Okay, we get it. We’ve done the math: summer= grilling season. And as if the tantalizing weather wasn’t enough of a driving force to persuade you behind the barby, July 4th practically carries a contractual obligation to it. While we know some of us are perfectly happy being up to our elbows in burgers and dogs for a few months in a row (sorry, weird visual), we also know there are people out there longing for a light and summery take on the typically heavier BBQ. After all, it can get tough fitting in even the most delicate dessert if you’re feeling weighed down from dinner. And we can’t have that. But as you know, summer won’t be around long, and once the trees are bare you’ll be giving yourself quite the eye roll for not embracing the grill while you could. So guess what- you don’t have to miss out on the seasonal festivities! With inspiration from regions across the country, we’ve come up with some fresh and flavorful recipes that scream out for the grill grates- maybe even loud enough to catch the attention of the beef eaters.
Must be 21+. Please drink responsibly
Hawaiian Chicken and Pineapple Kebabs
Rev up the typical barbecue flavor you’re used to with an added fruity kick that the whole ohana will love. This marinade will pack tons of flavor without packing on the cals.
- 1 ½ lbs chicken breast or cutlet
- 1 pineapple
- optional: 1 red onion
- 3 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce
- 3 tbsp packed brown sugar
- 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and grated
- Crushed red pepper flakes to taste
- 10-15 skewers (wooden or metal)
Cut chicken, pineapple, and optional red onion into similarly-sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
Mix remaining ingredients to create marinade.
Place chicken, pineapple, and marinade ingredients in a gallon-sized zipper freezer bag, remove as much air as possible, and allow to sit in the refrigerator for roughly 2 hours. TIP: don’t marinate the pineapple and chicken for too long. Pineapple contains an enzyme called bromelain which can degrade the proteins in the chicken and give it a funky taste and texture. Typically, we like funky. But not this kind.
If your skewers are wooden, soak them in water while the chicken and pineapple are marinating together to prevent splintering and burning.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat.
Once ready, alternately thread chicken, pineapple, and onions onto skewers. Lightly brush the grill grates with oil and place the kabobs over indirect (or direct for some charring) heat until cooked through. Occasionally rotate the skewers for even cooking.
If you’d like to drizzle your kabobs with a delicious and thick barbecue sauce once they’re done cooking, put the leftover marinade over medium heat in a saucepan, and stir occasionally while it reduces and begins to bubble. Separately mix 1 tbsp cornstarch with ¼ cup cold water to create a thick mixture. Add to saucepan and stir until cloudiness no longer remains and desired thickness is obtained.
Complement your skewers perfectly with a sparkling Peru Pineapple in an ice cold glass, or up your fizz game with a little buzz.
- 4 oz (about ⅓ can) Peru Pineapple
- 4 oz ginger beer
- 1 oz rum
Southwestern Turkey Burgers
The beauty of turkey burgers is that ground turkey typically has significantly less fat content (usually between 8% and 1%) than your everyday beef burger (most commonly 20%), which can save you some precious calories- whether or not you enjoy the equivalent you’ve saved on dessert later is up to you. We’re sure you know by now that lower calories does not equate diminished flavor, but here’s the recipe we showed you a couple weeks ago to prove it. Serve on whole-grain buns for a well-rounded meal without the well-rounded belly. Pair it with a tart and cooling drink, like Ipanema Pomegranate or Jamaica Blood Orange. Or perhaps even a punch of both.
- 4 oz Ipanema Pomegranate
- 4 oz Jamaica Blood Orange
- 1 oz rum
- Splash of lime juice
Other grilling tips:
Still feel like steak but trying to follow the lightened-up trend? Try putting sliced skirt steak over a salad of sturdy greens like romaine or iceberg. You’ll get that great umami flavor you’re looking for with an added punch of nutrients! Summertime yin yang on a plate.
In the mood for some succulent shrimp? Buy them fresh and devein them, but leave the shell on when you fire them up. The shrimp will absorb tons of flavor that the shell holds. Plus, the messy shell-peeling fingers go along perfectly with the barbecue atmosphere.
Give the grill a good scrape-down after dinner- you can use it again for a refreshingly delicious dessert!
Easy Peasy Georgia Grilled Peaches
Feel free to throw the unused pineapple you have from the chicken skewers on as well; pineapple stands up to a hot grill beautifully.
- 3 peaches, washed, halved, pitted (the riper the better- the sugars in ripe peaches will caramelize against the hot grill grates)
- Melted butter
Brush flesh side of peaches with just enough butter to coat
Sprinkle buttered side of peaches with cinnamon and place face down on the grill over indirect medium heat
Grill for roughly 15 minutes or until the peaches are soft, but not mushy
TIP: rotate 45 degrees halfway through cooking time for some professional-looking grill marks
Topping ideas: slivered almonds, toasted coconut flakes, vanilla greek yogurt, pure maple syrup, whipped coconut cream, freedom
Red, White, and Blueberry Sangria
Bust out a pitcher of this to really impress. Our classy yet party-lovin’ friends at Marie Claire agree.
Makes 1 pitcher
- 1 bottle Brasilia Blueberry
- 1 can Waikiki Coconut
- 1 750ml bottle of your favorite white wine
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 2 cups fresh strawberries, more for garnish
- Club soda (optional)
Combine all ingredients in a pitcher and let sit in the fridge for a couple hours to allow flavors to mix. When ready to serve, pour into each glass and top with club soda for some added fizz. Fix a fresh strawberry to the rim for a nice refreshing bite to polish it off with.