Simple Summer Flavor: Grilled Chicken and Vegetables with Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce

Let’s admit it, simple, clean flavors are the best. Especially in the summer when produce is at its peak. This uncomplicated dish sings Summer and lets the true flavor of the food shine through. Delicious, filling and healthy, the chicken and vegetables are kicked up with the acid of the lemon, the freshness of the mint and a subtle kick from cayenne. Perfect for a Labor Day cook out or any day of the week.

Grilled Garlic Lemon Chicken and Vegetables

3 lbs of chicken ( I used boneless skinless thighs and breasts)

4-5 T olive oil

1 lemon juiced

1 T garlic

1/4 t cayenne pepper

salt and pepper

2 zucchini sliced in 1 inch rounds

2 cups eggplant cut in 1 inch chunks

2 sweet yellow onions halved

2 red bell peppers cut into 2″ x 2″ chunks

Combine 2 T olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, and cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Lay chicken in a shallow baking dish and por marinade over chicken using , tongs to turn chicken so it is coated on all sides. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and refrigerate covered for at least 20 minutes.

Meanwhile chop vegetables and place in a large bowl, add 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil and toss to coat, add salt and pepper .

Thread on skewers. I like to do each skewer with an individual vegetable so they cook evenly since different vegetables have different cooking times.

Preheat Grill and place chicken and veggie skewers on grill.

Cook until vegetables are slightly charred and softened slightly. The onions and zucchini will cook slightly longer.

Cook chicken to preferred temperature or until no longer pink. About 5 min per side.

Lemon Mint Yogurt Sauce

1 cup plain greek yogurt

1 lemon juiced

1t lemon zest

1 t garlic

2 T chopped fresh mint

salt and pepper

Combine all ingredients in a small bowl

Serve with grilled chicken and vegetables

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa

Grilled Chicken with Peach Salsa

2T olive oil

1 1/2 limes juiced

6 boneless, skinless chicken cutlets

3 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped

1/2 red onion diced

1 small jalapeno (or half large), minced (ribs and seeds removed)

2 T chopped cilantro

Combine olive oil, juice of 1 lime and salt and pepper in a small bowl, pour over chicken breast and put in refrigerator for 20 minutes. Grill over med high heat for about 4-6 minutes per side depending on thickness (check with a meat thermometer).

In a medium sized bowl combine peaches, onion, jalapeno, cilantro, and juice from 1/2 a lime. sprinkle with salt. Serve over cooked chicken.

Bratwurst with Warm Bacon, Onion, and Pickle Relish

 

There is a lot of German in this girl. My Dad was born there, I called my Grandparents Oma and Opa. Sometimes I crave the flavors that they introduced me to. I especially love Rouladen (meat rolls) and Kohlrouladen (cabbage rolls)  but they can be labor intensive. For this recipe I tried to capture the flavors of the rouladen in an easy weeknight meal. In my opinion it was pretty good and easy too. This relish would be equally as good on pork chops, hot dogs or any sausage.

Warm Bacon, Onion and Pickle Relish

1/2 c chopped raw bacon

1 c chopped red onion

1 c chopped dill pickles ( use the refrigerated variety,  better quality, flavor, and texture)

2T apple cider vinegar

1 t sugar

 

Add bacon to a large hot frying pan, cook over med high heat for about 3 minutes, add onions and cook until bacon is crisp and browned about 3 more minutes. Drain excess fat and add pickles cook for 2 minutes

Add vinegar and sugar. Heat through and serve over prepared bratwurst, add mustard if desired.

 

 

 

 

Asian Marinated London Broil and Vegetable Pad Thai

Asian Marinated London Broil

1 1/2 lb London Broil

1/4 c soy sauce

1 t garlic

1/2 T agave nectar ( or honey)

2 T lime juice

Place meat in a large zip lock bag, mix remaining ingredients in a small bowl and add to the bag. Place in refrigerator for at least 4 hrs to overnight.

Pre heat oven to broil, place empty broiler pan in oven to preheat also. Add meat to pan when hot. Cook about 5-7 min per side, or until desired temperature. Let rest for at least 5 min and cut meat against the grain in thin slices.

Vegetable Pad Thai

4 T oil

1 c broccoli

1 c matchstick carrots

1 c sugar snap peas

2 T minced garlic

2 eggs (beaten)

1/4 c lime juice

2 T fish sauce

2 T sugar

2 t sriracha hot sauce

1 cup bean sprouts

1 8 oz package of rice noodles, softened in warm water for 10 min and drained.

Mix together lime juice, fish sauce, sugar, and hot sauce in a small bowl and set aside.

In a large fry pan or wok, heat 2 T oil, add vegetables (except sprouts) and garlic cook over med heat for 2 minutes, move to edges of pan and add beaten eggs, and cook until done about 1 min.

Add remaining oil, then noodles,sauce and bean sprouts and cook until heated through, using tongs to mix together.

Top with lime wedges, fresh cilantro, scallions and crushed peanuts if desired.

Happy National Sneak Some Zucchini on to Your Neighbor’s Porch Day AKA National Zucchini Day

Well I love Zucchini but had no idea about this holiday. It was started by Tom Roy, a man from Pennsylvania, and this holiday encourages sharing of large zucchini crops. “Due to the overzealous planting of zucchini, citizens are asked to drop off baskets of the squash on neighbors’ doorsteps.” and apparently creativity is encouraged in this endeavor. I don’t have any crops of zucchini but I will share some recipes and tips.

