Grilled Pizza

This is SUCH a fun summer meal.  I was first introduced to this concept by some good friends in my neighborhood.  They had invited us over for dinner one night and taught us how to make pizza on the grill.  It was so much fun. We loved the idea of putting the dough on the grill, and then “decorating” our pizzas with whatever toppings we wanted.  We each had our own individual pizza and it was exactly how we wanted it.  I thought the concept was brilliant, and I never have grilled pizza without thinking of my good friends (thanks Megan!).

Beau recently had a birthday and we decided this would be fun to add to the festivities.  I wasn’t sure who would stop in to see Beau that night, but I knew that if anyone did it would be very easy to offer them a grilled pizza.  I had dough ready and all the toppings prepared.  It worked perfectly and was a lot of fun.  The good news was that I had prepared plenty of toppings so Beau and I had grilled pizza again. . . two days later.  Bonus!  I can only imagine how fun this would be if you had children old enough to make their own pizzas!  I think I would have grilled pizza at least one night a week.

I like the recipe I’m giving you for the dough.  It works wonderfully for a pizza crust and I love the recipe because you don’t have to plan for the dough to raise twice!  In fact, you don’t have to wait for this dough to raise at all!  I’m serious.  It works just fine without any rising time.  I have other recipes that taste a smidge better, but I love the convenience of this one WAY MORE than I care for the smidge of better taste.  After all, it gets layered with all sorts of other flavors, so the crust becomes background anyways.  (If I had to eat the crust alone, then perhaps I would sacrifice the convenience for a better recipe.)

I usually will make my own marinara/pizza/tomato sauce.  It’s healthier, easy to make, and delicious.  However, in a pinch I have popped open a bottle of store-bought marinara too (still love me, okay?).  The nutritional information is calculated using a homemade version.

Because the toppings can vary and not every pizza is the same, I calculated the nutritional information based on the pizza I’ve highlighted in the picture.  It basically has diced, cooked chicken and a variety of veggies on it.  This is definitely a healthier option when choosing to put a pizza together.  Other toppings I have prepared for my guests include Canadian bacon, pineapple, turkey pepperoni, sliced cherry tomatoes, diced peppers, diced onions, sliced olives, fresh basil, and reduced fat cheeses.  This usually satisfies all age groups and most of the options are still pretty healthy.

So, what are you waiting for!?  Go make you a grilled pizza!  Tonight maybe?

Grilled Pizza

For the Dough:
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
2 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon yeast
1 tablespoon lecithin
1 cup hot water (hot water from the tap)

For the Pizza:
Extra-virgin olive oil
Marinara/Tomato Sauce of your choosing
Mozzarella cheese, part-skim (or other reduced fat cheeses)
Desired Toppings (cooked chicken, Canadian bacon, turkey pepperoni, peppers, onions, tomatoes, olives, pineapple, fresh basil, etc.)

For the dough:  Mix dry ingredients.  Add lecithin and water.  Mix in until dough combines, approximately 1 minute and check for consistency (use your dough hook on your mixer).  Dough should be a little sticky.  If dough is too dry, add more water.  Mix for 5 minutes on a medium speed (this will knead your dough).  Spray your countertop with nonstick cooking spray and divide dough into 8 even sections.  Shape each section into a ball.

Using a rolling pin, create your pizza crust by rolling each ball of dough out to resemble a circle (or as close to a circle as you can).   Your crust will be thin.  Set aside on a greased surface (I usually use a large jelly roll pan and I stack the crusts with a piece of greased parchment paper in between each crust).  You do not have to wait for this dough to rise.  Yay!

For the Pizza:
Clean (use one of those handy BBQ brushes to scrape off any residue), lightly oil, and preheat your outdoor grill to medium heat (this could take 10-15 minutes, so it’s a good time to get your toppings ready).  If needed, lightly brush the pizza dough with olive oil (usually my crust is already lightly oiled from sitting between two greased parchment papers so I can skip this step).  Gently grab two edges of your dough and place it on the hot grill.  Close the grill and let the dough cook for about 2-4 minutes, or until your dough has lightly bubbled and has grill marks on the bottom (this could take longer depending on the heat of your grill).  Using tongs or a spatula, remove dough from grill.

