As a follow up to Cancer-Safe Grilling, marinating your meat, poultry and fish before grilling is key. Research suggests that marinating for at least 30 minutes helps reduce exposure to potentially cancer-causing chemicals. Acidic rubs and marinades (e.g., citrus- or vinegar-based) help break down some of the muscle in the meat and may reduce the number of HCAs formed. Some researchers think the marinade also forms a barrier that protects the meat from the heat.
The following marinade recipe tenderizes with the high acids from the balsamic vinegar + citrus and flavors your food in addition to being cancer-preventive. This herbed dijon marinade is from the American Institute for Cancer Research, a non-profit organization and outstanding resource committed to research on diet, nutrition and cancer.
Herbed Dijon Marinade
(Yield: Makes about 1 cup)
What’s In It…
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup finely shallots, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoons lemon peel, grated
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely minced, or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme. crushed
- 3/4 teaspoon dried tarragon, crushed
How It’s Made…
- In medium bowl, combine all ingredients. Pour half into plastic container with lid to reserve for basting while grilling.
- Place other half of mixture into large non-metal casserole dish or mixing bowl. Add food to be grilled and turn to coat all sides.
- Cover and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
- When ready to grill, drain well and discard marinade.
Per serving: 28 calories, 3 g total fat (0 g saturated fat), 1 g carbohydrates, 0 g protein, 0 g dietary fiber, 36 mg sodium.
NOTE: The nutrition analysis applies to the approximate amount you would consume, not the whole amount because of the need to discard used marinade.