Delicious Guilt Free Grilling

May 27th, 2012

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and the beginning of the grilling season.

Grilling is one of the simplest and healthiest ways to prepare a meal. In a matter of minutes you can grill up a culinary delight. Most people think ribs are synonymous with the grill, but pork tenderloin is one of the grill’s best-kept secrets. Pork tenderloin requires less cooking time than ribs and is the leanest cut of pork with only 2.98 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving, making it as lean as skinless chicken breast – and why it’s dubbed the other white meat.

Grilling also maintains the natural tenderness and flavor of meats without sacrificing essential nutrients. Today, propane and charcoal grills include vents that can be adjusted to allow air and moisture to circulate which help control the smoky flavor.

Reduce Sodium and Boost Flavor

Sodium free spices are a great way to enhance the flavor without bringing additional fat and calories to the table.

  • Ground black pepper and prepared spices blends like Mrs. Dash are great alternatives to salt. A variety of spice blends work well with pork’s mild flavor.
  • Spices with bold flavors like cumin, coriander and cayenne work great with pork. Rubs can be applied just before grilling or the night before cooking.
  • Rosemary and cinnamon are great flavor enhancers and increase flavor intensity especially in pork.

Marinades are another great way to enhance flavor and show off your creativity – you know a pinch of this and a dash of that.

  • Skip heavy, sugar-based marinades – most are loaded with extra calories and can increase the chance for charring.
  • Vinegar mixtures, like Italian dressing, can reduce the risk of carcinogen formation on any grilled meat. Citrus juice, herbs, spices, and olive oil make great ingredients for marinades.
  • Pair pork with fresh fruits and vegetables to brighten and lighten up summertime meals. Beta carotene, an essential antioxidant, can be found in sweet potatoes, carrots and many leafy greens such as cabbage, kale and spinach. If you are looking to kick up the fiber intake a notch, add sliced apples, strawberries or prunes to your grilling skewer or pork tenderloin salad.

Cajun Grilled Pork Chops


4 boneless center loin chops, 1 1/2-inch thick
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dry sage
1 tablespoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder


Combine seasonings, mix well. Coat chops with seasoning mixture. Grill directly over medium-high heat 6-8 minutes per side, turning once until internal temperature on a thermometer reads 145 degrees Fahrenheit, followed by a 3-minute rest time.

Serves 4

Serving Suggestions:

Spices are a great way to add bold flavor without adding fat. Serve with a light Okra Corn Salad and Baked Grits Wedges.


Calories: 150
Protein: 22 grams
Fat: 5 grams
Sodium: 390 milligrams
Cholesterol: 65 milligrams
Saturated Fat: 1 grams
Carbohydrates: 2 grams
Fiber: 0 grams

Don’t overcook your pork! The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines state,  pork can be safely cooked to medium rare at a final internal cooked temperature of 145 degrees F. as measured by   a food thermometer, followed by a three-minute rest time. Ground pork, like all ground meats, should be cooked to 160 degrees F.

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