Posts Tagged 'Fourth of July'

Memorial Day Madness

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With Memorial Day just around the corner, what better way to honor the soldiers who died serving our country than with celebrating it in the beautiful outdoors. Soak up the sun and throw a picnic with food that will fuel you for a day of celebration without feeling the guilt!

Starting off with a salad is a staple. Try out the Summer Tomato and Grilled Corn Salad!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 3 ears of corn, shucked
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped basil, packed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped mint, packed
  • 2 lbs. very ripe tomatoes, thickly sliced
  • Optional: Macedonian feta cheese (omit for vegan), extra mint and basil and some balsamic reduction, for garnish

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat your grill to medium-high and oil the grates.
  2. Grill the corn for 10 minutes, turning a few times. You want the kernels to turn bright yellow and let some of them get grill marks. Remove the corn from the grill and, when it is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels off. (The easiest way to cut the kernels off the cob is to stand the corn on one end and run the knife blade down the corn.)
  3. While the corn is grilling, prepare the rest of the salad. In a small bowl whisk together the balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, olive oil and garlic until it is smooth and creamy. Stir through the basil and mint. Add the grilled corn kernels to the bowl.
  4. Lay half the tomatoes out on your serving platter, sprinkle them with sea salt then top with half the corn and some feta cheese (if you’re using cheese). Top with the rest of the tomatoes, sprinkle with sea salt, the corn and any or all of the garnishes. Pour any remaining dressing on top and serve immediately.

Now on to the main entrée. Switch things up and stray from your tradition hot dog and bun combo and opt for the Grilled Portobello Mushroom and Broccolini Veggie Dogs!

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INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chives, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, roughly chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, stems removed
  • 8 ounces broccolini, trimmed
  • 6 top-sliced hot dog buns
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Pre-heat your grill to medium-high.
  2. Meanwhile, make the yogurt sauce. In your food processor with the blade attachment, process all the ingredients together until the herbs are finely chopped and the sauce is bright green. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, combine the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Brush this dressing onto both sides of the Portobello mushrooms and the brocollini. Then add the vegetables to your grill. Cook the brocollini until it’s crisp-tender and has started to blacken in a few places, about 3 minutes total. Cook the mushrooms for about 5-6 minutes per side. Remove from the grill. Once the mushrooms are cool enough to handle, slice them into strips.
  4. To serve, spread some of the yogurt sauce onto the hot dog buns. Add a few slices of mushroom and some of the brocollini. Top with chopped avocado and extra fresh herbs, if desired. Enjoy immediately.

Finish the picnic off with something sweet. Elevate refreshing watermelon slices by topping it off with some blueberries and goat cheese!

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INGREDIENTS

  • Blueberry Compote
  • 12 oz blueberries
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 lemon, squeezed (about 2 tbsp lemon juice)
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • Vanilla Goat Cheese
  • 8 oz goat cheese
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Watermelon Pizza
  • 40 mint leaves (roughly)
  • ½ watermelon, sliced in half, sliced into triangles, and then sliced again into smaller triangles (see photo)

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Blueberry Compote:

First in a small pot over medium heat add your water and granulated sugar. Bring to a boil. Add your blueberries and lemon juice. Continue to boil, stirring every minute, until blueberries have burst and water begins to thicken, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature (will thicken as it cools). Place in fridge until ready to use.

  • Vanilla Goat Cheese:

In a small bowl add your log of goat cheese. Break up using a fork. Add your vanilla extract and honey. Whip together using a fork until mixed together. Set aside in fridge until ready to use.

  • Assembly

Once watermelon is sliced and ready to go, add one mint leaf, topping with 1 tsp goat cheese and 1 tsp blueberry compote. Continue to do this to each piece of watermelon until all slices are assembled. Store in fridge until ready to consume.

 

Stay safe and healthy this Memorial Day weekend!

