As the days stretch long and the temperatures sizzle, the temptation of grilling and fresh fruits are impossible to resist. So don’t! This is a great time of year to delve into new recipes, invite a few friends over for a delicious visit, and expand your palette.
Here’s a few recipes that I’ve been creating and enjoying as the weather turns warm! (And as a bonus, they’re vegetarian and gluten free!)
If you enjoy a little pizzazz for your taste buds, this recipe will hit the spot! It’s fresh, lightly sweet, and plenty tangy. It’s a delicious side, or you can add some protein and make it a meal!
5 minutes to prep
Using a large bowl with a lid, add 2-3 cups of fresh baby greens, ¼ cup crumbled feta, 2 tablespoons chopped almonds, 2-3 sliced strawberries, and drizzle pomegranate vinaigrette over everything. Then place the lid on the bowl and shake until well mixed. Serve immediately.
Alternatives: try using dried cranberries in place of the strawberries, or walnuts instead of almonds. You could also try a soft goat cheese or sharp cheddar.
PORTOBELLO AND EGGPLANT SANDWICH
We are meat eaters in my family, but when a vegetarian friend came to visit, I was up for the challenge. This is an amazing combination of flavors that is just as filling as sitting down to a hamburger!
20 minutes to prep
15 minutes to cook
Clean and remove the stems from 2 large portobello mushrooms. Set them upside-down (with the stem side facing up) in a bowl or baking pan. Combine 2/3 cup olive oil with ¼ cup balsamic vinegar. Add 1 teaspoon fresh garlic. Shake together until blended. Pour over the mushroom caps. Refrigerate for two hours.
Combine 1 cup of fresh basil, 1 teaspoon fresh garlic, a pinch of salt, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, and 2 tablespoons pine nuts (best if toasted first in your oven). Blend in a food processor. Drizzle oil into the processor and combine, until the pesto reaches desired consistency.
Once mushrooms are marinated, place them on medium-hot grill for about 10 minutes.
Peel and slice 1 medium eggplant into medallions, about ½” thick per slice. Use butter or oil of your choice to coat each side of the eggplant. Salt, and add to the grill. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side.
Toast 2-4 slices of gluten free bread.
Mushrooms are done when tender. The eggplant will soften significantly, so be careful not to overcook. Layer one slice of bread with two eggplant medallions, then top with pesto and add a mushroom cap. Serve sandwich open-faced.
Alternatives: Grill halloumi cheese and layer on top of the sandwich. Roasted red peppers make a lovely garnish. Add some mayonnaise to your pesto for a creamier topping.
We do not drink soda…and this is why!
Pour 4 oz. of your favorite unsweetened juice – I’m enjoying pomegranate juice right now – into a glass. Add unflavored seltzer, some ice cubes, and slip a slice of lime onto the edge of the glass. Delicious!
We have friends who request this every time they visit. It’s a simple side that is a people pleaser, especially if you have some picky eaters in your home!
10 minutes prep
30-40 minutes to cook
Gather two pieces of tin foil, about 24-30” in length. Spray both pieces of foil with nonstick coconut oil spray. Peel 3-4 russet or red potatoes and cut into 1” thick medallions. Place on one sheet of foil – they can touch, but don’t layer them. Roughly chop one medium yellow onion, and lay the pieces over the potatoes. Salt to taste, and add 3-4 tablespoons of butter in a zigzag across the potatoes. Use the second sheet of foil as a cover, and crimp the edges together, creating a sealed packet.
Cook for 30-40 minutes om a high-heat grill. If you have a second grate farther away from the heat, put the potatoes there. If you must place the potato packet right on the flames, flip them halfway through to avoid burning.
Potatoes are finished when they break apart easily with a fork.
Let us know if you enjoy any of these summer favorites – or if you have some new recipes of your own to share!