Saturday, July 3, 2010

Independence Day Grilling Recipes and more!

Independence Day is one of my top three favorite holidays. The holiday falls right at the beginning of summer when watermelons taste just right, green peppers are fresh from the garden and there is lots of other produce begging to be grilled, sliced, or just eaten! 

Some of my summer favorites! (with recipes!)...

Summer Salad
I visited the Farmer's Market twice this past week, so I have lots of fresh veggies.
4 cups of baby spinach or other lettucs
1-2 cucumbers
2-3  tomatoes
Bell peppers (Yellow, green, red or all!)
1 onion (optional) (I like to use scallions!)

Dressing (or use your own!)
Olive Oil (1 1/2 Tbsp per salad)
Lemon Juice (1 1/2 Tbsp. per salad)
(Mix in fresh chopped herbs optional)

Thinly slice cucumbers, chop remaining ingredients. Combine and top with dressing. Chill and serve.

Chicken Kabobs
8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts ( I like to buy the Tyson's frozen breasts and let them thaw)
1/4 c. olive oil
2 tbsp. lemon juice
salt (optional)
black pepper to taste
1 lg. green pepper, cut into 1 - 1 1/2 inch chunks
1 lg. white onion cut into chunks
1 can pineapple chunks (optional)
2 tbsp. barbecue sauce
Note: If you are using wooden skewers, be sure to soak them in water for approx. 30 minutes before placing them on the grill to prevent them from burning.

Cut the chicken breast up into small chunks (about 4 or 5 chunks per breast) Combine oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and pour over chicken in a shallow dish, or put the chicken into a zip-loc baggie with the mixture. Chill for 2 hours, occasionally massaging, or stirring the chicken. Remove your chicken from the marinade and discard. (Some people like to keep it to brush over the chicken while they are grilling, but I would rather not.) Arrange the chicken, green peppers, pineapple chunks and onions on your skewers. Place your kabobs on the grill over medium heat and brush with barbecue sauce. Grill each side about 5 minutes or until the chicken is done.

Turkey Burgers
This recipe comes from a recent turkeyloaf experiment. While eating the "meatloaf" I was thinking that it would be great grilled, as a burger!

1 lb. ground turkey
2 cans Ro*tel (I like the kind with lime and cilantro) Make sure to drain as much juice as possible
1 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
Non-stick or olive oil cooking spray

Combine turkey, 1 can of well-drained Ro*tel, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Shape into four 4 inch patties. Spray grill with cooking spray**.  Place patties on grill over medium heat. Cook 8 minutes on each side or until done. Top with remainder of Ro*tel and mozzarella cheese!

**(Okay this note is for people who may not know, like my little sister... DO NOT spray cooking spray into a heated grill. Cooking spray is flammable! Spray the grill BEFORE lighting the grill, or before placing the racks on the grill!)

Patriotic Parfait (with or without poundcake)
This is a favorite of mine (and my family's) I have made it for a few years at our 4th of July celebrations and it has been a huge hit. If you would like, you could leave out the pound cake (or use granola) and substitute the whipped topping for low-fat yogurt for a true parfait!

1 pint of strawberries
1 pint of blueberries
1 container of sugar free whipped topping
1 small pound cake

Slice the pound cake into 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice strawberries. Layer the ingredients like this...
Pound Cake, whipped topping, strawberries, whipped topping, blueberries, whipped topping, pound cake. You can make the layers as thick or as thin as you please!

1 lg. seedless watermelon

Slice and eat!

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