Another installment in our summer recipe series! This one’s about using your barbecue to make amazing (and healthy) food. When it’s this hot out, keeping your oven off is an asset. Here are some tips to make you a grill master, and some tasty Paleo recipes (even dessert)!
First of all, you want to make sure to heat up your grill before you want to cook, usually 15-25 minutes of pre-heating is enough. A well-heated grill sears food, helping to keep the insides of the meat juicy and keeps what you’re cooking from sticking to the grill. A high-heat grill should be 400-450°F, medium heat is 350-400°F and low heat is 250-300°F.
To test your heat level without a thermometer, you can use your hand. Put your hand, palm-down, above the grilling surface. Heat is high if you have to move your hand after 2 seconds, medium if you can keep it there for 5 seconds, and low if you can hold it above the heat for 10 seconds.
A hot grill is easier to clean. Let it heat up, then use a wire brush (making sure to keep an eye out for stray wires) to scrape off any charring from previous cooking. There are new wireless technologies coming out daily! Even if your grill is clean, food still might stick, so oil up your grill with a paper towel soaked in vegetable or coconut oil. Hold it with long tongs and wipe down the grill – don’t spray cooking spray on a hot grill.
Some tips for prepping your proteins for the barbecue –
Marinating prior to cooking helps keep things tasty and moist, so prepare your marinades early and let your meats soak in the fridge for 6+hours before you cook.
Those cool fire flares that happen on barbecue commercials actually hurt the taste of your food, so make sure to trim off excess fat and poultry skin prior to cooking. You can also keep a squirt bottle next to your grill to tame the flames.
Once you’ve cooked your proteins, let them rest for about 10 minutes. That way, the juices will redistribute themselves through the meat and you’ll end up with juicy and delicious meats.
Feeling ready to grill? Let’s get started!
Let’s make a grilled salad! What?
Grilled Watermelon Salad, Serves 4
Ingredients: 2 large watermelon slices, cut into triangles, 2C arugula or mixed greens, goat cheese, 1/4C balsamic vinegar, black pepper, EVOO
While your grill is pre-heating, cut the watermelon into triangles. Also, heat the balsamic vinegar in a small saucepan (right on the grill if you like) until it starts to thicken, set it aside. Drizzle the watermelon triangles with just enough oil to coat them and grill on med-high for about 2 minutes per side (enough to show grill marks).
Fill a bowl with the greens, add grilled watermelon triangles, crumbled cheese and then top with your balsamic syrup, a bit of olive oil and some fresh-cracked black pepper.
What’s our main dish?
Lemon Chicken with Strawberry Salsa, serves 4
Ingredients (for chicken): 4 chicken breasts, 1C olive oil, 2/3C lemon juice, 2 tsp minced garlic, diced onion, salt and pepper to taste
Ingredients (for salsa): 1C chopped strawberries, 1 diced jalapeño, 1 diced avocado, juice of 1 lime, 1/4C chopped red onion
Combine oil, lemon juice, garlic, salt, pepper, and onion. Marinade the chicken in this mixture overnight. While your grill is preheating, chop the ingredients for the salsa and combine. Grill the chicken on medium for about 20 minutes, until no longer pink in the centre. Serve the salsa alongside the chicken.
And on the side?
Grilled Lime Sweet Potatoes, serves 4
Ingredients: 2-3 sweet potatoes, 2tsp lime zest, cayenne pepper, salt and pepper to taste, EVOO
While your grill is preheating, pre-boil the sweet potatoes (or microwave) until tender to fork pressure, cut into wedges or slices. Mix the salt, pepper, lime zest and cayenne pepper. Brush your sweet potato wedges with oil and season with regular salt and pepper. Grill until all sides are golden brown (2-5 minutes per side) – make sure that the potatoes are cooked all the way through. Dust with lime-salt-pepper mixture and serve!
Grilled Pineapple with Cinnamon & Honey Drizzle
Ingredients: 1/3C honey, cinnamon to taste, sliced pineapple
Grill the pineapple slices on medium heat for 5-10 minutes. While the pineapple is cooking, mix the softened honey (warm it up a bit) with the cinnamon. Drizzle the honey over the pineapple and serve!
There you have it! Grilled Paleo food that tastes great and is great for you! What do you like to grill? Let us know!