This week has been touch-and-go for The Dude Diet. Last weekend was rough, since Logan’s well-deserved graduation extravaganza included friends, family, and enough champagne and finger food to sustain a small army of dudes. Although he did try to adhere to the Beach Body Blitz Plan earlier this week, his very busy social calendar required heavy cocktail consumption, which led to some seriously questionable decisions regarding mid-afternoon buffalo wings and quesadillas. Luckily, it’s supposed to rain through Memorial Day, so Logan has at least another week to get his beach body in check.
As you know, Monday officially marks the beginning of summer, which brings with it a very specific set of challenges for The Dude Diet. While most people tend to eat lighter food due to the heat and the abundance of fresh produce available, the Dude’s meat consumption skyrockets during the warmer months. Summer means one thing to Logan: Grilling Season.
Logan loves grilling. In fact, whenever the topic comes up, he will make sure to inform anyone within earshot that he is a “Grill Master” and that they should “taste his meats.” (Inappropriate.) The fact that Logan enjoys grilling is no surprise, since presiding over a giant grill heaving with various types of meat is the stuff that the Dude’s dreams are made of. Logan is rarely happier than when he’s shirtless in an apron, casually crushing beers and hovering over steaks on the grill. This is honestly quite dangerous, as standing so close to the meat places him at constant risk of singing his (plentiful) chest hair.
For the record, grilling is an incredibly healthy way to cook a wide range of foods, and I very much support it. I would always prefer for Logan to eat something grilled rather than deep-fried, poached in butter, or sauteed in large amounts of oil. That said, the Dude isn’t lovingly grilling fresh fish and vegetables from Memorial Day to Labor Day. In his own words, Logan grills “man meats” because “he is a man.”
As you can imagine, grocery shopping with Logan before a grill-fest is truly a sight to behold. The Dude practically skips through the market, sunburnt and wearing his signature short shorts, giddily filling his cart with kielbasa and various other sausages, giant steaks, and pounds of ground beef. He then requires a second cart for Coors Light and family-size bags of potato chips. Needless to say, these meaty feasts aren’t exactly Dude Diet-friendly, and they actually pose a serious health risk. Logan is already disturbingly sweaty during the summer months, so the addition of the meat sweats and a 30 rack of Coors Lights makes sudden death by dehydration a legitimate concern.
|Dude loves summer.|
Logan is not alone in his meat-heavy grilling habits. Most dudes I know tend to gravitate toward cooking slabs of beef when exercising their Grill Master Skills. Based on this fact, summer is going to be a rough season for The Dude Diet. I know you’re going to be tempted to crush beers on the beach all day and then eat your weight in burgers and sausages, but please keep in mind that you are also going to be spending a significant amount of time half-naked. Something’s gotta give, dudes. It’s time to revamp your grilling habits.
If you must grill red meat, portion control is crucial. Logan’s plate at a cookout is usually some sort of terrifying meat tower weighing several pounds. There is never an acceptable reason to eat a burger, steak, sausage, and ribs at the same time unless you are in some sort of competitive meat-eating competition. Logan justifies such behavior by arguing that it is his duty as Grill Master to taste all of his creations. Point taken, but half a burger does not constitute a “taste,” dudes. You know this. Limit yourself to one reasonably sized steak or small portions of multiple meats. Just a reminder, one serving size of meat is 4 ounces, which is about the size of a deck of cards. Take a minute to let that ugly truth sink in.
I’d also like you to expand your Grill Master skills beyond beef and sausages, stat. Please experiment with poultry, pork, fish, and vegetables. These things were made for the grill, dudes, and they will do your beach body a world of good. I guarantee your guests will be thrilled by your unexpected creativity and newfound dedication to healthy eating, especially chicks. In order to inspire your transition to lighter grilling, I whipped up some Spicy Pork Skewers and Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro-Lime Dressing.
These spicy pork skewers should be added to your grilling repertoire immediately. I’ve found that dudes often overlook pork during grilling season (unless it’s in the form of sausage), which is unfortunate. Grilled pork tenderloin is dank, and these spicy pork skewers are guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser. Marinated in a combination of citrus flavors, brown sugar and Sriracha, the pork stays incredibly tender and juicy on the grill. These skewers are also high in protein and low in calories and fat, which means that you can crush them without fear of clogging your arteries or getting the meat sweats.
I would like to stress that spicy pork skewers are an excellent choice for entertaining since they only require about 6 minutes on the grill. You can prep your skewers in advance and have more free time to drink light beers and practice your pool tricks or whatever other activities you happen to enjoy at your summer get-togethers (dunk-a-roos, Polish horse shoes, dirt napping in the sun, etc.).
Let’s talk grilled sweet potatoes, dudes. First of all, sweet potatoes are fucking delicious, and they’re pretty much idiot-proof in terms of preparation. All you have to do is boil them for 20 minutes, slice them up, brush them with a little olive oil and throw them on the grill. The smoky grill flavor combined with the sweetness of the potatoes is truly epic, and in addition to the grill marks, the potatoes get a slightly caramelized exterior thanks to their natural sugars.
