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Zuchini Noodles with Meat Sauce (247 calories per serving)

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It’s been awhile since we had a recipe posting, but we’ve been saving this savory low-carb, recipe for Spring.  We use a vegetable spiralizer (found in local home goods store or on Amazon). A vegetable spiralizer is definitely a safer alternative for your fingers to a mandolin slicer.  If you don’t have the tools, you can chop the zucchini into thin slices with a knife and still serve a great meal.

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Zucchini Noodles with Meat Sauce (247 calories per serving, 23 g of carbs)
*prep time 10 min, cook time 20 minutes*
Serves 10

Ingredient Calories Carbs
93% lean beef, 2 lb 1379 calories
Zucchini, 12 large, washed 648 calories 80 grams
Tomato sauce, canned, 28 oz 227 calories 52 grams
Tomato paste, canned, 6 oz 139  calories 32 grams
Onion, 1 medium, minced 46 calories 11 grams
Parmesan cheese, grated, 1 tsp (optional) 10 calories per serving
Water, 3/4 cup
Garlic, minced, 2 tsp
Oregano, 2 tsp 
Sugar, 2 tsp 32 calories 8 grams
Salt, 1 tsp
Basil, 2 tsp (fresh or dried)
Black pepper, ½ tsp
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Sugar, spice, and everything nice.. MaiLan thinks it would be nicer if we can put 2 lb of sugar instead of 2 tsp

1. Combine ground beef, onion, garlic, oregano, basil, sugar, salt, black pepper, and 1/4 cup of water in a large saucepan on medium heat.

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2. Stir to crumble and brown the meat.

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3. Stir crushed tomato, tomato paste, and 1/2 cup of water into the pan until a rolling boil. Simmer on low and stir occasionally for another 5-10 minutes.

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We had every intention to use fresh tomatoes, but someone else claimed them.

4. While the meat sauce is simmering, use a vegetable spiralizer to turn the zucchini into noodles.

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5.  One zucchini (33 calories, 6 g carbs) will yield about 2 cups of zucchini noodles. A serving is 3 cups of zucchini noodles.  Spiralize the zucchini into desired thinness.  You may want to request for help from an experienced taste tester.

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4. In a large microwave-safe bowl or plate, microwave the zucchini for 2-3 minutes on high for every 3 cups you plan to serve.

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5. Combine zuchinni noodles with 8 oz of meat sauce. Add on a tsp of grated Parmesan cheese if desired.  Serve and enjoy!

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Each serving is under 300 calories, which works with the plan.

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Baked Parmensan-Breaded Chicken with Broccolini

To make an appt, call us at (412) 304-2016 or schedule an appointment below:
Book an appointment using SetMore Elevation Medical Weight Loss
 2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205

Today we have a low-carbohydrate recipe for crispy baked chicken without the breading.  The outer coating consisiting of parmesan and spices will be baked and then broiled to crunchy bites.  We love to bake in colder weather to heat up the kitchen.  It’s a fairly simple recipe to make and not a lot to clean up.

So we found some broccolini at the market the other day.  Broccolini is a cross between Chinese broccoli (kai-lan) and American Broccoli.  The taste is sweeter, more tender and crisper than that of broccoli.  8 stalks of broccolini is 35 calories with 6 grams of carbs.

To reiterate, all of the recipes at Elevation Medical Weight Loss are gluten-free and low-carb.  This meal will work well with both the phentermine and HCG diet, if you are a fan of chicken.


Recipe serves 6: 2 tenderloins per serving (5 oz lean chicken total)
Prep Time: 15 minutes, cooking time: 20 minutes




Chicken tenderloins, 2 lb (usually 12 strips) 1100 calories
Butter, 1/4 cup or half a stick of butter 407 calories
Parsley, 2 tbsp minced
Grated parmesan cheese, ¾ cup 323 calories 3 gram
Oregano, 1 tbsp dried
Paprika,1 tbsp
Garlic powder, 1 tsp
Salt, 1 tsp
Pepper, 1/2 tsp
Cayenne pepper, a pinch
Broccolini, 1.5 – 2 lb 350 calories 60 g
Vegetable/Canola oil, 2 tsp 80 calories
Oyster sauce, 1 tbsp 9 calories 2 g
Garlic, 1 tbsp minced
Total calories for 6 servings
2269 calories
65 g carb
Recipe serves 6
378 calories 11 g carb