Zucchini can be used as pasta in any recipe, delicious, low carb and gluten-free.

To make ribbons like papperdelle, uses a regular vegetable peeler and make thin strips, yo can leave the skin on or off.

To make smaller “noodles” use a julienne peeler. Available at most home stores and cooking shops.

Now just add your favorite sauce, no cooking required. The heat of the sauce will warm the zucchini without making it too soft or watery.

Also try Zucchini Orange Salad

 

Greek Stuffed Zucchini

And my favorite, Calabacitas

What is your favorite way to eat zucchini, or sneak it on to someone’s porch?

Pinspired: Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake

My Pinspiration this week was a little snack cake with a familiar flavor combination, peanut butter and chocolate. I found this on Pinterest last week but the original recipe can be found here at Bake or Break. This was easy and delicious and not too sweet. Perfect for a mid morning or afternoon snack. It reminded me of the Snackin Cakes by Betty Crocker that my mom used to make back in the 70’s.

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake, from Bake or Break

2 1/4 cups of flour

2 c brown sugar

1 c creamy peanut butter

1/2 c (1 stick) of softened unsalted butter

1t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1 c milk

1 t  pure vanilla extract

3 eggs

1 cup Ghirardelli milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, grease or spray a 9×11 pan.

In a large bowl combine flour, brown sugar, peanut butter, and butter using an electric mixer.

Remove 1 cup of the mixture and set aside. Mix in baking powder and soda, then add milk and vanilla mix until combined, and then add one egg at a time while mixing.

Pour batter into baking pan.

Sprinkle chocolate chips and reserved batter mixture on top.

Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Day Tripping With My Favorite Teen Age Botanist

I love to travel. Yes, I know everyone says that, but I really do. I love exotic trips full of adventure.  I love relaxing tropical vacations where I just plop my bottom down in foreign sand, but I also love a day trip to a rural town and a meal at a mom and pop restaurant just as much. Everything is an adventure to me, no matter how big or small, I just like to experience new things.

This week my kids had a day off of school and, as we usually do, my fourteen year old son and I went on a little day trip. He was once my constant companion, attached at my hip whether I liked it or not, now he is a teen, ready to start high school. I appreciate our time together more because I know we don’t have much time left. Not like this anyway. He’s not much into sports, cars, or shopping. He is a lover of nature, and always has been. Even during his terrible two’s and now his angsty teens, he is most calm and at peace on a nature trail or surrounded by trees. This is his zen. He calmly waits for bugs or squirrels to come to him,  he notices the differences in leaf shapes of various ferns, he walks quietly not to disturb the birds. We plan our trips accordingly.

This week we went to the Bok Tower Gardens in Lake Wales, kind of a far drive from our home just to see plants, but this is what we do. We were not disappointed, the gardens were beautiful, the tower amazing.We saw the largest koi we had ever seen and a trail of just different species of ferns.

For fun, we stopped at  Spook Hill where your car is supposed to magically roll up the hill in neutral, but ours didn’t. Maybe because we had the top down so we could feel the wind in our hair, maybe because it’s a hoax. Either way the adventure was in trying and it gave us a chance to hypothesize on why it didn’t work for us.

Our next stop was a local candy factory in Dundee that makes it own chocolate and citrus candies and jellies. The sign said it was once featured on food network, how could we resist. This was my kind of place, I am a sucker for anything homegrown or made. We found a bag of candy for each of our family members, carefully decided based on their tastes. I got some jellies and local honey. This was a citrus town and they were proud of it. The lady at the counter was happy to answer all our questions, confirming all products were produced locally and even ran a catalog out to our car after we had left in case we wanted to place an order, “free shipping”, she assured us.

Time for the two hour ride home, my son ate his Fruit Pearls, another local Dundee, Fl product, I thought of different ways to use my newly purchased jellies. This is why I love to travel.

Chipotle and Lime Glazed Meatloaf

Well I have learned something, not all food looks as good as it tastes. Meatloaf is one of them. Dinner time at my house is as hectic as everyone else’s. I have a husband a two teen boys, they are always starving and waiting like vultures for dinner.  I try to take pictures before, during, and after I am cooking, I wasn’t happy with this finished one of the meatloaf so I thought I will get another picture of it sliced on a plate after dinner, well I guess this meatloaf was good because there was none left when I went to get the second picture. Hope your family enjoys this as much as my boys did.

Chipotle and Lime Glazed Meatloaf

1 small yellow onion chopped

2 garlic cloves minced

1 1/2 – 2 lbs meatloaf mix (ground beef and pork mix sold at most grocery stores, or 1 lb ground beef and 1/2 pound ground pork)

2 chipotle chilis (canned in Adobe sauce) chopped

1 egg

1T ketchup

1/2 -3/4 c breadcrumbs

1T salt

ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl, form a loaf and place in a casserole dish ( I prefer this to a loaf pan so that you can glaze the sides and the top)

Chipotle Lime Glaze:

3 T ketchup

2T adobe sauce (from the can of chipotles)

1T lime juice

Mix together, spread evenly over sides and top of meat loaf

Bake for approximately 45 minutes, slice and serve

Shared on Justa’s Kitchen’s Fantastic Food Fridays 5/2/2012