We are in the last month of summer (and more than half way through 2017, can you believe it?) and if you haven’t yet, this month is the perfect time to fire up the grill. You can grill almost anything. What I love about grilling is that you aren’t using a ton of added fat to get the job done, and you can almost guarantee that it is going to taste fabulous. On top of that, who wants to heat up an already stuffy house in the summer with an oven or griddle? Keep the heat outside, and fire up the grill. Want an even more low-key summer meal? Take out some recyclable paper plates and skip the hot water cleanup 😉
What are some things to grill? Chicken, Steak, Pork, Ribs, Lamb – Everything!! You can grill corn, just about any vegetable (try skewers!), and foil can be your best friend to keep juices in squashes and even fish. Even Fruit can be put on the grill; talk about a yummy dessert or snack – the possibilities are endless.
One of my favorite surprising meals that is great on the grill and a huge family hit is Pizza! Who says you can’t grill everything, right? Try this recipe out and let me know what you think:
Pizza, Pizza, Pizza!
- 1 Package whole wheat frozen bread dough (I love Trader Joe’s brand)
- 2 cups pizza sauce
- 1 4-ounce package basil leaves, chiffonade (cut into razor thin strips)
- 8oz container fresh mozzarella in water – cherry size, halved
- 1 cup baby heirloom tomatoes (usually called black cherry), halved
- olive oil spray
Here is another one of my favorite grilling recipes. Turn your drab chicken into a meal bursting with Mediterranean flavor with this recipe:
Grilled Greek Chicken with Oregano & Mint Leaves
- 1 1/2lb skinless boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 bunch fresh mint
- 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 12-inch metal or wooden skewers
Just because you’re cooking outside, it doesn’t mean you don’t need to practice safe food handling and be health conscious. It is still very important to be careful as food poisoning from undercooked food or from poor food handling doesn’t just happen indoors =)
Here Are Some Tips For Grilling This Summer:
- Wash your hands. Use hand sanitizer when clean water isn’t readily available where you are grilling.
- Keep food cold until you are ready to put them on the grill. Letting them sit allows bacteria to grow.
- Don’t mix raw and cooked foods. Keep raw foods separate from each other. Once cooked, use a clean dish to place final masterpiece. The bacteria from the raw food will contaminate the freshly cooked meal.
- Keep hot food warm to at least 140 degrees Fahrenheit until ready to be placed in a cooler with ice or refrigerator to prevent bacteria growth. For salads and cold foods, keep them chilled on ice.
- Clean your grill! Keep your grill clean by scrubbing with a brush before and after grilling food. Scrubbing keeps the buildup of carcinogens left on the grill grates to a minimum and makes your food taste so much better.
- Use a meat thermometer to ensure your food is cooked to optimal temperature internally! You can check out this article to see what those temps should be:
- This article from Rodale explains how to reduce carcinogens that can develop while grilling and how to avoid them – lots of good information in here!
This summer, sometimes it’s nice to have a refreshing cocktail to relax during the weekend that isn’t loaded with sugar or calories, and is made with real ingredients! Sometimes, a mojito just sounds great on a warm summer day.
Here is my recipe for Mojitos Flaquitos Skinny Mojito; enjoy while relaxing by the pool, waiting for your dinner on the grill this Saturday 😉
- lime wedge
- fresh mint sprigs
- 1 strawberry
- 1 1/2oz white rum
- 3 1/2 oz club soda
- 1 teaspoon Palm Sugar Simply Syrup
“The summer night is like a perfection of thought” –Wallace Stevens