The Anti-Cancer Barbecue

Healthy grilling recipes that help cut your disease risk.

Mexican Burger (Photo: Lisa Hubbard)
  • Corn often gets a bad rap, mostly because its distant cousin, high fructose corn syrup, is a nutritional zero. But corn straight off the cob offers filling fiber — 4 grams per cob — and ferulic acid, an anti-cancer phytochemical found in abundance in cooked corn. (Heating it unbinds the antioxidant from the corn’s fiber, allowing your body to absorb it.)
  • Serves 4 (1 1/2 cups per serving)

    6 ears fresh corn, husks removed

    6 ounces fresh white button mushrooms, sliced in half (about 2 1/2 cups)

    1 cup frozen, shelled edamame, thawed

    1/2 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced

    1 cup diced fresh zucchini

    3 tablespoons fresh basil, coarsely chopped

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    1 small garlic clove, peeled and crushed

    1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

    1 1/2 tablespoon cider vinegar

    1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

    1. Spray the grill surface with fat-free nonstick cooking spray. Heat the grill to low heat, and grill corn for about 20 minutes, until lightly browned, turning as needed. Let cool, and slice corn off cobs.

    2. Place mushrooms in a wok or pan designed for use on grills, and cook about 5 to 7 minutes until just browned. In a salad bowl, toss mushrooms and corn gently with the remaining ingredients, and serve.

    Nutritional Analysis

    Per serving:

    232 calories

    10.3g protein

    34g carbohydrates

    8.6g total fat

    1g saturated fat

    6.9g fiber

    332mg sodium

    Chicken Satay with Red Grapes and Mango Chutney

    Why it’s good for you:

    • Grapes: A new study finds that a daily intake of about four grapes lowers risk of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. When you have a choice, go for red over green: Red grape skins contain more heart-healthy resveratrol, Gerbstadt says.
    • Mango: The antioxidants in this fruit can help keep skin cancer-free. (They serve as a natural SPF, increasing your skin’s ability to protect against the sun’s UV rays.)
    • Chicken: Protein helps maintain muscle; what’s less known is that it’s also essential to bone health. According to recent research, women with higher protein intakes may have better bone density. Why? "Protein may increase the absorption of calcium," says Jane Kerstetter, PhD, of the University of Connecticut, Storrs.

    Serves 4 (2 skewers per serving, with about 3/4 cup chutney)

    8 bamboo skewers, soaked in water at least two hours

    1 1/2 pounds skinless boneless chicken breast

    1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

    1/2 cup orange juice

    2 tablespoons lime juice

    3 tablespoons clover honey

    1/2 teaspoon salt

    2 tablespoons finely minced onion

    1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

    1 garlic clove, peeled and minced


    1 ripe mango, peeled and diced

    1 1/2 cups halved red grapes

    1 teaspoon brown sugar

    2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

    3 tablespoons chopped peppermint leaves

    1 thinly sliced lime and grapes, for garnish

    1. Slice the chicken into thin, long strips, less than 1/2 inch thick.

    2. Prepare the marinade: Combine the oil, orange juice, lime juice, honey, salt, onion, mustard, and garlic in a medium bowl. Reserve 1/2 cup of marinade to brush on the chicken. Add chicken, cover, and refrigerate for at least two hours.

    3. Make the chutney: Place the mango in a medium bowl. Grill grapes in a grill wok or pan until lightly browned and skins are soft, about 10 minutes; add the grapes to the mango and stir. In a small bowl, dissolve the brown sugar in the vinegar, and add to the fruit mixture. Stir in the peppermint, and set aside.

    4. Thread the chicken strips onto the soaked skewers and add slices of lime. Spray grill with fat-free nonstick cooking spray, and cook chicken over medium heat about 15 minutes, turning often and brushing with reserved marinade every few minutes until marinade is used up. Serve right away, with 3/4 cup chutney. Garnish with whole grapes if desired.

    Nutritional Analysis

    Per serving:

    363 calories

    40.4g protein

    37.9g carbohydrates

    5.8g total fat

    1.1g saturated fat

    1.8g fiber

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