It’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
- 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)
- 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!!!
- 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
- 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
- Toss all into a blender. Add a teaspoon of water, if needed, at a time to process.
- 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!
- 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!