This is when you’ll “decorate” your pizza with whatever you wish.  VERY IMPORTANT – when placing toppings on your pizza, make sure you place toppings on the side WITH the grill marks. (You’ll need to put the non-grilled side back on the grill to cook.)  Start with 2 tablespoons of sauce, then 2 tablespoons of cheese, then layer with remaining desired toppings.  Once all the toppings are on the pizza, place the pizza back on the grill, close the grill (you need to lock in the heat to melt the cheese and cook the toppings/crust), and cook for another 2-6 minutes.  The heat of your grill will determine the length of time it will take.  Your pizza is done when the cheese is melted and there are nice grill marks on the bottom of your crust.

Repeat with remaining pizza crusts.   (Side Note:  If you have all your toppings out by the grill, then, after placing the crust on the grill for the first time, you can just flip the crust and place toppings on the pizza while it’s on the grill.  This makes things a little bit easier.  However, if you do this, work quickly so that the crust doesn’t cook before you have all the toppings on.  Otherwise, you’ll have a burnt crust and undercooked toppings.)

Nutritional Information
(Per Pizza with 2.5 oz. Chicken & a Variety of Veggies)
Calories:  294.1
Protein:  28g
Carbs:  32.4
Fat:  5.6g (2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  5g
Sugars:   3.1g

CRUST – Nutritional Information (Crust Alone = 1/8 Recipe)
Calories:  147.8
Protein:  5.8g
Carbs:  30.7
Fat:  1g (0.2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  4.6g
Sugars:  3.1g

Orange Beef On a Stick

These are pretty darn tasty, my friends.  If you’re looking for something that is a little different than your typical grilled steak or chicken, this is a great option!  I have always been a fan of orange beef from Asian restaurants, so I was pretty excited to try this recipe.  It didn’t disappoint in the least!  My biggest concern was that they wouldn’t have enough orange flavor, but they totally did!  The orange flavor was dominant and the other ingredients in the marinade (garlic, ginger, oil, honey, etc.) balanced everything out to give these a hint of Asian flare.  (P.S.  Siracha chili sauce is easily found in most grocery stores on the Asian isle.  It’s worth buying because it’s tasty on lots of stuff and you really should try it in Bangin’ Good Shrimp too!)

I served these on a bed of Baked Brown Rice.  I really had hoped that I had green onions in my fridge to add to the rice once it came out of the oven, but I was out.  I plan on adding green onions and lime juice to my finished rice next time. . . because there will definitely be a next time for this delicious meal!

Orange Beef On a Stick
Adapted from Our Best Bites

1 orange
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup seasoned rice wine vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon coriander
4 cloves garlic
2-4 teaspoon Sriracha chili sauce
1 1/2 lb. flank steak
skewers (If using wood/bamboo make sure to soak them in water for at least 30 minutes before use.)

Zest your orange and add all of the zest to a small mixing bowl. Then cut the orange in half and add all of the juice as well. You should have at least 1/4 C orange juice and anything more than that is just fine.

To the orange mixture, add soy sauce, vinegar, honey, sesame oil, ginger, coriander, and garlic. Then add Sriracha to your liking. (Once these are marinated and cooked, the spice mellows quite a bit. I add 2 tsp. Sriracha and it’s mild enough that even kids will eat them. It’s not even spicy at all, just flavorful. So if you like heat, add 3-4 teaspoons of Sriracha.) Whisk the marinade so everything is combined.

Take the flank steak and slice it across the grain into about 1/4″ slices. (It helps to pop the steak into the freezer for 20 minutes or so beforehand.) Place steak in a zip-lock bag and pour the marinade in. Swish it all around and place the bag in the fridge. It’s best if it can sit for at least 4 hours.

When you’re ready to get cookin’ preheat your grill. Then take your skewers (pre-soaked if you’re using wood/bamboo ones) and thread on the strips of meat, just like you’re stitching. In order for them to cook evenly, stretch the meat out a bit.
  (I got 2 slices of meat per skewer, with a total of 12 skewers.)

Place them on the grill. Cook them approximately 3-4 minutes per side.  (These cook really fast. Overcooked flank steak will be tough and chewy, so don’t over do it.)

