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3 Recipe Favorites for Summer Grilling

Cook up some lean meat with big flavor to kick off the barbecue season

En español | There was a time when I grill-roasted big festive cuts such as whole turkeys, pork shoulder and prime rib for the summer celebrations. No more. My new mission: Eat less meat, leaner meat, better meat. With that in mind, I will share three of my favorite recipes for summer grilling.

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Barbecue-Marinated 5-4-5-Grilled Pork Tenderloin, Memorial Day Recipe by Pam Anderson

Grilling this summer? Try the leaner, healthier barbecue-marinated 5-4-5 grilled pork tenderloin. — threemanycooks.com

A well-marbled steak or chop may taste great, but it's not so great for you. The saturated fat in lamb, beef and pork eventually clogs the arteries and can lead to heart disease, so stick with leaner cuts like the ones I've featured here: London broil from the top round; pork tenderloin, which is the leanest of the pork cuts; and boneless, skinless chicken breasts.

Lean cuts have their challenges. Fat equals flavor, and without it, meat can taste lackluster. And overcooking can cause them to dry out and toughen up.

For all three cuts, I've developed simple, high-flavor marinades, which enhance taste. The sweet, sour, smoky beef marinade, as well as the barbecue-flavored pork marinade, are designed for a pregrill soak, while the soy chicken one is ideal for a postgrill dunk. The lightly sweet beef and pork marinades and the brown sugar sprinkle on the chicken will help these cuts brown, and that translates into high flavor.

For these cuts to stay juicy, you'll need high heat and short cooking times, so make sure the grill is fully preheated (for me that's about 10 minutes), and then get the meat off quickly. Pricking the London broil with a fork and slicing the steak thinly across the grain also ensures more tender meat.

Someone recently told me we should treat fatty red meat like decadent desserts — fully enjoyed, but only occasionally. So grill up lean cuts like the ones featured here and serve them with a side of fresh grilled vegetables (I've suggested one for each dish) and a big salad — vegetable or bean and grain — and you've got a fresh, colorful healthy summer-weekend feast. Then maybe you'll have room for a decadent dessert!

Barbecue-Marinated 5-4-5 Grilled Pork Tenderloin

Serves 6 to 8

Serve this succulent pork with slices of grilled sweet potatoes and your favorite coleslaw. To grill the potatoes, coat the peeled slices with a little oil and season them with salt and pepper. Add them to the grill along with the tenderloins, turning them and removing them from the grill at the same time as the pork. Set out extra barbecue sauce for dipping.

  • 1/4 cup your favorite sweet barbecue sauce
  • 2 tablespoons each canola oil, molasses and cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Ground black pepper
  • 2 pork tenderloins (about 2 pounds)

Mix barbecue sauce, canola oil, molasses, vinegar and mustard in a small bowl; pour into a gallon-size zipper-lock bag. Add tenderloins; marinate for 30 minutes to 2 hours at room temperature or up to 2 days in the refrigerator. (Return to room temperature before cooking.)

Heat gas grill, igniting all burners on high for at least 10 minutes, or build a hot charcoal fire. Clean grate with a wire brush and then lubricate well with an oil-soaked rag. Add tenderloins, close lid and grill until dark-brown grill marks form, about 5 minutes. Turn tenderloins over, close lid and continue to grill until dark-brown grill marks form on remaining side, about 4 minutes longer. Keeping lid closed, turn off all burners and let tenderloins remain on the grill rack until fully cooked, about 5 minutes longer. Remove tenderloins from grill and let rest for 5 minutes. Cut into medallions and serve.

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