Top Tips for Grilled Veggies and Fruits

Top Tips for Grilled Veggies and Fruits

By: Leanne Ely

 

I shared some tips with you a couple weeks ago about grilling meats but there’s more to summer barbecue season than burgers and steaks!
grilling asparagus
Why turn on the stove to cook your veggies when you have a perfectly good hot grill already prepped? Never mind the fact that grilled veggies and fruits taste like something out of Heaven — if you know how to cook them properly!

Here are some of my best produce grilling tips:

Don’t use your veggie peeler. Don’t peel your vegetables before you grill them. Another reason why you need to buy organic produce! You’ll lose the nutrients and much of the flavor if you peel your veggies before they hit the grill. You’ll also get a smokier flavor if you leave the peels on. Remember the clean fifteen list and the dirty dozen when you’re trying to decide where to invest in organic produce.

Precook. Some hardier veggies need a bit of precooking to shorten the time they must spend on the grill. These types of vegetables would include: asparagus, broccoli, beets, artichokes, parsnips, carrots, winter squash and potatoes. Steam them or blanch them until they are only slightly tender, then pat them dry and cook them on the grill. That extra step will make sure the outside and inside of those sturdy veggies are cooked evenly. Vegetables like peppers, onions, eggplant, fennel, tomatoes and summer squash can be grilled raw.

Oil them. Rub a tiny little bit of olive oil (not extra virgin) or coconut oil on your veggies before you grill them. This will help prevent them from sticking to the grill, and it will also help keep them from drying out. Just a little bit because if there’s oil dripping from the food, you’ll experience flare ups.

Soak your fruits. Before grilling fruits, try drizzling them with honey or maple syrup, or soaking them in liquor. Talk about a flavor burst! Especially if you’ll be serving grilled pineapple or pears for dessert. Yes you can grill pears! You can also grill apples, watermelon and peaches. Reach for fruit that is firm and just barely ripe for your best options in fruit grilling.

Indirect heat. When grilling fruits and veggies, you want moderately hot coals or indirect heat. You may need to move them around throughout the cooking process to make sure they cook evenly.

Stick it to them. Skewers are great tools for grilling veggies. It’s tempting to make beautiful kabobs out of meat and veggies but if you want to ensure even cooking, skewer all the same type of veggie per skewer. Cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, chunks of onion and pineapple are all wonderful cooked on skewers.

Use packets. Some veggies don’t lend themselves well to skewers or grill baskets. Peas, beans, sliced peppers, etc. For these lovely foods, try making a packet out of tin foil and cook them that way. This is also a good way to cook potatoes, or to cook other veggies with a sauce or topping of some sort.

There you have it.

Have I missed anything? Do you have anything to add?

It’s not easy being green (Kermit the Frog)

It’s not easy being green (Kermit the Frog)

By: Leanne Ely

 

It’s not easy being greens. So packed with goodness and fiber, yet so many people just push them around the plate without any respect for the nutrition in their pretty green leaves.Mixed Salad Greens over white

If you want to get the nutrients you need in your system, you have to get good and comfortable with eating greens. And since today’s produce is so deficient in many vitamins and nutrients, you have to eat as many greens as you can manage.

From late March through early May, there’s a wide variety of spring greens to enjoy, including:

•    kale
•    spinach
•    baby lettuces
•    arugula
•    dandelion greens

Salad greens are chock full of phytonutrients, anti-inflammatory properties and antioxidants.

Eating spring greens provides you with many nutrients and minerals including:

• vitamins A, C, E and K
• calcium
• iron
• fiber
• magnesium
• phosphorus
• potassium

Greens can protect the body against diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and hypertension. Greens can help your cells repair themselves and they can help detoxify the body. Eat a wide range of greens and eat them often, but always choose organic. Lettuce and kale are both on the Dirty Dozen list because of the high amounts of pesticide residue that have been found on them. If you can’t find organic greens, choose a different green veggie.

When it comes to choosing which types of greens to use in your salads, you really can’t go wrong. Experiment with different varieties until you find one you like best. I love putting fresh dill in with my blend of spring greens. Gives them a nice fresh flavor.

And when it comes to dressings, don’t toss your money away on the store bought stuff. Simply top your greens with a splash of extra virgin olive oil and some balsamic vinegar. Perfect.

Dinner Answer gives you great opportunity to use greens deliciously! Click here for details!

What Is Ghee and How Do You Use It?

What Is Ghee and How Do You Use It?

By: Leanne Ely

One question that I get all the time is “what is ghee and how do you use it?” People also ask me “what’s the difference between ghee and butter?”  Well, what I’m holding in my hands in the video above are two grass-fed products which is very, very important.  This is how you’re going to have access to all the fine stuff that’s available.  Butyrate is what’s in butter and butyrate is known to help brain function.  How do you like that?  It’s a good fat.  It’s not a bad fat like margarine.  Let me just say that right from the top.  Don’t ever eat margarine.

The other thing I say is make sure on your grass-fed butter, like Kerrygold which is a fabulous brand, that you go with the unsalted kind.  I’m holding the salted right now and it’s okay, it’s fantastic but mostly, 90% of the time, I use unsalted butter. The reason being is that I like to control how much salt I’m adding and what kind of salt I’m adding.  So, go with an unsalted brand of grass-fed butter. Kerrygold is one of the best and you can find it everywhere.  This one came from Costco.

