From cookouts to campfires, nothing evokes summer quite like the aroma of food cooking on a grill. Whether you use charcoal, wood or propane gas, fire works to make food taste great.
According to Wikipedia, the distinct aroma of grilled meats is due to a chemical process called the Maillard reaction which occurs at or above 310 degrees. So while standing next to a hot grill might not be the coolest option, eschewing the stove might just keep your house from heating up.
Use the grill to heat up a featured family meal of Smoky Corn and Black Bean Pizza and the Grilled Fruit with Strawberry Dip. Serve it up with Teamonade. Keep the grill going all week long with other recipes like Grilled Honey Lime Chicken Sandwich, Peanut Butter Pork Skewers, Grilled Sweet Potatoes and Feta Cucumber Mint Salad.
FEATURED FAMILY MEAL:
SMOKY CORN AND BLACK BEAN PIZZA
Total Preparation Time: less than 15 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Number of Servings: 6 (316 calories/serving)
The secret to a grilled pizza is having all your ingredients ready to go before you head out to the grill. Make it a meal: toss the extra black beans, diced tomato and some avocado with prewashed salad greens and cilantro-lime vinaigrette and dinner is on the table in no time.
1 plum tomato, diced
1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
1 cup fresh corn kernels (about 2 ears)
2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 pound prepared whole-wheat pizza dough
1/3 cup barbecue sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella, preferably smoked mozzarella
1. Preheat grill to medium.
2. Combine tomato, beans and corn in a medium bowl. Sprinkle cornmeal onto a large baking sheet. Stretch the dough into about a 12-inch circle and lay it on top of the cornmeal, coating the entire underside of the dough.
3. Transfer the crust from the baking sheet to the grill. Close the lid and cook until the crust is puffed and lightly browned on the bottom, 4 to 5 minutes.
4. Using a large spatula, flip the crust. Spread barbecue sauce on it and quickly sprinkle with the tomato mixture and cheese. Close the lid; grill until the cheese is melted and the bottom of the crust is browned, 4 to 5 minutes.
(Source: Eating Well magazine)
GRILLED FRUIT WITH STRAWBERRY DIP
Total Preparation Time: Less than 15 minutes
Actual Cooking Time: Less than 15 minutes
Number of Servings: 8 (177 calories/serving)
When grilled your favorite fresh fruit picks up new and unique flavor!
8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese
1 package frozen strawberries, sweetened (16 ounces)
2 tablespoon plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 teaspoon dried, ground ginger
8 strawberries, halved
4 peaches, halved or quartered
8 chunks pineapple
4 plums, nectarines, or papayas, halved
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1. In a blender, puree cheese, strawberries, yogurt and ginger together until smooth. Refrigerate for 2 hours before grilling fruit.
2. When ready to grill fruit, thread pieces of prepared fruit onto 8 skewers. Mix together vinegar and sugar. Grill fruit until lightly browned, turning frequently and brushing with vinegar mixture during grilling.
3. Serve grilled fruit with sauce on side.
Total Preparation Time: 1 hour
Actual Cooking Time: 15 to 30 minutes
Number of Servings: 10 or more (67 calories/1-cup serving) (Yield: 1 gallon)
Sometimes called an "Arnold Palmer," this Teamonade recipe will make you a hit with the kids and the golf partners — it's a robust and tangy summer beverage!
8 cups water
8 regular-size tea bags
2 tablespoons sugar
3 (6 ounce) cans frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed and diluted
6 1/2 cups water
1. Bring 8 cups water to a boil, and pour over tea bags. Cover and let stand 20 minutes.
2. Discard tea bags. Add sugar; stir well and set aside.
3. Combine lemonade concentrate and 6 1/2 cups water in a large pitcher; stir well.
4. Add tea, stirring well; chill. Serve over ice.
(Source: Dairy Council of California)
GRILLED HONEY LIME CHICKEN SANDWICH
PEANUT BUTTER PORK SKEWERS
GRILLED SWEET POTATOES
FETA CUCUMBER MINT SALAD