Serves 6.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = Approx. 2 Skewers)
Calories:  201.6
Protein:  23.5g
Carbs:  3.4g
Fat:  9.8g (3.8g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.1g
Sugars:  1.9g

Chili Salmon with Mango, Cucumber & Avocado Salsa

Salsa Includes Blueberries, Lime, and Jalapeño

Oh my!  This is SO my kind of dinner!  This seriously tastes like healthy summer on a plate.  The salmon is simply seasoned with chili powder and the salsa is sweet and fresh.  Of course the chili powder is a fabulous compliment to salsa, so it’s no wonder this all goes together beautifully.

The salsa is seriously SO good!  It’s so good that it’s kind of a little bit hard not to eat more than the appropriate portion size.  (You’ve been warned!)  I was pretty intrigued with the addition of blueberries in this salsa.  I’ve made and seen several variations of mango salsa, but none that included blueberries.  Let me tell you, it’s awesome!  The burst of the blueberry in the mouth along with the sweetness and tartness of the berry is a perfect compliment to the soft and sweet mango.  The cucumber adds a nice balance to the sweetness as well as good bulk to the salsa (without adding many calories).  You can’t have a salsa without some kind of pepper, so there is a jalapeño pepper in here and you can add as much as you want.  The majority of the heat comes from the ribs and seeds of the pepper so for a mild salsa, remove all the ribs and seeds, for a hot salsa, keep them in.  The avocado adds a richness and creaminess to the salsa that helps to made this stuff so addictive.  Last, but certainly not least, is the addition of  lime zest and lime juice.  This gives the perfect amount of acidity and zing to the salsa and makes it taste amazingly fresh.

This meal can be eaten for lunch or dinner.  We had it for dinner with a side salad.  I think I might start making the salsa for snacks and appetizers too.  It’s that good!

Chili Salmon with Mango, Cucumber, & Avocado Salsa
Adapted from The Chew

For the Salmon:
4 Skin-On Salmon Filets (4 oz. each)
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Freshly Ground Pepper
1 teaspoon Chili Powder

For the Salsa:
1 mango (cubed)
1/4 – 1/2 English cucumber (diced)
1 avocado (cubed)
1/2 cup blueberries
1/2 – 1 jalapeno (seeded and minced)
juice and zest of 1 lime
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 tablespoon chopped parsley

For the Salsa: Toss all salsa ingredients in a medium bowl until well mixed (I use a rubber spatula so that the avocado doesn’t get mashed).  Set aside.

For the Salmon: Preheat a grill (outdoor or indoor . . . I used a charcoal grill for mine) to medium-high, and season lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon chili powder over each of the salmon filets. Season with salt and pepper, and place, skin-side down. After 2 to 3 minutes, flip, and continue to cook on other side for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until it reaches an internal temperature of 130F.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1 Filet & Approx. 1/2 Cup Salsa)
Calories:  284.5
Protein:  30.4g
Carbs:  15.1g
Fat:  11.6g (1.7g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.7g
Sugars:  6.1g

Baja Grilled Shrimp Tacos

I’m back!  After being on vacation and then experiencing a few family concerns when we got back . . . life seems to be returning back to “normal” if I dare say.  It feels good to be back in the kitchen again and sharing my recipes with you.

This recipe is delightful!  I personally think that it is restaurant-worthy and Beau even made a comment that these tacos tasted like they came out of one of our favorite Mexican hot spots.  They taste fresh, have a bit of spice,  and they have a nice smoky flavor (thank you chipotle peppers and cumin!).  Despite the long list of ingredients, these come together quickly.  It was a nice simple dinner for us, and it allowed me to use up some of that cabbage that showed up in my Bountiful Basket this week.

If you’re not one for spice, use a little less chipotle.  If you dig the spice like I do. . . add a little extra chipotle pepper. I used exactly what was called for and I could have used more spice, while Beau would have liked a little less.  Whatever you do, do not leave it out completely because it offers some AWESOME flavor!  (By the way . . . these peppers are found on the Mexican isle in your grocery store.  When I first started looking for these babies I think I wasted a good 30 minutes in the grocery story before asking someone for help.  They walked me to the Mexican isle and we found them on a shelf in a can.  This recipe only calls for a smidge of them, but I will shortly post another recipe that also contains the peppers to help you use up the rest.)

