What To Cook Right Now in Summer: First Week of July
Summer is finally here – that means fresh Fruits & Veggies Galore!
Time to get out and enjoy the grill and enjoy the BBQ season.
Here is a sample of some Summer Recipes I’m excited to make now – Using the season’s freshest ingredients. Always Lightened-Up with Health in mind.
Get Grilling with these two spice blends – jazz up poultry and experience a bomb of FLAVOR!
- Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend ~ Earthy, Warm, Sweet, Spicy, Peppery, Bitter & Smoky flavors without salt (add salt at finishing).
- Peruvian Spice Blend ~ features the Peruvian chile, Aji Amarillo
Iraqi Seasonings is the new quintessential spice blend to add immense flavor! Added to chicken and grilled, the essence explodes with warm and pungent notes. I’m serving the chicken over naan bread adding vegetables, Iraqi Pesto and a Preserved Lemon Relish.
The most aromatic blend – combining sweet and savory spices with a hit of heat. Grind your own whole spices for the freshest flavor! My Iraqi Spice mix adds Earthy, Warm, Sweet, Spicy, Peppery, Bitter & Smoky flavors without salt.
The mixture is similar to Baharat, but more complex and nuanced. Baharat is a spice mixture found in most Middle Eastern homes – a mix of: black pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cloves, cumin, cardamom, nutmeg and paprika.
To create a moisture rich interior infused with flavor – marinade the chicken.
I have butterflied the chicken to lie flat – so that all the skin can have contact with the grill, a crispy skin is crackling good!
A tangy marinade will penetrate the flesh overnight with a zesty finish.
A versatile blend which adds a depth of flavor to vegetables – fantastic rub for poultry!
My South American inspired seasoning blend features the Peruvian chile, Aji Amarillo. The lemony, fruity flavor of this medium spicy chile combines well with the subtle tartness of the lemon rind. Other seasonings include cumin, annatto, garlic, oregano, smoked paprika, salt & pepper. If the Aji chile is not available, use a moderately spicy chile such as an ancho.
A Few Recipes To Start With:
Blistered Shishito Peppers are cut in half and stuffed with a medley of Mediterranean ingredients for an addictive appetizer! The ultimate pick-up tasty three bite little stuffed peppers. Everyone loves these!
The mild peppers are stuffed with an explosion of flavor.
These beauties are vegetarian, gluten free and light in calories.
It might be almost July – yet Rhubarb is IN SEASON right now.
The tartness of the Rhubarb balances nicely with the tang of the goat cheese, and earthiness of the fresh herbs in the Bruschetta.
Rhubarb is one of those flavors that is deliciously addicting – tart to the taste ~ an incredible ingredient to cook as the crimson color and heady perfumy scent stands out.
Charred and stirred in a skillet, then cooled, this summer salsa packs a lot of flavor!
Who doesn’t love a good homemade salsa? Bring on the chips!
In this recipe you will learn how to caramelize corn – cook over high heat until the corn has charred, then give a big stir.
Serve the salsa cold, or at room temperature with your favorite Organic Tortilla Chips, or use it over grilled fish or chicken.
Love Tomatoes? My favorite food in every shape, color and flavor!
See my CATEGORY: Everything Tomatoes for some inspiration!
Ripe Heirloom Tomatoes team with Garlicky Toasted Bread and Plenty of Basil Leaves. Top with my Zesty “Shaken” Italian Dressing and scatter some thinly sliced Red Onions and cubes of Cucumber.
The Heirloom Tomatoes I have used: Red Zebra, Green Tiger and Strawberry Tomatoes.
Also see: Gluten Free Summertime Panzanella Tomato Salad
What to Grill Right Now: Fish, Chicken Skewers and Threaded Shrimp:
This vibrant salsa with a bright and fresh taste adds pizzaz to many meals. (Yes you can just devour with a spoon! )
Easy to prepare – pineapple cooks on a seasoned cast iron skillet until beautifully caramelized and golden.
Here a spiced fillet of Hake over sautéed spinach and Grilled Pineapple Salsa. Use any firm fish too!
Asian-Style Satay Sauce made with Sunflower Seed Butter for a nutty-sweet flavor, yet nut free. Easy blended sauce for Noodles and Grilled Chicken Skewers. Top with Sunflower Seeds and Sunflower Sprouts!
Skewered Shrimp and subtly spicy Spanish Padrón Peppers are simply grilled, inside or out with a spiked Compound Butter and topped with a Roasted Pepper Salsa. Padróns are similar to their cousin, Shishito peppers, an East Asian variety. See too: Roasted Pepper Salsa.
An All-American Cookie!
Look no further for the perfect recipe. Perfect for munching on after a BBQ meal or take along to a picnic.
These are gluten free! Or ~ use regular flour too.
Local Cherries are available right now!
This vegan Black Cherry Ice Cream has a silky texture, is all-natural and surprisingly easy to prepare.
(You’ll need an ice cream maker for this recipe, but it’s worth it.)
Enjoy Summertime… and these recipes!
Many, many more Summer Recipes to come ~ my favorite time of the year!
Fabulous Iraqi Grilled Chicken with Iraqi Pesto and Preserved Lemon Relish
- 1.75 pounds chicken thighs cleaned, dried, fat removed; cut into 1" strips
- 3 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil divided
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 large cloves fresh garlic peeled, finely grated or minced
- 2 tablespoons Karen's Iraqi Seasoning Spice Blend see recipe
- 1 cup sliced vegetables of your choice I used eggplant & red pepper
- 2 whole naan breads purchase or see recipe
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- Add chicken to a large bowl. Add ONE tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, garlic and Iraqi Seasoning Blend. Mix all, cover and refirgerate 2 hours, or overnight.
- Cut vegetables into strips, 3/4" for the peppers, 1/2 inch for the eggplant. Add to a bowl with ONE tablespoon olive oil, a pinch of seasoning and a pinch of salt; mix in.
- Heat a grill to medium- high heat. I add natural soaked smoking chips for extra flavor. Cook the vegetables until lightly charred and tender crisp, about 10 minutes, turning; add to a clean plate or platter.
- Brush the grill with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, mix in.Add the chicken to the hot grill and let cook, develop color and blacken a bit, then turn with tongs. Continue cooking until the chicken has great color and has cooked through; add to the plate. Total time approximately 10 minutes. Sprinkle with sea salt if desired.
- To serve:Warm naan bread in oven or on the grill a few minutes; cut in half. Place on piece of naan on each of four plates - top with warm chicken and vegetables. Brush bread, chicken & vegetables with Iraqi Pesto. Sprinkle fresh thyme over all.Serve Preserved Lemon relish on the side and any extra Iraqi Pesto.