, soy sauce, pepper, garlic, chili paste and cilantro to make the marinade.
- After cutting the sirloin pork chops into cubes, pour marinade on top of pork. Marinade for 1 hour.
- If you are using wooden skewers, place them in water to soak.
- While you are marinating the pork and soaking the skewers, begin chopping up the vegetables and fruit. Place the vegetables and fruit in a bowl and set aside.
- After the pork is done marinating, drain the skewers and prepare an assembly line for making the skewers. Grab one skewer and alternate between the pork and vegetables and fruit, in no particular order. Limit 4 pieces of pork per skewer. Sprinkle sea salt to taste.
- Heat up the grill to medium-high heat.
- Cook the skewers for 3 minutes. Flip them over and cook for another 4 minutes. Flip the skewers back over again and cook for an additional minute.
Disclaimer: Manuel Villacorta, M.S., R.D., is a spokesperson/ambassador for The National Pork Board and is paid for services which include, but not limited to, photography, videography, recipe development, social media promotion and online contributions. – “I only represent companies that I truly believe in their mission and love their products. I use them often myself as they are the best, nutritionally foods available. All the opinions expressed this article or video are my own” – Manuel Villacorta.