by: Leanne Ely
One of my favorite things to use during the grilling months is marinade! Or mare-in-nod, as Martha enunciates it. Marinades are an easy way to a fabulous dinner and require very little work. They do need time to work their magic, however, but it is easy to do when you’ve worked this easy step into your morning routine.
Here’s the no-fuss, no-muss way I do it. First of all, I use those big zipper-topped plastic bags from start to finish, no matter what the recipe says — that way, there’s virtually no cleanup, and when you’re done, you pour out the remaining marinade (IMPORTANT: This stuff is a germ fest!) and toss the bag (don’t get frugal and wash it — if it had meat in it, it’s virtually impossible to get it clean enough. Out it needs to go!).
To make marvelous marinade you need these three things: an acid (like lemon or vinegar) some flavor (garlic, herbs and spices) and a little oil (I like olive oil). The world is your oyster when you keep these components in mind. You can make your own marinades out of what you have on hand. They’re very forgiving concoctions, too — no need to measure and worry over getting it “just so.”
And here’s something I just learned about this delicious way of grilling. Marinating your meat before grilling is safer than just throwing your chicken or meat on the grill. I am sure you have heard about the dangers of grilling and carcinogenic dangers lurking on the barbecue. Well, recent studies have shown that carcinogens are significantly reduced in grilling when the meat has been marinated. The reason? Could be the antioxidant-rich marinade is full of phytochemicals — those naturally occurring substances that fight cancer. Researchers aren’t entirely sure, but they do know that marinades do work for reducing carcinogens.
Here’s a classic I love to use on chicken, salmon, beef, pork, or even lamb! Super versatile marinade:
Rosemary Balsamic Marinade
1/2 cup olive oil
1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon raw honey
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 teaspoon dried rosemary (or two teaspoons fresh)
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
In a medium bowl, whisk together all ingredients and add whichever meat you want to the mix for at least 1-2 hours or overnight!