Cook quick, easy, healthy and delicious meals for your family on the grill all summer long! All you need is a great marinade or BBQ sauce recipe and a side dish! Here is one of my favorites this summer! (I have served this meal more than 4 times already!!)
BBQ Baby Back Ribs
Inspired by Mario Batali’s Kicka$$ BBQ sauce -My way!
Makes 3 cups
1 medium onion
6 garlic gloves, finely chopped
2 cups ketchup
1/4 cup lemon juice
3/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
2 tbsp. tomato paste
2 tbsp. honey
2 tbsp. brown sugar
2 tbsp. molasses
2 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp. dijon mustard
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. Tabasco or hot sauce (I used Sriracha)
Here is my edit:
2 cups of Sweet Baby Rays BBQ sauce instead of ketchup
1 cup of orange juice instead of lemon juice
4 tbsp. brown sugar
Sriracha instead of Tabasco
Put everything into a heavy saucepan and bring to a boil.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and cool. Keep sealed and refrigerated for up to one week!
Use this sauce to marinate ribs overnight.
Heat grill to 350 degrees.
Place ribs on grill and coat with sauce.
Grill for 8 mins. and flip, coating with sauce again.
Cook for an additional 5 mins. or until juices run clear.
Cut hard bottom inch off of asparagus.
Add 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1/4 cup parmesan cheese salt, pepper, and asparagus to a Ziploc bag.
Grill asparagus on a grill vegetable tray or on aluminum foil.
Cook until the asparagus can be poked with a fork, but is still crisp!
As an alternative to red meat/ground beef hamburgers, turkey burgers offer a different texture and flavor. However, turkey burgers need ingredients, seasoning, something. Ground turkey can be very bland even with traditional burger toppings. Mixing the flavor into the meat creates a juicy, flavorful bite!
I made Ina Garten’s pesto the other day- minus the walnuts, double the Parmesan cheese- it proved to be a great addition to turkey burgers!
Here is the recipe:
Pesto Turkey Burgers
Makes 8 burgers
1-1/2 lb. ground white meat turkey
2 Roma tomatoes, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 cup Panko breadcrumbs
1/4 cup Ina Garten’s pesto (minus the walnuts, double the parm)
2 tbsp. Parmesan cheese
Preheat grill to 350 degrees.
In a mixing bowl combine all ingredients and mix with hands until well blended.
Mixture should be slightly sticky and able to hold form.
Make a burger patty by taking a small ball, flattening it and pressing the edges while turning until firm.
Grill the patties for 5 mins. Flip over and grill another 3-5 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
I topped the burgers with sliced fontina cheese for approximately one minute until melted, and served the burgers on wheat hamburger buns with our favorite burger toppings! The pesto was not overpowering, it was perfect!
Island grilled mangoes and papaya with a rum butter sauce, Exotic grilled pear salad with goat cheese and balsalmic drizzle…These menu items can be found in high end eateries all of over the world! They sound ultra sexy and complicated, right? They are not! These delicious tastes can easily be replicated at home in your kitchen!!
Fruit is made up of sugars and water. Grilling fruit takes out some of the water and caramelizes the natural sugars leaving delicious sweet fruit with a charred texture. This method is quick and easy, and the delicious grilled fruit leaves our taste buds craving more!
Hard fruits are easier to grill. They won’t get mushy and fall apart on you. My favorites are apples, pears and pineapple!
One of our breakfast favorites is grilled peaches! (With a squirt of whipped cream!)
(Yields 4 servings)
4 Sliced white and yellow peaches
2 tbsp. brown sugar
1 tbsp. nutmeg
Clean grill grate and spray with non stick cooking spray. (Olive oil is too strong for these fruits and will leave a dull taste. If anything use a little butter.)
Dust fruit with the spice mix.
Grill the fruit on medium heat until it is softened to your liking.(Pierce with a fork. The fruit should be cooked but still firm.) Approx. 4 minutes per side.
OR grill them in a frying pan! Peaches are soft enough to be cooked quickly right on the stove!
Don’t forget a fabulous cheese pairing! Grilled pears are delicious with goat cheese or a creamy fontina, while grilled apples are most delicious when served with Gruyere or Brie.
Coffee causes cancer. Milk causes cancer. Microwave popcorn causes cancer. Pop causes cancer. Processed meats cause cancer.
