Nothing screams “Summertime!” quite like breaking out the grill and making a light, yet satisfying, meal. After being cooped up all winter, I know that the first time I use the grill is celebrated with happy hearts and full tummies.
Keeping meals light oftentimes means eating a lot of salads that consist of a handful of leafy greens with some veggies topped with oil and vinegar or your favorite salad dressing. No matter how many different kinds of vegetables you use, if you’re anything like me, salads get boring.
A good substitution for greens in your salad is using a whole grain like wheat berries or quinoa. The nutty, earthy flavor and chewy texture pairs well with bright, bold, fresh flavors. Like leafy greens, these whole grains are a great source of fiber and vitamin B1.
Switch up your summer dinners by combining the best of both worlds – a salad and the grill. Low in calories but bursting with flavor, this meal will become a mealtime favorite for your family. And for busy moms – it only takes 15 minutes to make!
This tasty summer salad combines lean protein, fruit, and fibrous grain to make a dinner that is under 350 calories per serving. With only a few ingredients, you’ll have dinner in no time – it doesn’t get much better than that!
- 3 links turkey or chicken sausage (any lean sausage)
- 20 oz. fresh pineapple
- 1 cup wheat berries
- 2 tablespoons raspberry-ginger balsamic vinaigrette
- Zest from half a lemon
- Pinch of salt
- Dash of pepper
Boil 2 ½ cups of water, then add 1 cup of wheat berries. Once boiling, turn down to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15 minutes. Strain.
Cut the pineapple into rings or cubes and drizzle with 1 tablespoon of raspberry-ginger balsamic vinaigrette. Once all the pineapple is evenly coated, grill the pineapple using a cast iron grill pan. Stir pineapple to ensure even heating and grill marks. This will add a deeper flavor profile to the pineapple. Grill the sausages until there are grill marks, turning the sausages halfway through cooking.
Once the sausages and pineapple are grilled, toss with wheat berries, the remaining 1 tablespoon of balsamic, and add salt and pepper to taste. Before serving, top with lemon zest for added brightness and citrus flavor.
I used my favorite balsamic vinaigrette for this recipe, but playing around with different flavor combinations can be a fun way to keep this recipe new and refreshing. Trying different flavors of balsamic means you can add additional fruit flavors, too. If you use a sweet onion balsamic, try grilling a sweet orange pepper and combining the pepper with the pineapple and grains.
My favorite place to visit on Saturday mornings is my local Amish market! They have amazing selections of meats, fish, and vegetables (not to mention gorgeous flowers!). One of top favorites is their huge assortment of sausages – I used smoked turkey sausage, but add another flavor profile by using a mango-chipotle chicken sausage or even a spicy jalepeno sausage.
Add your favorite flavors and get cooking! Bon Appetit!