  1.  Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Combine ingredients for the chicken tenderloin coating (Parmesan cheese, Oregano, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, cayenne pepper) in a bowl and stir to mix.  Set aside.
  3. Melt butter in a microwave-safe shallow pan for 60-90 seconds in microwave.
  4. For the broccolini: in a large pan on medium heat, add 2 tsp of vegetable/canola oil and add in 2 lbs of broccolini with 1/2 cup of water. Stir in minced garlic and 1 tbsp oyser sauce.  Let steam for 10-12 minutes or until desired softness.dsc_4286-large
  5. Line a baking pan or sheet with aluminum foil to reduce clean up.
  6. Dip each strip of chicken tenderloin in the melted butter, then dip into the Parmesan and spices coating.  Shake off coating excess back into the bowl. Place tenderloins on baking sheet or pan.
  7. Repeat steps to coat all of the tenderloins. Sprinkle minced parsley on top.  Place pan into oven to bake at 425° F.  Bake for 15 minutes.dsc_4285-large
  8. Check on the broccolini to see if it’s cooked to your desired liking. Turn off heat and let sit.dsc_4291-large
  9. Check on the chicken tenderloin.  Chicken tenderloins does not take too long to cook, you may use a steak knife or fork to check the middle to see if it’s done.
  10. Switch the oven to high broil.  Use a pair of good mittens to move the baking rack to the very top.  Allow 1-2  inches between the chicken tenderloins and the fire for broiling.  Broil for 5-7 minutes until coating appear crispy without being burnt (black).dsc_4296-large
  11. Turn off broil and remove chicken tenderloins from oven.

    So can I go in the oven to thaw out, mommy?
  12. Serve chicken tenderloins with broccolini (8 stalks is around 3 oz).  If you have extra calories to spare, the chicken goes very well with a few tablespoon of salsa, another recipe found HERE.dsc_4301-large

The meal is a little over 5 oz of protein, 378 calories with 11 grams of carbs. Enjoy!

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Shrimp Cocktail (269 calories per serving)

To make an appt, please call us at (412) 304-2016 or schedule an appointment online here.

Elevation Medical Weight Loss
 2350 Noblestown Rd. Pittsburgh, PA 15205


Here is a delicious and simple shrimp cocktail recipe that takes little to no effort to prepare.  After trying it, you may wonder why you would ever buy packaged or frozen shrimp cocktail again. We used large shrimp (21-26 shrimp per pound), deveined, with shell on.  We have made this recipe several ways, and the taste does not change if you cook with the shell off; however,  since the completely peeled shrimp is cooks more quickly, you have to cook it about 1-2 minute less.

2 lb of large deveined, shell on shrimp.  Rosemary sprigs, bay leaves, whole peppercorn, celery seed, salt, lemon wedges and lemon peel.

Low Calorie Shrimp Cocktail (269 calories per serving)
Recipe serves 4          Prep time: 15 minutes    Cook time: 15 minutes


Calories Carbs

For the shrimp:

Large shrimp, deveined, 2 lb

960 calories
Water, 4 cups
Salt, 2 tbsp
Lemon juice, ½ lemon (2 tbsp)
Lemon peel, from 1 lemon
Thyme, 8-10 sprigs or 1 tsp
Black peppercorn, whole, 2 tsp
Bay leaves, 3-4 whole leaves
Celery seed, ½ tsp
Ice, 1 pitcher (½ gallon)

For the cocktail sauce:

Ketchup, ½ cup

116 calories

30 g carbs

Horseradish sauce, 2 tbsp
Worcestershire sauce, ½ tsp
Lemon juice, ½ tsp
Old Bay seasoning**, a dash (1/8  tsp)
Cayenne pepper, sprinkle as needed
RECIPE SERVES 4 269 calories

8 g carbs

Old Bay seasoning can be substituted by mixing equal portions of celery salt, paprika, black pepper, and cayenne pepper.

