Guest Column: Cook healthy with these summer recipes on the grill

Published 2:26 pm Friday, June 28, 2019

By Emily Schmidt

Albert Lea resident Emily Schmidt is a registered dietitian at Mayo Clinic Health System in Albert Lea. She enjoys writing, cooking and spending time with her son and family.

Emily Schmidt

This summer, branch out and try some new fun recipes. It’s easy to get into a rut with grilling and other common summer meals and side dishes, so here is some inspiration for you. The shrimp kebabs are a great source of lean protein, and the side dishes are loaded with fiber and antioxidants. Check out more healthy Mayo Clinic recipes at

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Bean Salad with

Balsamic Vinaigrette

Dietitian’s tip: Beans are an excellent source of soluble fiber, the type of fiber that can help control blood cholesterol and blood sugar levels.

Number of servings: 6


For the vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 can (15 ounces) low-sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (15 ounces) low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 6 lettuce leaves
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped


To make the vinaigrette, in a small bowl, whisk together the balsamic vinegar, parsley, garlic and pepper. While whisking, slowly add the olive oil. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the beans and onion. Pour the vinaigrette over the mixture and toss gently to mix well and coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate until served.

To serve, put 1 lettuce leaf on each plate. Divide the salad among the individual plates and garnish with chopped celery. Serve immediately.

Shrimp Kebabs

Dietitian’s tip: No fresh herbs? Use 1/4 teaspoon each of dried tarragon and rosemary. Lime juice and fresh cilantro is another great combination for grilled shrimp.

Number of servings: 2


  • 2 wooden skewers (8 inches each)
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 12 pieces shrimp, peeled and deveined (21/25 size)


Soak skewers in water for at least 10 minutes. Preheat the grill on high. Combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, herbs and seasonings in a medium glass bowl. Place shrimp into lemon marinade; let stand for 5 minutes. Skewer the shrimp and place on the grill. Cook for about 2 minutes on each side or until shrimp is thoroughly cooked.