4th of July, Part II – Recipes!

5 Jul

First – we had a wonderful sunny afternoon for the beach. High winds & waves equated to sunning while watching sailing and (attempted) surfing!

Then it was back to our place for some napping, relaxing… and more food and beverage consumption! Between beach and meal we snacked on Brie, pepper crackers, olives, apples and a delicious red pepper spread courtesy of our wonderful guests.

AND!!! Installation of my TRX (thanks to my wonderful man!)! Everyone has been trying it out. I’ll be taking it for a more formal exercise period this afternoon.

Here’s a few shots of the meal results and everyone enjoying! All of the recipes are posted below. The grilled meal feeds 6 very hungry people or 8 people with rational appetites!

Please leave feedback if you come up with ways to improve on the meal – I’m always trying to tweak recipes in progress, which some of these are at this time. You’ll see one modification I learned yesterday re: marinades.  Also… I’m not very good at giving specifics in some instances – email me if you need more details and I’ll try to work them out!

Red-White-n-Blue Smoothie {breakfast}  

    We didn’t make this one yesterday, but the servings and tips are as follows. One cup of frozen fruit to one cup of liquids is the basic ratio I use for a one person serving. Red = strawberries, White = bananas, Blue = blueberries. If you use frozen fruits you don’t have to add ice, which makes your smoothie even more filling, in my humble opinion. 

    Fitnessista is a Smoothie Queen and sent out a “call for smoothies” from her readers earlier this year. Check out the awesome readers submissions using the link above. 

    Strawberry, Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad w/ Balsamic Vinaigrette


    • 12 oz bag of baby spinach
    • 1 pound of strawberries, sliced
    • 1/2 pint of crimini or baby bella mushrooms, thinly sliced
    • 4-6 oz. of crumbled goat cheese (use an amount you like)
    • 1/2 cup toasted, sliced almonds 

    Layer all of the ingredients in order – wrap tightly and leave in the fridge for a few hours, if you like.


    • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
    • 2 T dijon mustard
    • 2 t shallots
    • 2 t basil
    • 1 t olive oil
    • black pepper to taste

    This makes extra dressing (it’s the P90X dressing!); I used 3/4 of the final dressing. Drizzle over the salad, toss and serve! 

    Grilled Seasonal Veggies with Fresh Herbs – Eggplant, Red Peppers and Tomatoes 
    • 2 red peppers
    • 1 large eggplant
    • 2-4 tomatoes, quartered

      Marinade for Veggies: 

    • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
    • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
    • + Parmesan cheese to sprinkle on the veggies 

     Slice the peppers into thick (about 1″) strips. Cut the eggplant vertically after cutting off the bottom and top. 

    Place groups of eggplant, pepper and tomatoes into foil packets, brushing with 1 Tbsp of the mixture and then topping with 1/2-1 teaspoon of Parmesan cheese. Wrap, place on low heat and cook for 20-25 minutes. You can remove and place directly on the grill at the end of their time, if desired.

    I did not add tomatoes in our veggie packets last night, but placed them in a bowl and added the extra marinade and some Parm cheese as our hors d’oeuvres! Yum! 

    Corn on the Cob with Basil Butter  

    In case you weren’t aware, corn on the cob comes with it’s own wrapper! Buy it whole with the husk in tact, place on the grill for 20-25 minutes (lower heat) until you have nice charring and grill marks on the husk.

    Add BUTTER!! Make this ahead of time, at least a few hours before your meal.

    • 1 1/2 cups loosely packed fresh basil leaves
    • 1/2 pound butter, softened
    • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon seasoned pepper
    • 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt

    Grilled Orange-Teriyaki Chicken Drumsticks

    When I did this yesterday I doubled our batch and added 6 oz. of beer to the marinade (time for marinading was roughly 8 hours). After doing a little research this morning I found that I shouldn’t be adding alcohol, so I’m going to skip that for now – but I do love a little beer flavor, so I may rework the “secret sauce” to include some beer.  

    • 10-12 chicken drumsticks

     Make a double batch of the following. One half is used to marinade; the other half is boiled and simmered until it is reduced to a thick liquid used as sauce on the meat while grilling.  

    • 2/3 cup Orange Juice (we like full pulp for this)
    • 1 T Teriyaki Sauce
    • 2 T Brandy
    • 1 T Sweet Soy (this is a thick, sweet sauce – find it at Asian food stores)
    • 1 T Garlic Powder
    • 1 T Onion Powder
    • 1 T Mustard
    • 1 T brown sugar
    • 1 t cayenne
    • 1 t salt

      Grill chicken over low-medium heat. Chicken cooks low and slow; chicken should be on grill 45 minutes to an hour and the temperature should be 230-250 degrees. Add the reduced marinade – now a sauce – in the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, brushing over the chicken. 

    Grilled Peaches with Berry Compote

    4 large peaches, halved – grill at medium heat until they are soft and have grill marks. Then add berry compote and 1/4-1/2 cup of frozen yogurt (my FAVE pictured – love love love Trader Joes!).

    Berry Compote

    • 1  tablespoon  butter
    • 3  tablespoons  honey
    • 1  tablespoon  fresh lemon juice
    • Dash of ground cinnamon
    • 1  (12-ounce) bag assorted frozen berries

     Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add honey, juice, cinnamon, and berries; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Keep warm.

    Dish the compote over the peaches halves and top with a little frozen yogurt or vanilla ice cream. 

    ENJOY any or all of these and feel guilt-free eating lots of veggies, fruits and healthy fats!

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