Lemon juice and lemon zest helps freshen up seafood and shellfish.  Essentially, it reduces the amine compound that is responsible for the “fishy smell” in seafood (trimethylamine and dimethylamine)


1. In a large pot, pour 4 cups of water and add 2 tbsp salt, 2 tbsp lemon juice, lemon peel, thyme, black peppercorn, bay leaves, celery seed.  Turn the heat to high or medium high.

This mixture smells wonderful

2.  In about 4-5 minutes when the water reaches a gentle boil, add the shrimp and stir every 45-60 seconds, submerging the shrimp.  After 3-5 minutes when the water almost begins to boil with small bubbles rising, all of the shrimp should be a light pink.  Stir again.  Turn off the heat when you see a couple of bubbles rising, before the water boils. Cover the pot and let sit for 5-6 minutes.

You want the shrimp to be just done.  Turn off the heat when the water is almost coming to a boil by watching for small rolling bubbles. If you have a food thermometer, the water temperature should be around 185 degrees F.

3.  Prepare the cocktail sauce by combining the ketchup, horseradish sauce, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, Old Bay seasoning, & Cayenne pepper. Mix evenly and place in the fridge for serving later.

4.  The shrimp should be thoroughly cooked by now.  You may try one to test. The next step is to add in the 1/2 gallon of ice to the shrimp, stir. Cover with a lid for another 4-5 minutes.

The ice helps cool the water to allow the shrimp to soak up more flavoring without getting overcooked

5.  Have a large colander ready in the sink.  Pour the ice and shrimp into the colander to strain.

Shrimp with shell on

6.  If you cooked deveined, shell-on shrimp, you will need some time to peel them, leaving the tail behind.  Peeling the shrimp should take around 6-10 minutes.

7.  Serve immediately with cocktail sauce, or refrigerate and serve within 3-5 days.


This recipe serves 4, but we won’t say anything if it all goes to one person.  Happy Thanksgiving!

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Warm Soup for Sweater Weather: Pork Sour & Spicy (Sinigang) w/ Hearts of Romaine

It’s starting to get chilly out, which means it’s time to warm up your kitchen and your stomach with a savory soup.  This is a well-known Filipino dish that has a pleasant taste of savory and tartness.


If you are adventurous enough to try it out, you can get the ingredients at the international aisle of the supermarket, or at pretty much Asian grocery store.  Amazon provides another resource for obtaining gourmet grocery items. This dish is very flexible in terms of ingredients.  As long as you use a Tamarind soup base and romaine lettuce, you can substitute the other vegetables and switch to a different cut of meat if you desire.  Typically this dish goes well with fattier cuts of meat, and there is also version where you can use salmon. If you like Miso soup served at local Japanese steakhouses, then you will like this dish.

Sweater Baby Wants Soup

Prep time: 10 minutes, Cook time – 35-45 minutes
Recipe serves 12 (266 calories with 9 g of carbs per serving)




 Pork rib tips, 2 lb 2489 calories
Redskin Potatoes, 1 lb 327 calories 72 g
Hearts of Romaine Lettuce, 3, remove from stem 90 calories 17 g
Snow/Sugar Snap Peas, 8 oz 85 calories 17 g
Onion, chopped, 1 medium 44 calories 10 g
Portobello mushrooms, 8 oz 59 calories 11 g
Knorr Tamarind Soup Mix, 1 packet 80 calories 16 g
Fish sauce, 2 tbsp 20 calories 2 g
**Chili pepper, 2 (optional)
TOTAL 3203 calories 109 g




  1. Slice the rib tips into 1″-1.5″ pieces between the bones.  Turn on medium high heat and add in the chopped onion and 2 lb of rib tip pieces for browning, usually ~7-10 minutes. You do need to add oil since the rib tips are a fattier cut of meat.DSC_3647.jpg
  2. Adjust to medium heat.  Add in 12 cups of water and the potatoes, since potatoes take a while to cook.  Bring the soup to boil.  Add in the packet of the Tamarind Soup Mix and stir to mix.  Add in the snow peas, mushrooms & Hearts of Romaine.  Stir.20161010_161520
  3. Add 2 tbsp of Fish Sauce, or salt to taste.  If you are adventurous, add in chopped chili peppers for a little kick.
  4. Recipe makes 12 servings.  Usually a serving is around 8 oz of soup by volume.  Serve in a large bowl.DSC_3651.jpg

Let us know if you get a chance to make this delicious soup and how it turns out!