Yes, grilled sweet potatoes are awesome on their own, but topping them with cilantro-lime dressing is what will really earn you some Grill Master street cred. This is some next level shit, dudes. The acidity from the lime juice both enhances and balances the sweetness of the potatoes, cilantro adds a bright freshness, and the cayenne pepper gives everything a subtle kick. Pouring the dressing over the potatoes while they’re still warm ensures that they will soak up all of the cilantro-lime goodness, making them even more tender and flavorful. These sweet potatoes also taste great cold, and they’re pretty dope chopped up and tossed in a salad. You know I like it when you eat salads, dudes.
From a health perspective, grilled sweet potatoes with cilantro-lime dressing are Dude Diet gold. On top of tasting awesome, they will do your wonderland body all kinds of favors in the health department. I’ve waxed poetic on the benefits of sweet potatoes before, but I’ll just give you a quick recap. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of fiber, and they’re full of Vitamin-C and cancer preventing anti-oxidants. They also have large amounts of beta-carotene, which defends your skin against sun damage. This is great news for those of you who plan on grilling shirtless this summer.
If you are in need of other healthy grilling recipes, I’ve got your rapidly shrinking ass covered. I suggest you try grilled halibut, smoked paprika chicken breasts, chipotle turkey burgers, or chicken paillard. As far as slimming side dishes for your grilled fare, whip up some cherry tomato and corn salsa, southwestern sweet potato salad, Mediterranean chopped salad, or simply grilled vegetables. Happy Memorial Day, dudes. May your gut and moobs remain in check this beach season.
Spicy Pork Skewers: (Serves 4)
1½ lbs pork tenderloin, sliced into ½ inch rounds
12-16 bamboo skewers (depending on how many pieces of meat you put on each skewer)
For the marinade:
¼ cup orange juice
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
For garnish: (optional)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
Preparing your spicy pork skewers:
*Soak your bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes. If you don’t, your skewers will catch fire. Literally. Do not forget to do this, people.
-Start by mixing all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. Set the marinade aside while you prepare your skewers.
-Slice your pork tenderloin into ½ inch rounds. Thread the rounds onto the bamboo skewers. I tend to put 3-4 rounds on each “kebab,” but the choice is yours. I also like to use 2 skewers for each “kebab” to help the meat lie flat and add some extra stability.
-Place the skewers in a large Ziploc bag (or a shallow baking dish) and pour the marinade over them. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Obviously, the longer you can let them marinate, the better. You know this.
-Remove your skewers from the Ziploc bag, reserving the marinade, and place them on a lightly oiled grill or grill pan. Grill for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
-Pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until it takes on a syrupy consistency (about 3 minutes). Drizzle over your kebabs. This “sauce-making” step is optional, but I highly recommend it. The sauce is bomb.
-Sprinkle your kebabs with scallions and go wild. Impressive work, GrillMaster.
- 1½ lbs pork tenderloin, sliced into ½ inch rounds
- 12-16 bamboo skewers (depending on how many pieces of meat you put on each skewer)
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon Sriracha sauce
- 1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar, packed
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- Soak your bamboo skewers in water for 20 minutes. If you don’t, your skewers will catch fire. Literally. Do not forget to do this, people.
- Start by mixing all the ingredients for the marinade in a small bowl. Set the marinade aside while you prepare your skewers.
- Slice your pork tenderloin into ½ inch rounds. Thread the rounds onto the bamboo skewers. I tend to put 3-4 rounds on each “kebab,” but the choice is yours. I also like to use 2 skewers for each “kebab” to help the meat lie flat and add some extra stability.
- Place the skewers in a large Ziploc bag (or a shallow baking dish) and pour the marinade over them. Refrigerate for at least an hour. Obviously, the longer you can let them marinate, the better. You know this.
- Remove your skewers from the Ziploc bag, reserving the marinade, and place them on a lightly oiled grill or grill pan. Grill for approximately 3 minutes on each side or until cooked through.
- Pour the reserved marinade into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until it takes on a syrupy consistency (about 3 minutes). Drizzle over your kebabs. This “sauce-making” step is optional, but I highly recommend it. The sauce is bomb.
- Sprinkle your kebabs with scallions and go wild. Impressive work, GrillMaster.
Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro-Lime Dressing: (Serves 4)
2 large sweet potatoes
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
For the dressing:
2 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
pinch of cayenne pepper
Preparing your grilled sweet potatoes with cilantro-lime dressing:
-Place the whole sweet potatoes in a large pot and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are just tender. (You really don’t want them to be mushy or they will fall apart on the grill. They should feel slightly resistant when you pierce them with tip of a sharp knife.)
-Strain your sweet potatoes and place them in a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking. When cool enough to handle, remove the skins from your sweet potatoes (they should peel right off) and slice each potato on a slight diagonal into ½ inch rounds.
-Drizzle your sweet potato rounds with olive oil and season them with salt. Place sweet potatoes on the grill over medium heat. Grill your sweet potatoes uncovered for 6-8 minutes on each side or until they are very tender and have some badass grill marks. Remove from the grill.
-In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients for the dressing. Pour dressing over the grilled sweet potatoes and serve. Wassup, Grill Master Flex?