August 14, 2012 | Home >In the News >5 Tips for Hosting a Healthy Summer Cookout
5 Tips for Hosting a Healthy Summer Cookout
August 14, 2012 | Home >In the News >5 Tips for Hosting a Healthy Summer Cookout

5 Tips for Hosting a Healthy Summer Cookout


Everyone loves to celebrate warm, sunny days with friends, family and an outdoor grill.  Hosting a cookout is a fun way to entertain using fresh, light and healthy ingredients.  With these 5 tips, you will be able to pull off an unforgettable Summer cookout:


1)  Keep it Fresh.  There are so many seasonal fruits and vegetables to choose from during the summer months.  Make sure that you buy fresh seasonal ingredients.  Not only will they have better flavor and nutrition, but they will cost you less!

2) Keep it Simple.  Choose a menu that doesn’t involve lots of steps, or hours of prep.  Kabobs are a great choice, unless you are feeding a large crowd.  Find recipes that are simple, or that can be made ahead.  The last thing you want is to be stuck in the kitchen when your guests are out enjoying the summer weather.  And you also be less likely to buy packaged pre-made items in a pinch.

3) Stay away from sugary beverages.  Making your own flavored water or fruit based drinks is much healthier than soda or boxed juice and it is fun for kids!  Try making our Cherry Cocktails this summer.

4) Grill a lean meat.  A lot of times we think of hamburgers and hot dogs for a cookout.  Be adventurous and grill something you have never tried on the grill.  Fish, pork and even turkey are lean choices that turn out moist, flavorful and delicious on the grill.

5) Lighten up your side dishes.  Instead of preparing salads full of mayo, cheese, or bacon, use lighter ingredients such as vinegars, Greek yogurt, and nuts.  Also make sure to include plenty of fruits and veggies.  A few of our favorites are Cucumber Salad, and Beautiful Fruit Salad.


We love cooking fish on the grill and this recipe is our absolute new favorite.  Fish is great for kids, because the texture is so easy for them to chew aside from all the healthy benefits.


Cedar Grilled Fish Tacos with Tangy Mango Avocado Relish

Serves 6


  • 2 Cedar Grilling Planks
  • 1 pound firm white fish fillets (we used halibut)
  • 1 pound salmon fillets
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

Soak cedar planks in water for 30 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Place fish on cedar planks.  Brush fish with oil; sprinkle with salt and pepper.


Light gas grill; and heat to medium (between 300 and 350 degrees F) Let grill preheat 10 to 15 minutes;  Place cedar planks on grill and cook for 20 minutes or until fish flakes with a fork.



    • 1 avocado, chopped (can use 1 more as a taco topper)
    • 2 mangos, peeled, seeded, and chopped
    • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
    • 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro
    • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
    • 1 tsp sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 1/2 tsp ground cumin

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl, except avocado. Toss to coat. Cover and chill.  Add avocado just before ready to serve.  Gently fold into mango mixture.  Serve over tacos.  (This can be made up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated until ready to serve)


  • 3/4 cup plain yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dill
  • 1-2 Tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice

Combine ingredients and stir together with a whisk.


Fixing Ideas:

  • Shredded Cabbage
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Cilantro
  • Lime Wedges
  • Corn Tortillas




These were honestly the best fish tacos I have every eaten.  I’m pretty sure I could eat these everyday for the rest of the summer and be happy.  Serve them at your next cookout and you will have some happy guests!!

written by
Natalie Monson

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Renee Mack says:

Hope this is not too off topic. In season right now for me is cantaloupe. My local store has them 3 for a buck, WOW!. Do you have any cantaloupe recepies. I love your blog and if anyone can help me with all these melons I know its you 🙂

Natalie says:

Here are a couple of recipes we have for cantaloupe. Also we have frozen cantaloupe cubes and eaten them with a toothpick – delicious! Good luck!

Cienna says:

I’m new to cedar plank grilling, but understand some are reusable while others are disposable. Do you have a brand you recommend? Amazon has so many options, I’m overwhelmed and don’t know where to start:). Thanks so much for such a helpful site!

Natalie says:

All the planks I have purchased are disposable. I would imagine it would have to be a pretty thick plank to be reusable because they can get pretty charred. Te brand I have purchased in the past and have had good success with is Coastal Cuisine cedar planks.

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