Batesville Herald Tribune, Batesville, Indiana

May 24, 2013

Kebabs: Health kick on a stick

By Elaine Gordon
Special to The Washington Post

WASHINGTON — Grilling is a simple way to feed your family well this summer. Start with a lean meat and a healthful marinade and then allow the grill to strip away additional fat for a heart-healthy and waist-friendly final result. Plus, grilling caramelizes the natural sugars in foods, which adds flavor without additional calories and fat.

With these guidelines, grilling can be a great way to prepare healthful meals:

Kebabs are a perfect way to incorporate these ideas. They are fun to prepare and beautiful to look at, yet can be extremely healthful as well. Half of your plate will be filled with fruits and vegetables simply by alternating them with meat on the skewers. Plus, kebabs are an easy way to control portion size.

The accompanying simple recipe features a bold marinade that gets its flavor from fresh lime, cilantro and garlic. Plus, it has a touch of sweetness from honey to help balance out the other intense flavors. You could even add a little jalapeno pepper to the marinade for added heat.

The kebabs use lean white meat chicken breast and a combination of antioxidant-rich red bell pepper, peach and ataulfo mango. Ataulfo mangoes (sometimes labeled as champagne mangoes in the grocery store) are similar to other mango varieties but tend to be sweeter, juicier and less fibrous. They are small and have golden yellow skin. The red bell pepper provides Vitamin C and lycopene, a phytochemical that has been said to benefit heart health and reduce risk for prostate cancer. Plus, it adds a crunchy sweetness that works well against the juicy fruit. The red onion contains anthocyanidins, which may promote blood vessel health, and provides an additional flavor boost when nestled against the chicken chunks.