Category Archives: Grilling

Easy Mixed Greens and Chicken

With Spring arriving the weather is permitting some al fresco dining in some regions. If you’re lucky to be living in one of those warmer regions you may enjoy dining outside. Fire up the grill and make this delicious and easy salad full of anti-inflammatory ingredients like blueberries and garlic.

For the salad:

  • 1 bag of pre-washed organic mixed greens
  • 1 medium sized red onion, small diced
  • 1 seedless orange, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 cup of fresh blueberries, washed well
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped (may substitute fresh parsley)
  • 2 6-ounce skinless chicken breasts, patted dry
  • Grapeseed oil

For the dressing:

  • 1/4 cup Good quality extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar or balsamic (may substitute freshly squeezed orange juice)
  • 1 garlic clove smashed and minced well
  • Sea salt about a teaspoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Wisk all the ingredients together for the dressing and check the seasoning. Take about 3 tablespoons of it and rub over the chicken and let it marinate in a dish in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes. Set the rest of the dressing aside and assemble the salad mixing the onion, oranges, blueberries and herbs together. Grill the chicken breasts until they are cooked through, about 3 minutes a side. Ensure you rub some grapeseed oil and season with salt and pepper before you grill them so there is no sticking. You may use other high-heat tolerant oil if you do not have grapeseed. While the chicken is resting and cooling some, dress the salad tossing gently. Slice the chicken and serve about half a breast for each guest.

 

Serves 4

 

Grilled Heirloom Tomato Flatbread

Delicious tomatoes are ripening in markets, grocery stores and farm stands all over the country right now.  A quick and simple summer meal can be made right on top of your grill. The fastest way to do this one is to buy some whole wheat pitas or flat breads, and assemble the ingredients in a few minutes.

  • 4 whole wheat pitas
  • Heirloom tomatoes, 2\3 large ones, or 4\5 small\medium ones–sliced
  • Fresh basil, about 1 cup, tear leaves in to chunks
  • 1 jar roasted red peppers
  • 3 Tablespoons Chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled, rough chop
  • 1\2 cup olive oil
  • 1\2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Get your grill ready outdoors, or if you prefer to use your oven’s broiler setting that is fine. Use a foil lined baking sheet if using your oven.  In a food processor or blender toss in the garlic cloves, the red peppers and grated Parmesan cheese and whiz until pasty. If it’s a little thick, add a Tablespoon of warm water at a time until smear-able consistency is achieved. On low speed slowly pour in the olive oil until emulsified and toss in a pinch of Kosher salt and a little cracked black pepper. Taste to make sure it’s all set.

Schmear the red pepper, cheese ‘pesto’ onto each pita and arrange big slices of fresh Heirloom tomatoes in generous amounts. Grill each pita for about 5-7 minutes or until the tomatoes begin to release their juices, and the bread gets toasty. Remove with a metal spatula and sprinkle generously with torn basil leaves. If using the broiler, cook until the tomatoes begin to release their juices, about 6 minutes, and do the same with the basil.

 

BBQ!!!

bbqIt’s BBQ season now that Summer is in full swing and I bet you are all salivating in envy at the smells wafting up over your neighbor’s fence! I do apologize for the lack of prior inspiration but let me quell your fears now and let you know I am with you on this. I feel your pain and I understand the need to sink your teeth into some MEAT this season with great and reckless abandon! But of course you’re on the Pain Free Diet and you have to have some restraint. Aw shucks….hey don’t worry! That’s why I am here! There are dry rubs that can substitute brown sugar Splenda! Grilled salmon, veggies, stone fruits and even…dare I say it? Tofu.

Let’s start off with a simple dry rub recipe and work our way into some specific things to do which can at least take your mind off the pit that guy is digging down the block in preparation for his big pig roast bonanza.

  • 1 Cup Splenda brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup smoked paprika (or regular)
  • 1/4 cup fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper(optional)

Combine all ingredients well and store in an airtight container until needed. This is a great rub for turkey meat, salmon fillets, stone fruits or even shrimp!

