Let’s Get Grilling!

This article was originally written for Trib Local: http://www.triblocal.com/lisle/community/stories/2012/05/lets-get-grilling/index.html

The Memorial Day holiday weekend is here – the unofficial launch of summer grilling season. It can be the perfect time to clean off the grill, plan the menu and cook up a hearty outdoor meal for family and friends.

Memorial Day is a time in which we remember and salute our brave military personnel who have given their lives for our country. We come together with family members and friends to celebrate with an all-American meal.

There are many popular entrée choices from which to choose, including hamburgers, brats, and chicken. Cook the meats thoroughly – use a food thermometer to make certain that meat temperature specified in the recipe is attained.

Add some good nutrition and festive colors to the plates by grilling veggies and fruits.

Every color of the rainbow offers a unique mix of nutrients that are important for good health, including antioxidants, fluid, fiber, vitamins, and minerals! In fact, the pigment that gives fruits and vegetables their bright, sunny colors is actually where many of the nutrients are found. Thoroughly wash produce before you cook it and leave the skin on. Grill up items of various colors like corn on the cob, red peppers, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, red onions, pineapple slices and mangoes.

Invite guests to bring foods featuring their favorite color combinations. It will add festive color to the table and provide guests with many of the nutrients that they need.

For those amateur cooks who want to try grilling up something new this Memorial Day weekend, here are a few of my favorite recipes. This summer, be creative in the presentation and options of party foods and beverages. It’s amazing how easy it can be to take a step closer to a healthier – and still delicious – menu.

Shish Kabobs

Prep time:
15 minutes

Grill time:
7-9 minutes

Amount:
6 servings

Ingredients:
•1 (1 ½ pound) Stockman & Dakota® Boneless Sirloin Steak
•2 small zucchini, cut into 6 pieces each
•1 medium yellow summer squash, cut in half, each half cut into 6 pieces
•1 red bell pepper, cut into 12 chunks
•12 whole button mushrooms
•½ red onion, quartered
•12 wooden skewers, soaked in water 30 minutes
•½ cup melted butter
•2 tablespoons chopped garlic
•1 tablespoon chopped chives

Directions:
1.Trim fat off steak; cut into 24 cubes. Thread beef, zucchini, squash, peppers, mushrooms and onions onto each skewer in desired pattern.
2.In small bowl, combine melted butter, garlic and chives; salt and pepper to taste.
3.Prepare grill to medium heat. Brush kabobs with melted garlic butter. Place kabobs on grill.
4.Grill, turning occasionally and brushing with butter, 7-9 minutes or until desired doneness is reached (145°F for medium-rare; 160°F for medium).

Grill Chicken Burgers with Basil Aioli
Prep Time:
40 Minutes

Grill time:
12-16 minutes

Amount:
6 servings

Ingredients:
• 1 ¼ pounds wild harvest® Natural Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts, cubed
• 4 ounces fresh mozzarella cheese, cubed
• ½ cup chopped red bell peppers
• ½ cup chopped mushrooms
• ¼ cup chopped wild harvest® Organic Green Onions
• 1 (0.75 ounce) package wild harvest® Organic Fresh Basil Leaves, chopped, divided
• 2 tablespoons chopped garlic, divided
• 1 wild harvest® Organic Large Brown Egg
• ½ cup Japanese-style Panko bread crumbs
• 1/3 cup light mayonnaise
• 6 hamburger buns, toasted
• 1 (0.75 ounce) package wild harvest® Organic Arugula Leaves
• Tomato slices

Directions:
1. Place chicken pieces in a food processor or blender; using on/off turns, coarsely grind chicken. Transfer to a large bowl.

2. Add cheese, peppers, mushrooms, onions, 2 tablespoons basil, 1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons garlic and egg to food processor; salt and pepper to taste. Process until well combined and finely chopped. Add to bowl with chicken.

3. Add bread crumbs to bowl and gently combine all ingredients in bowl. Form into 6 patties. Prepare grill to medium heat. Add patties to grill; grill, turning once, until internal temperature reaches 170°F on an instant read thermometer (about 6-8 minutes per side).

4. Meanwhile, in small bowl, combine mayonnaise, remaining basil and remaining 1 teaspoon garlic; salt and pepper to taste.

5. Spread toasted buns with aioli; top with arugula, tomato slices and chicken burgers.

Serving Size:
1 burger; Calories 345; Total Fat 14g; Saturated Fat 4g; Cholesterol 105mg; Sodium 800mg; Carbohydrates 29g; Fiber 2g; Protein 26g

Learn great grilling tips at: http://www.jewelosco.com/savings/seasonal/summer/article/grilling.jsp and more fun recipes at http://www.jewelosco.com/recipes

Enjoy a safe and festive holiday!

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