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Banana Ice Cream: 1 Ingredient

Some have asked us if we allow a “loading phase” when starting the HCG injections diet, and our answer is that it varies.  A “loading phase” is when you consume high calorie and high carb meals for the initial  1-2 days of the HCG plan before drastically reducing caloric intake.  While we feel that it is not necessary to “load up”, you are allowed a couple of meals if you prefer.  However, we encourage you to start your new diet right away, since from our experience you will feel and see the results much faster.

Another questions is whether or not we allow a “cheat meal” when you’re on the program. The answer is yes, as long as you do not consistently eat anything out of the ordinary during the course of your 30 days commitment. By that we mean that a treat or two is fine, but scheduling in frequent cheats will definitely slow any progress you hope to make.

So if you’re craving something sweet, you may give in to a small “treat” that hardly even counts as a cheat, like this easy to make 1-ingredient banana ice cream.

Pick out 3 ripe bananas to make 2 servings for this recipe.  You can use a small food processor or just crush the bananas with a spoon.


Recipe serves two.  155  calories /serving (with 40 grams of carbs  per serving)
Ingredient Calories Carb
Banana, 3 medium 310 calories 81 g carb
It’s chilly and you’re making ice cream? Otay, I will help


  1. Peel 3 bananas and place it in a food processor to blend until smooth.  Alternatively, you can transfer the bananas in a bowl and crush and blend them with a wooden spoon.DSC_3555.jpg
  2. Transfer the contents to two small bowls or ramekins.DSC_3567.jpg
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the freezer for 3-6 hours until frozen.DSC_3606.jpg
  4. Recipe serves two.  The  more you blended the bananas earlier, the smoother it is. The consistency is similar to sorbet ice cream. You may top off with some whipped topping, such as Reddi Whip, which is 15 calories for 2 tablespoon.DSC_3618.jpg

Enjoy this delicious, simple recipe!



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Grilled Shrimp on Skewers: 284 calories per serving

We know you’ve been working hard to achieve your weight loss goal, but we want to make sure that you know that food does not have to be boring.  Since it’s still warm out for a few more weeks, you can light of the grill and give this recipe a spin. Grilled shrimp on skewers is great for anyone who likes seafood, especially those who are on the rapid weight loss HCG diet plan since you get 8 oz of pure protein with 3 cups of low calorie vegetables and tomatoes.  No oil required for this lean dish.


Grilled Shrimp on Skewers
284 calories per serving.  Recipe serves 2
Prep time: 15 min, cook time 6-8 minutes

Ingredient Calories Carb
Large shrimp, 1 lb raw 450 calories
Romaine lettuce, 6 cups 48 calories 9 gram
Roma tomatoes, 2 medium 70 calories 14 gram
TOTAL 568 calories 23 gram

*Large shrimp are usually made up of 26-30 shrimp per pound.  Each shrimp is approximately 14 calories.

This 1 jumbo shrimp here is 26 lbs… and she loves tomatoes!
3 cloves of garlic, minced
½ tsp seasoned salt
2 tbsp vinegar
¼ tsp pepper
1 slice of lemon
2 sprigs of rosemary (optional)
Instructions below *point*
  1. Chop 1 Roma tomato into small pieces for the salad and set to the side.
  2. Mince and crush the other Roma tomato with a spoon to make a sauce for the shrimp. Add in crushed garlic, seasoned salt, vinegar, pepper, lemon, and rosemary.
  3. Combine the shrimp and stir in the sauce.DSC_3479.jpg
  4. Turn on the grill to preheat the grates. Apply a small bit of oil with paper towel to the grates to prepare a non-stick surface.
  5. String the shrimp on the skewers and set on a plate.dsc_3488
  6. Transfer the skewers to the grill.  Cook each side for 3-5 minutes on medium high heat or until pink. (Usually you would want to soak your wooden skewers, however the short cooking time for this recipe makes it unnecessary to do so.)
  7. Place the skewers on a plate and serve with Romaine lettuce with chopped tomatoes. You can sprinkle a tsp of Basalmic vinegar as dressing with minimal calories added.


