Summer Dinners on the Grill

Summer Dinners on the Grill
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A weekend dinner on the grill can be relaxing because you can visit with family and company while you cook. This is a light meal that can be served for a casual dinner. The dessert is one I've had many times at my mother-in-laws. It's pretty much empty calories, but low fat, and the kids love it too. You can substitute fresh fruit for the dessert if you wish. A nice cold watermelon is always a great choice! You can also serve rolls or a nice crusty bread with this menu.
Spicy Gazpacho

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper

2 tablespoons chopped onion

1 tablespoon jalapeno, minced

1 tablespoon wine or herb vinegar

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1/8 teaspoon tobasco

2 small or one large garlic clove, minced

3 fresh ripe tomatoes

3/4 cup tomato juice

1 1/4 cups cucumbers, peeled and chopped

Place 1 cup of the cucumber and next 10 ingredients in blender or food processor and blend, leaving it chunky. Pour into bowl. Stir in tomato juice. Cover and chill. Serve topped with remaining diced cucumber. Makes 4 servings, but is easily doubled. Plus, if you are using this for a before dinner soup you really don't need a large bowl each. I also love cilantro, with can be minced and added at the end with the cucumber.

Italian Style Grilled Chicken

Ingredients:

8 ounces tomato sauce

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 cloves garlic, minced, divided

3 Tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon peel

1 teaspoon olive or vegetable oil

3 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

In a small saucepan, combine tomato sauce, lemon juice and half of the garlic. Mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool, then add the basil and set aside. While sauce is simmering, in a small bowl, combine the remaining garlic, lemon peel, and oil. Mix well. Place chicken in a glass or ceramic dish and rub with lemon peel mixture. Cover dish with plastic wrap and chill for about 30 minutes.

Preheat the grill. Place the chicken on the grill and cook for 8 minutes per side. Brush with the sauce and continue grilling for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until juices run clear when chicken is pierced with the tip of a knife. This is only 5 grams of fat per serving and 408 calories. If you don't have fresh basil, you can add either fresh oregano in it's place or dried, but use half as much if it's dried.

Three Bean Salad

Ingredients:

2 cups cut green beans-cooked fresh, or canned

1 1/2 cups canned garbanzo beans

2 cups canned kidney beans

2 tablespoons minced red onion

3/4 cup lowfat or fat free Italian salad dressing

Drain and rinse the canned beans. Toss together the other ingredients and season with salt and pepper to taste. Toss again and refrigerate several hours. Toss right before serving. Serves 6

Banana Pineapple Pudding Treat

Ingredients:

20 2 1/2 inch chocolate graham crackers

2 small boxes banana instant pudding mix, sugar-free

1 1/3 cups non-fat dry milk powder

2 cups crushed pineapple, packed in fruit juice, undrained

1 cup water

2 cups sliced bananas(2 medium)

1 cup light frozen whipped topping

1 teaspoon coconut extract

2 tablespoons flaked coconut

2 tablespoons pecans -- chopped (1/2 oz.)

Evenly arrange 9 of the graham crackers in a 9"x9" cake pan. In a large bowl, combine 1 box of dry pudding mix, 2/3 cups of dry milk powder, 1 cup undrained pineapple, and 1/2 cup water. Mix well using wire whisk. Spread pudding mixture evenly over crackers. Evenly arrange banana slices over the pudding mixture. Arrange 9 graham crackers over bananas. In the same bowl, combine remaining package of dry pudding mix, remaining 2/3 cup of dry milk powder, remaining 1 cup of undrained pineapple, and remaining 1/2 cup of water. Mix well with the whisk. Blend in the thawed whipped topping and the coconut extract. Spread mixture evenly over crackers. Crush remaining 2 graham crackers and evenly sprinkle crumbs over pudding mix. Sprinkle coconut and pecans over top. Cover and refrigerate at least two hours before serving. Notes-You can use vanilla pudding, and plain graham crackers if you wish. I've also skipped the nuts and coconut because of picky kids:)


 

About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.

 
 

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