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A close-up of someone cooking ribs on the grill.

Grilling season is one of our favorite food-prep times of the year. This cooking method is fast and easy, and it can be ideal for batch cooking high-protein meals. It’s also a technique we encourage our clients to practice: When you’re spending time outdoors you not only gain the benefits of some extra vitamin D, but it also makes Sunday meal prep a little easier and more enjoyable.

One of the most common requests our nutrition coaches get this time of year are ideas for how to flavor up protein without using store-bought marinades or rubs (which are often loaded with sugar, MSG, and other artificial ingredients).

Below are a few of our coaches’ favorite recipes, all of which include ingredients you likely already have on hand. You can rotate them when preparing meals for your week ahead or choose your favorite when making a one-time meal for your family.

Happy grilling!

Spice Rubs

Each recipe will season one pound of meat, poultry, or fish.

Curry-Inspired

  • 2 tbs. cumin
  • 2 tbs. curry powder
  • 2 tbs. garam masala
  • 1 tbs. coriander
  • 1 tsp. sea salt

Mediterranean

  • 4 tsp. onion powder
  • 4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 2 tbs. oregano
  • 4 tsp. basil
  • 2 tsp. dill
  • 1 tsp. salt

Lemon-Herb

  • 2 tbs. lemon-pepper blend
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. basil
  • 2 tsp. oregano
  • 1 tsp. ground thyme

Directions:

  1. Mix all spice rub seasonings together, then evenly distribute to coat the meat or fish. Place in the refrigerator and let the flavor soak in for less than 30 minutes for fish, and anywhere from two to 24 hours for meat, based on preference. (The longer it sits, the more flavor the meat will absorb.)

Marinades

Each recipe will provide enough marinade for approximately one pound of meat, poultry, or fish.

Stir-Fry

  • 1/4 cup coconut aminos
  • 3 tbs. sesame oil
  • 1/2 tsp. ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 5–10 drops liquid stevia, to taste

Fresh Basil

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder or 2–3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  • 1 tsp. Himalayan salt
  • 1 cup basil leaves, finely minced

Maple-Dijon

  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil or avocado oil
  • 2 tbs. Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbs. pure maple syrup
  • 2 tbs. coconut aminos
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper (optional)

Directions:

  1. Mix all marinade ingredients together, then evenly distribute to coat the meat or fish. Place in the refrigerator and let the flavor soak in for less than 30 minutes for fish, and anywhere from two to 24 hours for meat, based on preference. (The longer it sits, the more flavor the meat will absorb.)

Keep the conversation going.

Leave a comment, ask a question, or see what others are talking about in the Life Time Training Facebook group.

anika-christ
Anika Christ, RD, CPT

Anika Christ is a registered dietitian, personal trainer, and the director of client optimization at Life Time. She’s known to many as “Coach Anika,” and is one of the original virtual coaches who continues to lead a number of digital programs each year. She started at Life Time in 2008 and has spent her entire career helping build Life Time’s nutrition and fat-loss programs. When she’s not at work, she enjoys reading, lifting weights with her husband, and playing with her two daughters.

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