Lucky for me I made the whole recipe so that Beau and I can eat them again tomorrow night.  YUM!  I can’t wait!

Baja Grilled Shrimp Tacos
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

4 cups shredded green cabbage
5 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro
3 scallions, sliced thin
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
4 teaspoons canola oil
salt and pepper
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce
1/8 teaspoon garlic salt
2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1 lb. shrimp, peeled and deveined
8 (6-inch) corn tortillas (I used Mission Thins – only 40 calories each)
lime wedges (for serving)

Toss the cabbage, 1/4 cup of the cilantro, scallions, vinegar, 1 teaspoon of the oil, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a bowl.  In a separate bowl, combine the remaining tablespoon cilantro, mayonnaise, lime juice, chipotles, and garlic and season with salt and pepper to taste.  Set both aside for serving.

Combine the chili powder, coriander, cumin, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in a bowl.  Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels, brush with the remaining tablespoon oil, and rub evenly with the spice mixture.

Place shrimp on a preheated grill (gas, charcoal, or indoor . . . I used indoor since it snowed the day I made these).  Cook shrimp approximately 2 minutes, and then flip and cook another 2 minutes or until done.  Shrimp is done when it is completely pink and it curls up a bit.  Remove shrimp from grill and loosely tent with aluminum foil, and let rest while grilling the tortillas.

Working in batches, grill the tortillas, turning as needed, until warm and lightly charred, about 30 seconds.  As the tortillas are done, wrap them in a clean kitchen towel or a large sheet of foil to keep them warm and soft.

Smear each tortillas with 1/2 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture and top with some of the cabbage slaw and then shrimp.  Serve with lime wedges.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 2 Tacos)
Calories:  295.6
Protein:  26.1g
Carbs:  22.9g
Fat:  11.1g (1.2g = Sat.)
Fiber:  3.6g
Sugar:  5g

Grilled Rosemary Buttermilk Chicken

If you’re in Utah like me, you’re still getting unbelievable weather!  So, if you’re like me, you’re still grilling!  Here’s another grilled chicken recipe.  It’s delish and SUPER easy.  The hardest part is remembering to put the chicken in buttermilk the night before you want to eat it.  Other than that . . . easy!!  The buttermilk makes the chicken so moist and the Rosemary ads such a fresh, herb flavor.  You can add as much rosemary as you like for as strong as you want the flavor.  I like a lot of rosemary flavor, so I add at least the amount indicated below.

Grilled Rosemary Buttermilk Chicken
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Café

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast *cutlets – 4 oz. each  (2 thick chicken breasts)
2 pints buttermilk
5-6 sprigs fresh rosemary

Place the chicken *cutlets in a large ziploc plastic bag. Pour in the buttermilk to cover the chicken. Add the rosemary sprigs. Seal the bag and refrigerate overnight, about 8-10 hours.

Preheat a grill to medium-high heat. With tongs, take out each chicken breast one by one, shaking off excess buttermilk and removing the rosemary sprigs. Grill for 4-6 minutes per side, until the chicken is cooked through but still moist. Tent with foil for about 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.

*You can buy packaged chicken cutlets at the grocery store.  However, you can save a little money and ensure evenly sized cutlets by turning chicken breasts into cutlets yourself.  Lay the chicken breast smooth-side up on a cutting board.  With one hand on the top of the chicken, carefully slice the chicken in half horizontally to yield two pieces.  The two pieces should be between 3/8 and 1/2 inch thick. 

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = One 4-oz. Cutlet)
Calories:  120
Protein:  27.6g
Carbs:  0g
Fat:  1.2g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0g
Sugars:  0g

Mango-Pineapple Salsa Over Shrimp

This Mango-Pineapple Salsa is soooo yummy!  It can be used for several things (it’s great as an appetizer with baked chips), but I really love it with this shrimp.  The salsa has that spicy-sweet flavor that tends to be irresistible to me.  How about you?

