Even though the kids are back in school, summer is not over. We are still enjoying the warm weather and long sunny days. We have given our oven a break, and have fired up the BBQ most nights for some delicious grilled grub.
One of my favorite things about summer is less cooking indoors. Here at the Marshall Manor, we grill up just about anything. Sure we cook up the usual suspects like steaks, fish, chicken, but we also like to throw all kinds of vegetables on the grill too. We sometimes use our cast iron skillet to sear up some other favorites like stuffed tomatoes or seared scallops.
When I think of Barbeque, I often picture a plate of baked beans, cole slaw, garlic bread and some piece of meat slathered in sugary bbq sauce. This is not my thing. I am not a fan of bbq restaurants, although a good smoky tri tip is never a bad thing. (We intend to put a beautiful grass-fed tri tip roast in the Bradley Smoker this week actually.)
Most barbeque sauces are very high in sugar and sodium. We don’t use it very often but when we do, I make a mean low sugar spicy bourbon sauce. I have a few recipes, but I’ve included this new one we just tried with turkey tenderloins.
Sweet Barbeque Glaze
2/3 cup reduced-sugar ketchup (I use Trader Joes. It has 1/2 the sugar as the leading brands.)
¼ cup orange juice
2 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, mined
¼ t ground cumin
¼ t black pepper
In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. I added a splash of bourbon to mine at this point. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes. We doubled the recipe, just so we’d have extra. It’s delicious!
Another one of my summer favorites is grilled romaine lettuce with a lemon garlic drizzle. Here is the recipe:
Grilled Romaine with Feta
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 t sea salt
1/8 t black pepper
2 hearts romaine lettuce, washed and halved lengthwise
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, or Queso Fresco (optional)
In a screw top jar combine lemon juice, olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Shake it up, cover and set aside. Lightly coat cut sides of lettuce with brushed olive oil or cooking spray. Grill covered, for 1 to 3 minutes over medium heat. Drizzle the lemon mixture over grilled romaine, and top with cheese.
I don’t know about you, but we thoroughly enjoy many different types of seafood, much of which we can cook on the grill. We recently cooked up some delicious large shrimp on skewers, along with fresh grilled zucchini (or as my kids use to call it zucanini). Now that they are older, we still refer to it that way. Why change it?
Fruit is fun to put on the grill too. They can be eaten as a side dish or even dessert. Try grilled pears or figs with a drizzle of raw honey, grilled watermelon with cayenne, or our favorite, grilled pineapple.
So grilling has great benefits, and not just less clean up in the kitchen for me. There are important health bennies as well.
- Grilling reduces the amount of saturated fat because much of it drips off rather than pooling around the food and getting reabsorbed. This is especially important for people dealing with chronic intestinal diseases like inflammatory bowel disease or ulcerative colitis. It is beneficial for those who have trouble digesting fat.
- Grilling vegetables preserves more of the vitamins and nutrients than if you boiled or fried them. Eating more fruits and vegetables benefits your body in so many ways. You will feel better for starters. You actually reduce the risk of western lifestyle diseases like coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, obesity, and some types of cancer.
- The high heat from the grill seals in moisture and keeps the food tender and flavorful, reducing the need for butter and sugary sauces.
- Cooking on the grill gets you outdoors, which usually means more activity. We tend to throw a Frisbee to the kids, or a ball to the dog. More movement plus family time= win, win!
- Foods put on the grill won’t be dipped in batter or breading which can lead to weight gain, as well as other health issues. For more info on this topic I suggest two different books: Grain Brain written by David Perlmutter, and Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis.
My hubby has become quite the grill master. He prefers the taste of grilled over baked or roasted, and he enjoys the time outdoors. I hope this has inspired you to get outside, try some new foods, and enjoy the warm weather while it lasts.
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