Florine Mark keeps her grill stoked all summer at her cottage in Omena, where the consummate hostess cooks for neighbors, out-of-town friends, and her large family of seven children and their spouses and kids.

Mark’s days at her cottage are filled with beach walking, tennis and other activities that help keep the energetic businesswoman fit. Evenings are for casual entertaining. Then, Mark and her family shift the modest cottage kitchen (no fancy appliances, she insists) and generous grill into gear to transform Northern Michigan’s summer bounty into healthy meals.

“Fruit has zero points on our PointsPlus program, so we eat lots of cherries,” Mark says, speaking of the Weight Watchers method for assigning numerical values for food. “I hit all of the farm stands as much as I can. We make a lot of soups and turkey, and we grill fish and chicken and ribs.”

At feasting time, partakers pull up around big wooden tables set out on the deck. “It’s very casual—people come in shorts and T-shirts,” Mark says.

Taste what was cooking at Mark’s house on a July day …

4 Healthy Grilling Recipes by Florine Mark

  1. Chopped Vegetable Salad
  2. Moroccan Spiced Portobello Burgers
  3. Jamaican Jerk Turkey Burgers with Tropical Fruit Salsa
  4. Grilled Stuffed Pears for Dessert

This Traverse Classic was featured in the July 2011 issue of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine. Subscribe for more good eats!

Photo(s) by Todd Zawistowski