When it’s paired with the shrimp, it tastes like vacation.  You get the tropical taste from that salsa and a somewhat Jamaican Jerk taste from the shrimp.  I tell you what – these were meant to be eaten together!  And, just in case you were wondering, I made this for the family while we were in Hawaii.  We used the fresh pineapple and mango we bought at the farmer’s market and after we made the salsa I couldn’t get enough (well, until my calorie counting conscience said, “no more!”)

When I made it at home (with the pictures shown here), I actually used my indoor grill.  If you’re not in the mood to grill or we’re in the colder months, you can also heat a small amount of canola oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and then cook the shrimp until they’re done.  I love to serve this over couscous (as shown) or rice.

Mango-Pineapple Salsa Over Shrimp
Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook

For the Salsa:
7 ounces peeled & cored fresh pineapple & mango, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (about 1-1/4 cups total fruit)
1/2 small red pepper, seeded & chopped
1 scallion, sliced thin (or minced red onion works too)
1/2 jalapeno chile, stemmed, seeded, and minced
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon minced fresh cilantro
salt & pepper

For the Shrimp:
3/4 teaspoons light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground allspice
1 lb. shrimp

For the Salsa:  Combine the mango, pineapple, onion, bell pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl.  Season with additional lime juice (if needed), salt, and pepper to taste.  Let the salsa sit for at least 10 minutes before serving (can be made up to 24 hours in advance).

For the shrimp:  Preheat gas, charcoal, or indoor grill over medium heat.  Combine the brown sugar, coriander, ginger, garlic powder, pepper, salt, and allspice in a bowl.  Pat the shrimp dry with paper towels and sprinkle the spice mixture evenly over both sides of the shrimp.

If desired, thread shrimp on skewers.  Grill shrimp until pink and cooked through (about 2-3 minutes per side).  Gently transfer the shrimp to individual plates and serve with the salsa.

Serves 4.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving – Shrimp & Salsa)
Calories:  143
Protein:  23.2g
Carbs:  5.2g
Fat:  2.1g (0.4g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  3.1g

Nutritional Information (Per Serving, Salsa Only)
Calories:  23
Protein:  0.2g
Carbs:  4.1g
Fat:  0.1g (0g = Sat.)
Fiber:  0.4g
Sugars:  3.1g

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

You need another option for that healthy carbohydrate at dinner?  Well, you should add these to your lineup!  I must admit, I was a bit skeptical of how these would turn out.  I wasn’t so sure that the grill would really be much of a compliment to the sweet potato.  However, I had to give it a try because I knew the calories would be ideal.  I gotta say . . . I was pleasantly surprised.  The grill gave these a fantastic flavor and left me wishing that my portion size could be doubled.

You can choose to cut these into 1/2-inch thick pieces or leave them at 1-inch thick pieces.  To no surprise, they cook up a little faster if they’re only 1/2-inch thick.  Just do your best to get them all the same thickness so that they’re all done at the same time.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes
Adapted from Mel’s Kitchen Cafe

*Note: The key to this recipe is cutting all the sweet potato pieces as close to the same size as possible that way they cook evenly. Also, feel free to add other spices to fancy them up a bit. Chili powder and cumin for a southwest kick anyone?

4 medium sweet potatoes/yams, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch or 1-inch chunks
1 T. Olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
bamboo skewers

Place all of the sweet potato chunks in a large microwaveable bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave for three minutes. Remove from the microwave, stir, recover with plastic wrap and microwave 2-3 minutes more, until the sweet potatoes are just tender enough to thread on skewers (but not overly soft – they will cook through on the grill).

If any liquid is left in the bowl holding the sweet potatoes, drain it off.  Drizzle sweet potatoes with olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then lightly toss to coat sweet potatoes.  Thread pieces of sweet potato on each skewer.

Preheat a charcoal or gas grill to medium or medium-high heat. Grill the sweet potato skewers, flipping every 5-6 minutes, for a total of about 15-20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are tender.

Serve immediately.

Serves 8.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving = 1/2 Sweet Potato)
Calories:  100.3
Protein:  1.3g
Carbs:  19.7g
Fat:  2.0g (0.3g = Sat.)
Fiber:  2.4g
Sugars:  0g