Diana Banzon

 

 

Feast for the Fourth

When any holiday rolls around, there always seems to be a common misconception that the food provided HAS to be unhealthy in order to enjoy the festivities with loved ones. In honor of Fourth of July being last week, preparing meals can be fun and patriotic without sacrificing flavor. Here are some healthy alternatives covering each course that will get the crowd satisfied, without feeling the guilt.

Appetizer | Watermelon Arugula Salad and Feta Salad

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Ingredients

  • 3 cups seedless watermelon, cubed and chilled
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 7 oz arugula
  • 1/4 small red onion, sliced very thin
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh pepper

Directions

  1. Wash arugula and dry well.
  2. In a large bowl whisk vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Toss with the remaining ingredients and serve.

Main Entree | Grilled Blackberry, Strawberry, Basil and Brie Pizza Crisps

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Ingredients

  • 1/2 pound recipe of your favorite pizza dough
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 16 leaves basil chopped + divided
  • 8-12 ounces brie sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups strawberries chopped
  • 3/4 cup blackberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

Directions

  1. Prepare the dough 1-2 hours ahead of time.
  2. Well the dough rises make the honey balsamic glaze. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to small saucepan and simmer until reduced by half. This should take about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside until ready to use.
  3. When ready to grill the pizzas preheat the grill the high heat.
  4. Add the blackberries to a bowl and add about half of the basil. Lightly mash the blackberries with a fork.
  5. Invert a baking sheet and generously dust with flour.
  6. Divide the pizza dough in half and roll each half as thin as you can, but make sure not to rip the dough. Cut the dough into 12 to 16 squares or circles (I did both). Add the olive oil to a small bowl and brush both sides of the pizza rounds with the olive oil and place on the baking sheet.
  7. Carefully add half of the pizza rounds to the hot grill and grill for no more the 2 minutes. The dough will bubble up, this is good! Remove the pizzas using tongs and repeat with the remaining pizza rounds. When all the pizzas are grilled, turn the heat on the grill down to medium.
  8. Top the grilled side of each of the pizzas with slices of brie, but make sure to leave a 1/2 inch border around the edges so the brie does not melt all over the grill. Then top with lightly mashed blackberries and the chopped strawberries. Carefully return the pizzas to the grill and grill another 3 to 5 minutes, our until the brie has melted and the pizzas are crisp. Top with the remaining fresh basil and drizzle on the honey balsamic glaze.
  9. To make the American flag pizza place the the blackberries in the left hand corner of a square pizza crisp and then push the strawberries into the brie in rows. Grill as directed above.


Dessert | Gluten Free Fruit and Yogurt Granola Cups

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Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, melted
  • Cooking oil spray
  • 1 egg
  • 1 12-ounce bag Udi’s Gluten Free Au Naturel Granola
  • 1 cup plain yogurt
  • Fresh berries

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a muffin tin with cooking oil spray.
  2. In a large bowl, combine sugar, coconut oil, and egg; stir. Add granola and stir to combine.
  3. Spoon granola mixture into 10 muffin cups, filling each ¾ full. With your fingers, press the granola into the muffin cups and create a small indentation in the middle of each granola cup. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until slightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 5 minutes in the muffin tin before removing.
  4. Once cooled, fill the muffin cups with yogurt and top with berries. Serve.

 

Drinks |  Blueberry Sangria

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Ingredients

  • 1-½ cups ready-to-serve blueberry juice
  • 1-½ cups chilled white wine or apple juice
  • ¼ cup orange-flavored liqueur, optional
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • 1 lemon, sliced
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries
  • 1-½ cups chilled lemon-lime soda, such as Sprite

Directions

  1. Into a 2-quart pitcher, combine blueberry juice, wine and liqueur, if used
  2. Add orange and lemon slices and fresh blueberries
  3. Chill until ready to serve
  4. Just before serving, stir in soda
  5. Serve in tall glasses over ice cubes, if desired

 

These patriotic-themed delights are not strictly reserved for the holiday season and can be implemented into any outdoor barbecue occasion. The light and fresh ingredients of each recipe are perfect to satisfy anyone this summer season!

 

Bon Appetit!

Diana Banzon


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