ALEXANDRIA, Va. (WUSA9) -- We love our hot dogs, burgers, steaks, and BBQ sauce. But are there some health-conscious guests coming to your summer cookouts?

Give them some good-for-you options on the grill, courtesy of Executive Chef Joseph Allen ofClyde's at Mark Center in Alexandria.

"On the grill, we are looking to just bring out those natural flavors and carmelize the sugars," says Chef Allen.

The grill is a great way to spike the flavors of watermelon and sweet potatoes! Take a few slices of watermelon and leave them on the hot grill for two minutes.

Chef Allen says, "You really just want to get some grill marks and pull them off."

With the sweet potatoes, add a little barbeque rub. Then boil them in water for only 10 seconds and put them on the grill. Chef Allen says it should only take a few minutes on the grill.

An All-American classic, corn on the cob. You may have tried this on the grill before, but Chef Allen gives us a zesty, healthy seasoning to replace the heavy butter.

"Use cumin, coriander, just a little bit of brown sugar and some salt. The smoke from the grill really enhances the flavor of the corn."

Add a few seasonal summerveggies on a stick. Chef Allen's veggie kabob includes button mushrooms, yellow squash, portobello mushrooms, zucchini, cherry tomatoes,and sweet vidalia onions. It takes about 15 minutes on the grill.

The Chef tops his dishes with a nice salsa verde, in case you want to skip the sugars and molasses of most barbeque sauces.

Chef Allen says, "It has a lot of herbs and flavor in it so you can use that flavor for a lot of things off the grill."

Note: You must have a HOT grill before applying the veggies and watermelon.

Vidalia Onion and Lemon Vinaigrette

1 ea - Vidalia Onions, ½" rings

4 ea - Grilled Lemons, zest and supreme

½ tbsp - Thyme, chopped

2 C - EVOO

1 tbsp - Salt and Pepper

Grill onion rings and lemons... cut onions into small dice, zest and segment lemons. Mix onions, thyme, lemon segments and zest... Whisk in evoo, add salt and pepper.

Grilled Corn Rub

(In parts)

1 - Cumin

½ - Coriander

¼ - Smoked Paprika

¼ - Garlic Powder

¼ - Onion Powder

1 - Kosher Salt

¼ - Black Pepper

¼ - Brown Sugar

Mix Together.

Sweet Potato Rub (Mansion BBQ)

2 tblsp - Paprika

½ tsp - Curry Powder

1 Tbsp - Chili Powder

½ tsp Dry Mustard

1 tsp - Ground Coriander

½ tsp - Black Pepper

1 tsp - Sugar

½ tsp - Dried Thyme Leaves

1 tsp - Salt

½ tsp - Cayenne Pepper

Mix Together.

Salsa Verde

2 bu - Parsley, washed & picked

2 bu - Cilantro, washed & picked

1 ½ C - Capers

4 tbsp - Garlic, minced

3 tbsp - Chile flakes

4 ea - Lemons, zested

2 C - Olive Oil

TT - Salt and Pepper

Using the blender... Add all ingredients EXCEPT oil and lemon zest... on slow speed slowly add oil to herb mixture... Once fully emulsified, scrape out into a bowl and whisk in zest... Label, Date and Cool.

Read or Share this story: