Summertime Grilling Roundup

Summertime Grilling Roundup
Don't forget to get in on the giveaway going on now through 5/25 at 9 am MST!

There’s nothing quite like getting outside to cook and enjoy good food, good friends, and good weather.  Except maybe watching a baby elephant run.  But, come to think of it, that’s nothing like grilling either.  Just that it’s also totally great.

So when the urge strikes you, what do you do?  No, I don’t mean the urge to watch a baby elephant run.  We all know that you go straight to YouTube for that.  When you want to grill – do you immediately call all your friends and fire up the barbie?

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Easy Salmon Salad + New Potato Frites

Easy Salmon Salad + New Potato Frites

If you’ve ever ordered takeout or microwaved a frozen meal, you are well acquainted with the meaning of convenience food.  If you haven’t, then I assume you are either very privileged or have been living under a rock in the Sahara desert.

Personally, I’ll admit – I know my way around convenience food.  And yes… it’s what you’re thinking.  Even when I say the words “convenience food,” thoughts of pizza, oily noodles, and chunks of reheated meat covered in brown sauce comes to mind.  Why is that?  I guess that means I’ve had my share of quick-and-easy fare, too.

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Rosemary Red Potato Fries

Rosemary Red Potato Fries

I’m so glad I had a request to post a recipe for healthy fries!  This is a recipe my mom always made for our family and was a favorite of my sister’s and mine growing up.  The best thing is that it can be made in minutes, with only a couple easy ingredients, and makes a really satisfying French fry… that isn’t even fried!

Pair these babies with my Best Black Bean Burger or my Feta Turkey Burger on a Homemade Whole Wheat Bun (so many recipes!), and you and your kids will be saying farewell to drive-thru grease – and hello to happier tummies – just like my family did.   Thanks, mom!

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Chipotle Sweet Papas Fritas

Do you have a special place in your heart for a certain food in the summer?

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For some reason, I have a soft spot for sweet potato fries – they are definitely in the top five of my favorite summer indulgences.  I suppose they fit in so perfectly alongside a grilled main dish at a barbeque with their sweet-and-salty goodness.

Two things make sweet potato fries even better this summer:  chipotle seasoning and broiling.  With a spritz of lime juice.  Okay, so maybe three things.

I served this with tilapia tacos (my recipe to come soon!), my cilantro-lime corn, and some mango margaritas.  We sat on the back patio and watched the pink Arizona sunset in the breeze!  Gotta say, that was a nice dinner.  I don’t think the papas fritas can claim all the credit… but they definitely did their part! :D

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Chipotle Sweet Papas Fritas

2 large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean (and peeled if you don’t like the skin – I like it left on!)

About 1 tsp. lime juice

Ground sea salt or kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and chipotle seasoning

Olive or Canola oil cooking spray

Slice each potato in half lengthwise.  Place each half face-down and slice lengthwise, making each slice about ¼ inch in width.  You will probably want to cut all of these long fries in half widthwise, but that is up to you!  I like the fries a little bit fat, but you can make them slightly skinnier if you want to, by lying the slices flat and cutting them in half again lengthwise.

Place the a rack at the highest level inside the oven, close to the broiler, and turn the broiler on to high.

Spray a baking sheet (or two) with oil.  Place the potato slices flat on the sheet and spray the tops with oil.  Season with salt, pepper, chipotle and a bit of the lime.  Use a spatula to flip the potatoes over and do the same to the other side.  Make sure each potato has about ½ inch in between it and the others so they all get crispy in the oven.

Place the baking sheet(s) under the broiler and set a timer for 3 minutes.

After 3 minutes, pull out the sheet – the fries should be starting to look a little crispy, even a little browned.  If not, replace for 1-2 minutes, keeping an eye on the fries (be sure to set that timer).

When one side is done, pull out the fries and flip over to crisp the other side.  This will take 3-5 minutes again.  Be careful not to leave it alone! :)

The fork test will tell you if the fries are crispy outside and soft on the inside.  When the fries seem to be done, take them out and serve immediately!  Preferably with a nice summer sunset.

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