If you’re in the US, Memorial Day is right around the corner. If you’re in Canada, Happy Victoria Day! Summer is here, the weather has been gorgeous and that means it is officially time to fire up the grill. Get ready for sizzling 16oz steaks, loaded potato salad, sweet baked beans, bacon wrapped everything – and putting on about 5 pounds during the course of a single meal.
Geez. There has got to be a better way.
Even my previous Summer Grill Menu was not the best you could do when you are trying to lose weight and get healthier. So, let’s lighten it up!
This Summer Grill Menu consists of dishes which can be easily fit into your OAMC cooking day: Dump Chicken (any, really), Black Bean and Corn Salad, and Hummus with Raw Veggies.
Healthy Dump Chicken
serves 4, 20 minutes
You can use your favorite dump chicken for this recipe, but to keep it on the healthier side, go for vinaigrette style marinades, rather than the heavier ones using pre-made sauces, jams or yogurt.
1 pound chicken breasts
2 T. olive oil
2 T. acid (red wine, cider, or rice wine vinegar; or lime or lemon juice)
1 t. salt
1 t. pepper
2-4 T. seasoning (whatever is your favorite)
1. If your chicken breasts are small enough so that there are 4 in one pound, then you can leave them whole. But if you have what has become the new normal (really ginormous chicken breasts), go ahead and cut them into bite sized cubes so you can skewer them when it is time to grill.
2. Mix oil, acid, and seasonings in a gallon sized freezer bag that has already been labeled. This would be a great time to be creative! Try red wine vinegar and Italian seasonings, cider vinegar with jerk seasoning, lemon juice with lots of fresh ground pepper, or lime juice with chili powder and cumin. Once the marinade is mixed, add chicken, squoosh to coat, and freeze flat.
TO SERVE: Thaw overnight (or over 2 nights) in the fridge. Thread onto skewers, and grill, baby, grill!
Black Bean and Corn Salad
serves 4, 10 minutes
This is one of my all time favorite salads. It is cheap, tasty, extremely low fat, and freezable. What’s not to love?
1 c. black beans, cooked or canned
1 c. corn (if frozen do not thaw)
1 T. lime juice
1/2 T. olive oil
1/4 t. salt
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. ground red pepper
1/4 t. onion powder
1 tomato, chopped
2 T. cilantro, chopped
1/2 bell pepper, chopped
1/2 cucumber, seeded and chopped
1. In a labeled quart sized freezer bag, mix together all ingredients except optional ingredients. Freeze flat.
TO SERVE: Thaw overnight (or over 2 nights) in the fridge. Pour into a serving bowl, and toss to make sure everything is coated in yumminess. This should be served cold. If you would like to add any of the optional ingredients, they should all be added fresh just before serving. I particularly like adding tomato (as in the photo above), because the salt draws out the juices of the tomato and adds to the dressing (which is why you should NOT add tomatoes to this salad if it is going into a bento box!).
Hummus with Raw Veggies
Leave out the pita for this menu, and cut the hummus down to 1 c. for side dish/appetizer sized portions. Hummus freezes REALLY well, simply pour into a labeled quart sized freezer bag or small freezable container, and put in the freezer.
TO SERVE: Thaw overnight (or over 2 night) in the fridge. Hummus can be helped along in the microwave, but I don’t recommend it. Prep your veggies, put out on a nice tray and serve!
This menu has a very “around the world” feel to it, but it works. It would also make for a great grill party menu, with the hummus and veggies as appetizers, chicken and salad for lunch or dinner, and then slice up a fresh watermelon for a seasonal, healthy, and fun dessert.
(And yes, I know. My chicken in the picture above is not grilled. It is baked. My griller was at the gym when I was cooking dinner, so I baked the chicken. I don’t touch his grill. *grins* I might just build a fire next time I want a grilled dinner, though!)