grilling. so easy a frat boy can do it.
Prior to this summer, I never went near a grill as the steady trail of burn scars running from my elbow to my pinky finger prove that I am not apt at handling open flames or really any surface that is remotely hot. However, sockeye salmon and Canadian sunshine can turn anyone into a regular Bobby Flay, and my small, portable propane grill and I have become ready ol’ chums.
Grills, if you are willing to settle for function and not fashion, can range anywhere from 50- 100$, but can be a great investment. The BBQ is traditionally associated with cheeseburgers and sausages. But chicken, fish and turkey burgers are great, healthy choices that can all be given some char’ lovin, but take advantage of your open flamed friend; the BBQ will cook, roast and sear almost anything that comes near it, even lettuce and peaches!
Cracked pepper bison burgers topped with grilled onions, mushrooms and with avocado and a grilled lettuce “bun”
Burgers are one of the easiest things to grill, which is obvious to anyone that attends a day-drink and sees a 21-year old Delta Chi manning the grill with his stack of fifteen empty beer cans next to the tongs. However, they get a bad wrap due to their high fat and caloric content.
Enter the bison burger. An animal often associated with cowboys, indians, and a city to the north of the Big Apple, bison is leaner and more satisfying than beef, pork, and even chicken. With 1/3 of the fat and half the calories of beef, this meat packs 22 grams of protein and 3.4 grams of iron.r, Grass-fed bison tastes similar to beef but is juicy and great for grilling. Either pack your own patties with ground bison, or pick up grill-ready burgers at your local butcher.
Grilled Bison: Heat grill on medium and cook about five minutes on each side. Remember, when grilling meat, flipping less is better! Also, never push down with the spatula or tongs, this will push the juices right out.
Grilled Mushrooms & Onions: Mushrooms and onions are fantastic on the grill. There are several ways to grill them, from putting them directly on the grill, to skewering them, but I prefer wrapping them in foil. Marinade them in a bit of olive oil and pinch of sea salt. You know that “duck of leftovers” Joey and Rachel get when they go on a date in Friends? Pretty much replicate that, creating a “basket” for the vegetables. Place on medium heat at the burgers and cook until soft and a bit darker than their natural shade, 10-15 minutes.
Lettuce: Wash and peel a head of romaine lettuce. Dry thoroughly. Turn grill on high heat, and place individual leaves on grill for about 2-3 minutes, turning halfway. Make sure not to leave on too long, otherwise the lettuce will wilt.
Honey-Lime Shrimp Skewers with grilled mango & avocado
Shrimp, at around 10 calories per piece, can be an excellent source of protein and be filling as well as yummy! I love picking up skewers of shrimp from Whole Foods, as they seem to be the only thing under 5 dollars, but making your own is a cinch. I like to keep my recipes simple, and usually only like to use ingredients I have in my cabinet, and they always turn out awesome. If you are a seasoned chef and feel like spicing it up, feel free!
Shrimp: Whisk together a tablespoon of olive oil, the juice of a lime and the zest of the lime rind, a dash of sea salt, pepper, and a tsp of honey in a bowl. Peal, de-vein (if not done already) and wash shrimp and place shrimp in bowl and let marinade for thirty minutes. Preheat the grill to medium and grill for 3-4 minutes, turning halfway, or until the shrimp are pink.
Mangos and Avocado: Avocado is a staple for me as I’m lactose intolerant and therefore like to substitute it to add that creamy goodness that is lacking without cheese. I’ve also recently discovered mangos- they are tangy like peaches but still decadent. Cut your avocado and mango in half and brush with olive oil (prevent stickiness). Cook each about five minutes, or until it has nice charred marks. This gives both excellent texture, and make the traditionally messy fruit easy to cut to put in salad.
I created a salad made with spinach and topped it with quinoa and black beans to make it a fiesta, and made a bit more of the marinade to use as dressing. Also, added sweet potatoes, as no meal is complete without them!