284 calorie meal with 56 grams of protein and 12 grams of carbs

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Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Here is another low -calorie and low-carb recipe that is great for any day of the week.  The chicken based meal cooks up easily and stores well in the fridge for another delicious meal upon reheating.

Tray of Ingredients: Lettuce, mushrooms, chicken breast, onions, green onions, water chestnuts.  Sauce mixture of: soy sauce, salt, ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and ginger.

Chicken lettuce wrap: recipe serves 6
*prep time: 20  minutes *cook time, 15 minutes.

Ingredient Calories Carbs
Lettuce, ½ a head 55 calories 11 g
Chicken breast, 1.5 lbs chopped and diced 1123 calories  
Onion, ½ medium 23 calories 5 g
Soy sauce, 4 tbsp 35 calories 3 g
Sugar, 2 tbsp 25 calories 25 g
Water chestnut, 6 oz, diced 160 calories 40 g
Mushrooms, 6 oz diced 44 calories 8 g
Green onions, 1 bundle chopped    
Ginger, 1 tsp finely chopped or ¼ tsp powder    
Salt, ½ tsp    
Rice wine vinegar, 1 tbsp    
Garlic, 2-3 cloves or 1 tsp    
TOTAL 1490 total calories 92 g
It tastes so good we can’t keep our toddler away 


  1. Mince the chicken breasts into fine pieces, or as an alternative, you can use 90% lean beef or ground turkey or ground chicken.
  2. Use a large non-stick skillet and put on medium heat, no oil required.
  3. Mince the chopped water chestnuts and mushrooms.
  4. Toss in the chopped chicken on the skillet.


  5. After 5 minutes, combine the rest of the ingredients: onions, green onions, water chestnuts, soy sauce, salt, ginger, garlic, rice wine vinegar, and ginger.


  6. Turn to medium high heat and cook for another 10 minutes or until done.
  7. Lay the lettuce leaves open on a large plate, scoop in the chicken mixture on the lettuce and sprinkle on a bit of green onions.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.


There is a lot of flexibility with this recipe.  You may omit the water chestnuts to reduce the carb content if you choose.  And it almost does not matter the timing of the added ingredients as you cook.  As long as most of the sauce cooks off, the chicken and chopped water chest nut will absorb the flavor and you will have a flavorful and healthy meal.

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Meals without Cooking – Part II

In the 2nd installment of our “no-cooking required” meals series, we will look at a recipe that is not only tasty and easy but also can easily be prepared in bulk for future meals.  When you find that your schedule suddenly overwhelmed, or that your kids become more demanding and eat up most your free time, you can grab some already-prepared food from the grocery store and take a couple of minutes to assemble meals for a couple of days.

This may look like a lot of food, but there’s actually only 4-5 servings

Chicken Salad is an easy meal for when you’re undecided

INGREDIENT Calories Carb
Chicken breast, skinless,  6 oz 276 cal 0
Baby spring mix, 3 oz 20 calories 2 gram
Bell peppers, 1 oz 9 calories 2 gram
Balsamic vinaigrette, 1 tbsp 15 calories 2 gram
TOTAL 320 calories 6 gram
3 oz of shredded Rotisserie Chicken on the food scale, and another 3 oz in the background (in a full cup loosely measured)

So what does 6 oz of chicken breast look like? A good rule of thumb is roughly twice the size of the palm of your hand.  Also 6 oz of chicken will roughly fit loosely into 2 cups, when shredded or chopped.  Alternatively, you can pick up a food scale and get a more exact measurement. One of the benefits of weighing out your food is you can much more accurately track how much you are eating to consistently lose the same amount of weight week-to-week.

3 oz of baby spring mix

You may be surprised to know that 3 oz of baby spring mix (1 serving) can fill up about half a gallon of space.  It’s helpful to fill up your stomach with lots of green, leafy vegetables that are low in calories as well as in carbs.  Green, leafy vegetables are great resources for the necessary vitamins such as Vitamin K, magnesium and potassium.  Eat a lot of greens to fill up space in your stomach to stay satisfied longer.


