CONSUMER REPORTS — One of the joys of summer is grilling on the patio or in the backyard. But if your supermarket meat case is looking a little bare or you just can’t find the specific cut you want, you may have to rethink your menu.
Think about the situation as an opportunity to develop a healthy habit: eating less meat. That can lead to a healthy and more sustainable diet. Those that focus on fruits and vegetables and a variety of plant-protein sources are consistently linked to better health.
Love a juicy grilled burger? Make a smaller amount of ground beef go further—and make a healthier burger—by adding chopped mushrooms.
Mushrooms can be an almost magical secret ingredient, adding moisture, bulk, and flavor when you sub them in for half the meat called for in burgers, meatloaf, or meatballs.
Grill up a smaller portion of meat, and then add veggies, beans, and grains to your plate. That allows meat to play a supporting role instead of being the main course. Meat should take up just one-quarter of your plate.
Consider a whole chicken: Instead of your family eating the whole thing at one sitting, divide it up and use some for grilled chicken that accents a salad or grain-based dish that includes legumes. Save leftover chicken for a stir-fry or enchiladas another day.
Or skip the meat altogether and give tofu a try. If you’re grilling shish kebab, you can use an extra firm tofu in place of meat.
And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can take some of those black beans and quinoa you may have stored in your cupboard and make your own veggie burgers to grill.
Consumer Reports has two different veggie burgers you can make yourself, a black bean and corn burger and a quinoa and carrot burger. We’ve linked to those recipes on our website.