Finally, the weather is warming up! It’s time to dust off the grill, clean the patio furniture and welcome the unofficial beginning of summer. This is also a time to remember those who died while serving in the armed forces and all our loved ones who have passed on. In memory of them and to enjoy the beginning of summer, try one of these delicious recipes that will help you celebrate the warm months to come.
4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into chunks
1/3 cup onion, minced
1/2 stalk celery, minced
2 teaspoons butter
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
sea salt and black pepper
oil for frying such as bacon fat, lard, or canola oil
whole wheat buns
Optional: avocado slices, mayo, sprouts, sliced sweet onion
- Heat the butter over medium heat in a small, heavy skillet. Saute the onion and celery until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Place the chicken chunks in a food processor, along with the sauteed onion and celery, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper. Process until meat is ground but not to a paste. It should still be somewhat chunky.
- Form into 4 patties. You may have to wet your hands with a little water to keep the meat from sticking.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Fry the patties until browned. Turn and fry until browned and cooked through. Or cook on a grill over medium heat. Coat the burgers in olive oil before placing on the grill. Serve with buns and optional toppings.
Grilled Asparagus and Potato with Tarragon Brown Butter
8-10 spears asparagus, trimmed
1 large yellow potato, sliced 1/4 inch thick
fresh cracked black pepper
4 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
- Spray the asparagus and potato slices with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Heat a grill to medium and cook asparagus about 2 minutes until tender. Cook potato about 5 minutes until browned on both sides.
- While the grill is heating, melt the butter in a small, heavy bottom sauce pan over medium heat. Once melted the butter will turn foamy and then subside. Continue to cook and watch carefully as lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat and place on a cool surface to stop the butter from cooking further. Toss in the tarragon and set sauce aside while grilling the veggies.
- Serve the asparagus spears and potatoes with the butter sauce drizzled over the top. Serves 2.
Grilled Fish Tacos with Chipotle Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound white flaky fish like cod, halibut or flounder
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
8 6-inch corn tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cabbage or lettuce
1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley
- In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, lime juice, salt and pepper. Pour over the fish fillets and marinate for 20 minutes. Remove the fish from the marinade. Broil or grill at medium high heat until cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Set the fish aside on a plate for 5 minutes.
- In a small bowl combine the yogurt, mayonnaise and chipotle pepper. Quickly heat the tortillas on both sides over a gas flame or grill. Flake the fish with a fork. Spread 1 tablespoon of chipotle cream on each tortilla and top with fish, cabbage, corn and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges.
Grilled Greek Zucchini Salad
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise
2 tomatoes, chopped
1/4 cup pitted Kalamata olives, cut in half
1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried mint
Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Prepare dressing in a small bowl by whisking together oil, vinegar, herbs, salt and pepper.
- Brush the zucchini with one tablespoon of the prepared vinaigrette.
- Grill zucchini over medium heat about 5 minutes until it softens and grill marks appear. Cool zucchini, cut into bite size pieces and toss with tomatoes, and remaining vinaigrette. Add olives and feta and toss gently to combine.
Asparagus Salad with Dijon Dressing
2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon maple syrup
1 small shallot, minced
1 large bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut on diagonal into 1-inch pieces
1/3 cup slivered almonds, toasted
Sea salt and white pepper to taste
Cook asparagus in large pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water and drain again. Whisk dressing ingredients together in a large bowl. Add asparagus, shallot, almonds, salt, pepper, and parsley to bowl and toss well. Serves 4
1 slice bacon, chopped
½ small red onion, diced
1 medium yellow potato, diced into ¼ inch cubes
8 stalks asparagus, cut into ½ inch pieces
sea salt and pepper
- Cook the bacon and onion in a cast iron skillet over medium heat until bacon is crisp and onion is browned. Turn off heat and remove bacon and onion with a slotted spoon, leaving fat in pan.
- Turn on heat again and add the potatoes. Cook until they are browned and almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus, salt and pepper, and continue cooking another few minutes until asparagus is almost tender. Return the bacon and onion to pan and stir.
- Break the eggs carefully over the potato asparagus mixture, add 1-2 teaspoons water without stirring, and cover immediately with a tight fitting lid. Cook until egg whites are set, about 2 minutes.
Luscious Lemon Cheesecake
5 tablespoons melted butter
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs or about 12 whole graham crackers
¼ cup natural cane sugar
1 16-oz container cottage cheese
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
½ teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup natural cane sugar
¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Heat oven to 350°F. Place crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process. Add the butter and ¼ cup sugar and process until combined and there are no large pieces of cracker. Pat crumb mixture over bottom and onto sides of a 9-inch pie plate.
- Wipe out food processor bowl and add the cottage cheese, eggs, flour, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla, 2/3 cup sugar and salt. Blend until smooth. Pour into prepared crust. Bake for 40-45 minutes. Allow to cool completely and refrigerate before serving. Serve with fresh berries or berry sauce.
Coconut Oil Brownies
¾ cup cane sugar
1 cup coconut oil, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white spelt flour or all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
½ cup chopped walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 8 x 8-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray.
- Beat together the sugar, coconut oil, vanilla and eggs in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the flour, cocoa powder, salt and baking powder and stir until just combined. Stir in the walnuts.
- Spread batter evenly in prepared pan. Bake until brownies are set in the center, 25 – 30 minutes. Cool before cutting.