Barbecued Shrimp Kebab

Shrimp_Kebab

  • 2 pounds 16/20 shrimp (peeled and cleaned leaving tail on)
  • 8 each bamboo skewers soaked in water (or metal skewers)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 handful chopped cilantro (or parsley if you don’t like cilantro)
  • 1 cup of marinade (recipe follows below)
  • 2 sweet bell peppers cut into large chunks
  • 1 large red onion cut into 1/8 pieces or large chunks
  • Fresh pineapple chunks (optional)

Marinade:

  • Juice of 3 limes or 1/2 cup
  • 1 Tablespoon chopped cilantro (or parsley)
  • 1/2 cup Tequila
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 Tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cholula brand hot sauce (or other favorite)
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar

Mix well and refrigerate until needed. This recipe also works with Firm, drained Tofu!!!

To Grill!

  • Turn on the grill
  • Toss shrimp and veggies in marinade and let sit 15 minutes
  • Skewer 4 shrimp per skewer alternating with veggies and pineapple (if using)
  • Brush skewers with Olive oil
  • BBQ over medium heat for about 5 minutes each side

You might enjoy this Chipotle Rub instead, it has a smoky spicy flavor:

Chipotle in Adobo

    chipotle

  • 1 can chipotles in adobo
  • 1 small onion, grilled or roasted
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, smashed
  • 12 ounces Tamarind puree (can find in ethnic aisle)
  • 4 or 5 sun dried tomatoes, soaked in hot water for 10 minutes and drained
  • Spritz of half a lime (optional)
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper
  1. Toss all into a blender. Add a teaspoon of water, if needed, at a time to process.
  2. Refrigerate until needed.

You might like to make some Cole slaw to accompany this delightful meal and I happen to have a good recipe right here:

  • 2 pounds shredded cabbage or mix of cabbage and Salad Savoy
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 small sweet onion, julienne
  • 1/4 cup splenda granulated sugar substitute
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons celery spice
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons prepared horseradish
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • 1 &1/4 cup low-fat soy mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar

 

  • Combine sugar, celery spice, garlic powder and pepper.
  • Mix in horseradish and mustard.
  • Add mayo and vinegar, stir well.
  • Mix in veggies and refrigerate until needed.

Or you might like to grill some veggies like asparagus:

  • Turn on the grill!
  • Snap woody ends off clean asparagus
  • Toss in a little olive oil
  • Sprinkle a little kosher salt and fresh pepper
  • Place on grill for about 3-5 minutes
  • Turn once and cook until edges begin to just blacken.

Serve with a spritz of lemon juice if desired!

Vegetable Kebabs

  • 8 skewers (if using bamboo pre-soak in water to prevent scorching)
  • 16 button mushrooms or porcini
  • 8 each small patty pan squash
  • 8 large cubes of Japanese eggplant or regular eggplant
  • 8 large chunks of sweet bell pepper (you choose your color)
  • 8 peeled shallots or pearl onions
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 2 or 3 smashed cloves of garlic
  • 2 or 3 fresh sprigs of rosemary
  • Kosher salt and fresh black pepper

 

  • Mix oil, garlic and rosemary. Stir to incorporate flavors and set aside.
  • Skewer veggies and having a mushroom on either end is recommended to hold everything in place.
  • Season with salt and pepper
  • Brush oil mixture over veggie kebabs and place on a medium grill.
  • Grill about 5 minutes on each side.

You could do the same with firm stone fruits and pineapple, apple and pear chunks. Just marinate them in the shrimp kebab marinade and grill.

Or make this Basil-Tarragon Dressing which can be used as a grilling marinade.

  • Handful fresh basil leaves
  • handful fresh tarragon leaves
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Juice of 1 small lemon
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar or champagne vinegar
  • 1 or 2 cloves garlic
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper

 

  • Throw all ingredients in a blender and puree until well mixed.
  • Use as salad dressing, Cole-slaw dressing or marinade for grilled vegetables.

All of these marinades, rubs, dressings are versatile. Remember that. You can use them on fish, shrimp, scallops, veggies, tofu and fruits to create wonderful Summer BBQ experiences for you and friends. The bonus? You will be sticking to the Pain Free Diet and staying healthy while perhaps your very own neighbor will be green with envy at the fantastic fragrances wafting up over his or her yard as well!