The other thing I’m holding is ghee.  What is ghee?  Ghee is basically clarified butter.  Ghee is the Indian term for clarified butter and what has happened in a ghee is that it has been melted on a low heat very slowly and the dairy. The milk solids have been taken off, most notably is the casein and most people who have real serious dairy allergies are allergic to the casein.  So, when you have this, you’ve just basically got butter oil and believe it or not, the smoke point for ghee is higher than the smoke point for coconut oil.  400 degrees is the smoke point for ghee so you can do some high-heat cooking from that as opposed to butter which is about 275.

So, if you’re going to be doing some sautéing, my suggestion is that you get ghee and use that in lieu of using butter.  It has that buttery taste but none of the burn factor. And just remember, any time that you see your butter smoking or any other oil smoking on the stove, you’ve just taken a good fat and turned it into a trans fat and you need to dump it and start over.

Anyway, there’s all of your answers to the difference between ghee and butter.

 

How to Make Greek Yogurt

How to Make Greek Yogurt

By: Leanne Ely


So guess what? In today’s video we’re going to make Greek yogurt. I know this might seem like I would be a hard thing to make, but it’s not! Greek yogurt is basically plain yogurt with a lot of the whey taken out of it.

Watch the video above and I will show you how to make it! In this video you will need:

  • plain yogurt (from the grocery store)
  • a bowl
  • a strainer
  • a coffee filter

So, the next time you’re in the store and you’re looking at yogurt thinking, “Gosh! That Greek yogurt is so expensive but that’s the one I want!” just buy the plain yogurt and make it Greek yourself! Just overnight in your refrigerator and you have it!

Bite into the benefits of the “new” red meat

Bite into the benefits of the “new” red meat

By: Leanne Ely

 

It’s funny how suddenly people are wild about bison. But, once upon a time, these animals were a major source of protein and nutrients in North America. Bison isn’t new by any means, but it is certainly enjoying a new popularity! If you’re searching for a different red meat to add to your repertoire, keep your eye out for bison.

Bison meat is deliciously rich in flavor. It’s slightly sweeter than beef, and bison is actually more nutritious than beef, too, though I wouldn’t be caught without a freezer full of grass- fed beef, thank you cattle farmers 🙂

Bison is lower in calories, saturated fat and cholesterol than beef, and it’s high in protein, Vitamin B-12, iron, niacin, Vitamin B6, selenium, fiber and zinc. Another wonderful thing about bison is that the animals are not fed antibiotics and hormones, as cattle tend to be.

As you can imagine, bison meat is not nearly as plentiful as beef is, and, as a result, it’s pricier than beef. But if you have the means, I would recommend sourcing some bison meat and adding it to your menus once in awhile for a treat to your health and your taste buds. If you don’t have a bison farmer in your neighborhood, you can source the meat online.

When you get your bison meat home, you want to cook it low and slow. Because bison is a very lean meat, it can turn out tough, so cook it to ten degrees LOWER than your desired temperature. It will cook as it rests.

Speaking of bison, our 10-Day Paleo Blitz will be happening shortly so now is the time to get your Blitz on! Order today! Check out the details here!

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Turkey talk

Turkey talk

By: Leanne Ely

 

If you have a large family (or if you have teenagers in the house), roasting a turkey once a week is a great, inexpensive way to keep up with all those protein needs. That’s right . . . turkey does not have to be reserved for Thanksgiving!

Think a whole turkey exceeds your needs? Portion that sucker when you get it home! (There are a million articles on the Internet that will show you exactly how to do this.) Or, bring it to your local butcher to do the dirty work. Put the portions in freezer bags, and thaw as needed.

I always shop for organic, pasture-raised turkeys from a local farmer, and I recommend you do the same.

The reason I buy pasture-raised turkey goes beyond the fact that I like to be sure my food has been treated in a humane fashion, which I do. But, when a turkey has spent its days eating a natural diet of insects and fresh vegetation, its meat is healthier, with higher levels of omega-3s than its caged counterparts.

Now, speaking of nutrition, did you know that turkey has been linked to decreasing your risk of developing pancreatic cancer? (This only applies to turkey consumed after the skin has been removed.)

Turkey is also extremely high in protein with a four-ounce serving providing you with 30–35 grams of this essential nutrient.

Turkey is high in all of the B vitamins (including niacin), and it is also an excellent source of iron, folate, biotin, selenium, phosphorus, choline, pantothenic acid and zinc.

If you want to roast the perfect turkey, check out my famous YouTube video!)

Ground turkey is wonderful in place of ground beef for a change of pace in your meatballs, burgers, meatloaf or in your next pot of chili. Or use leftover diced turkey in a green salad. Add some cranberries and walnuts, and you have a taste of Thanksgiving anytime of year!

What’s your favorite way to use turkey in the kitchen?

Oh, before I forget, have you heard about the promo we have happening on our Menu Mailer this month? This is going to make your life SO much easier! Check out the details here!

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