We hear these health news alerts and we try to be more cognizant about what we put in our mouths. We grill our meat instead of frying it and eat more fruits and veggies. Now we hear that grilling meat causes cancer? What? I thought grilling was healthy?!
This topic is extremely controversial, even among accredited researchers!
The one conclusion they agree upon is that cooking fleshy meat at high temperatures changes its DNA and the created “heterocyclic aromatic compounds” (HCAs) have been shown to be carcinogenic. The compounds have proven to be cancer causing in animal testing.
Another dangerous side effect caused by grilling meats is the creation of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or (PAHs). These carcinogenic gasses are created from fat drippings that burn on the grill. The smoke created is absorbed by the food and we consume it.
Both end products caused cancer in animals experimentally. So the question remains, How much would we need to consume to produce the same results? Nobody really knows.
Shannon Riskey, RN, MSN, at Pittsburgh’s Hillman Cancer Center tells her patients, “Everything that enters our bodies, or we put on our skin, has the potential to ‘mix up’ our DNA, which then causes cells to regenerate in an abnormal way. Basically, how cancer occurs.”
So yes, in a way everything does have the potential to cause cancer. Shannon explained that “moderation is key” and “who wouldn’t want to eat grilled meats?” Love her, it’s so true!
Dr. Jamie Uribarri, Mt. Sinai New York nephrologist and heterocyclic aromatic compounds (HCAs)research leader , tells me the dangers don’t merely lie in grilling, but in cooking meats at high temperatures. His research highlights advanced glycation end products and the link between heating meats and chronic disease.
I had to ask him the question, “Is it the amount of meat people are eating or the cooking process?” Nobody really knows! I’m not shocked!
What do scientists know?
1. Marinate the meat!
Studies show that marinating and rubbing the meat in wine, olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice or rosemary can lower its pH and lower the risk of and HCA and PAH development.
2. Eat antioxidant rich fruits and veggies!
Researchers believe that eating foods rich in antioxidants may offset the dangers of grilling carcinogens.
3. Cover the grill with aluminum foil to avoid charring the meat or scrape off the char before eating. Isn’t that the most delicious part?
4. Pre-cook meat so that it is not exposed to high heat for extended periods of time. Boiled burger, anyone?
Another option is to grill on lower heat for a longer period of time.
5. Avoid grilling processed meats. Higher levels of carcinogens were found in hotdogs and sausage.
Everything in moderation! That includes grilled meats! Remember, the dangerous levels of HCAs and PAHs are possibly, maybe, could be, might be too small to make a difference. So don’t go nuts just in case!
After hearing the latest Sriracha headlines, “Residents of Irwindale (Sounds totally like Arrendale from Frozen – although opposite problem -is the Southern California city where it is made-Go USA!!) Say The Air Is Too Spicy and Are Fighting to Close Sriracha Plant,” to “America’s Most Popular Condiment” and “Sriracha Shortage Imminent,” I was dying to buy some and try it!!
I love sweet and spicy together! The most flavorful taste combo!
So here it is, the family says the best meal I have ever made.
Honey Sriracha Grilled Chicken
3-4 boneless skinless chicken breasts 2 1/2 to 3 inches thick
1/4 cup honey
1/2 cup Sriracha sauce
Mix 1/2 of the honey and half of the Sriracha in a bowl.
Remove chicken from package and place in a container with an airtight lid.
Brush or spoon to coat raw chicken and marinate.
Refrigerate to marinate 1-9 hours ( I did mine at 8am and pulled it out at 4:30 to grill.)
Heat grill on medium high heat to 350 degrees.
Cook chicken on one side for 12-15 minutes.
Coat with another mixture of honey sriracha.
Flip and cook another 8-10 minutes.
Coat with remaining sauce.
Pineapple Quinoa Salad
1 cup quinoa uncooked
1 1/2 cup water
1 can pineapple chunks, drained
Baby greens salad
Pint of grape tomatoes
2 tbsp. red pepper flakes
Cook quinoa in a saucepan.
Add water bring to a boil.
Simmer for 20 minutes until water is absorbed.
Meanwhile, add lettuce to a serving bowl.
Layer it with tomatoes, quinoa and pineapple.
Sprinkle on red pepper flakes.
Serve together or make your own sides! I think corn on the cob was the only thing missing tonight!