Combine the chicken with the baby green mix, then add some chopped bell peppers.  Stir in 1 tsp of a low calorie, low carb dressing of your choice (we used a Balsamic Vinaigrette).


Serve the chicken salad in a very large bowl.  Drink 32 oz of water with your meal.

There are so many creative ways to eat healthier even when your time is limited, or you just don’t have the desire to cook.  You just have to WANT to do what it takes to live a healthier lifestyle, and of course we are here to help if needed.

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Grilled Chuck Steak


We love to cook on the grill because it is both a quick and easy way to prepare a tasty meal that any family can enjoy. You can make grilling a part of your healthier lifestyle by trying out new recipes from common food items that you like, such as the one below:

Grilled Chuck Steak


Prep Time: 5 minutes                               Cook time: 15 minutes


Calories Protein


Chuck steak, 8 oz 293 calories 48 g
Romaine lettuce, ½ head 53 calories 4 g 10 g
Strawberries, 4 large 23 calories 5 g
Montreal Steak Seasoning
TOTAL 369 calories 52 g protein 15 g carb
We managed to keep her away today!!


  1. Turn on the grill to pre-heat.
  2. Rub a generous amount of steak seasoning on the chuck steak. We prepared 2 large cuts of chuck steak, roughly 5 lbs total as meal prep for the week.
  3. Grill on medium for roughly 7-10 minutes on each side, or until desired doneness.DSC_2972.jpg
  4. Transfer chuck steak to a cutting board to allow to cool.DSC_2975.jpg
  5. Use a fork to hold on to the steak and use a serrated knife to slice into thin cross-sectional pieces for serving.DSC_2998.jpg
  6. Serve with half a head of romaine lettuce and strawberries for a low-carb, high protein meal.
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Grilled Salmon with Zucchini: 314 calories

Here is a quick and easy grilled salmon recipe you can have prepared and serve in about half an hour.  Lemon or lime has to be one of our favorite addition to seafood because it reduces the amine compound that is responsible for the “fishy” smell in seafood.





Salmon, skinless 6 oz  (or 4 oz w/ skin) 241 calories  
Zucchini, sliced, 2 cups 38 calories 7 g carb
Strawberries, 4 medium 15 calories 3 g carb
½ tsp oil for zucchini 20 calories  
TOTAL 314 calories 10 g carb

The ingredients are friendly for a gluten-free diet or just when you are trying to live healthier.


The seasonings are quite flexible.  We used Montreal seasoning found in the pantry, but you can make your own by combining 2 tsp paprika, 2 tsp black pepper, 2 tsp kosher salt, 1 tsp garlic, 1 tsp onion, 1 tsp red pepper flakes.


Lemon, 1 slice
Montreal seasoning, generous amount
Rosemary, a couple of sprigs
Thyme, a couple of sprigs
Try to keep the baby away from your ingredients


  1. Turn on the grill for preheating.
  2. Generously rub Montreal seasoning into all sides of the salmon.  Transfer the salmon to a large piece of foil paper.  Squeeze a slice of lemon on top of the salmon.  Put the squeezed lemon on top of the salmon. Crush the thyme and rosemary with your fingers and put the sprigs on top.  Wrap up the salmon, lemon, thyme and rosemary inside the foil to prepare for grilling.  This will allow the salmon soak up the seasoning for a moist, tasty meal.
  3. For the zucchini, drizzle 1/2 tsp of oil on top. We used canola oil, but you can use whichever oil you have in the pantry.  Transfer the zucchini onto a big sheet of aluminum foil and wrap it up for grilling.

    Transfer the wrapped packages to the grill.
  4. Grill the salmon on medium heat with the lid closed for about 6-8 minutes on each side. The zucchini only needs roughly half of the time on the grill, so 2-5 minutes on each side.
  5. Open the foil.  Transfer the contents to a plate.  Serve with strawberries.  We hope this recipe gives you a couple of ideas for your next meal 🙂