Let's Cook!

     The summertime always conjures up images of barbecues, fresh lemonade, salads and let's not forget, a great blueberry pie.  Grilling is also one of those classic summertime activities. Anything grilled has a wonderful smoky flavor to it. While over the years grilling has received somewhat of a reputation, it doesn't mean we can never have grilled foods again. There are many ways to reduce the negative risks associated with grilling, and still enjoy a great outdoor barbecue.

Here are some great tips we found on http://www.cookinglight.com

Marinate Your Meat

Marinating meat helps to reduce carcinogens. Kansas State University researchers marinated steaks in three different mixtures of oil, vinegar, herbs and spices in order to observe the risks and benefits of doing so. After grilling, carcinogens in the marinated steaks were cut by 57 to 88 percent. Dozens of studies confirm the effect. The reason it works is not so clear: The marinade may create a protective barrier between the meat's proteins and the heat of the grill. Or, the antioxidants in the marinade may combat the carcinogens head-on.

Ban Flare Ups 

When you cook a fatty piece of meat, the fat that drips onto the flames creates smoke that may contain the much talked about carcinogens. If you grill lean meats, poultry, and fish, you'll have less fat, which means less smoke, which means less of the bad stuff. Veggies and fruits, such as peaches and pineapples also make a great addition to the grill. Also try adding toppings like avocado or mushrooms to your burger.

 The Shorter the Cook Time, The Better

The faster foods are cooked, the less likely they'll develop dangerous charring. Don't cook meat past their goal temperature: 165 degrees. For ground poultry: 160 degrees. For ground red meats, mixtures, and fresh pork: 145 degrees.

Here are a few great summer recipes to accompany the main (meat) dish:

Ellie Krieger's Pesto Potato Salad:

Ellie Krieger's recipe substitutes basil pesto for mayo. I've tried this recipe and it is loaded with flavor.

Basil Pesto: 

1/4 cup pine nuts 

1 clove garlic 

3 cups fresh basil leaves, loosely packed 

1/4 cup grated Parmesan 

1 tablespoon lemon juice 

1/4 cup olive oil 

Salt and pepper 

Add Checked Items To Grocery List 


Toast the pine nuts in a dry pan over a medium heat until fragrant and golden brown, stirring frequently, about 3 minutes. In a food processor, process the pine nuts and the garlic until minced. Add the basil, Parmesan cheese and lemon juice and process until finely minced. With processor on, slowly pour the oil down the food chute. Process until well blended. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Note: This recipe leaves you with extra pesto. I like to freeze leftovers in an ice cube tray. Yield: 3/4 cup

Potato Salad:

1 1/2 pounds small red potatoes

1 yellow pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1 red pepper, cored, seeded and coarsely chopped (about 3/4 cup)

1/3 cup Basil Pesto, recipe follows

Salt and pepper


Put the potatoes in a large steamer basket over boiling water and steam for 20 minutes, or until they are cooked though, but the skins remain intact. Set them aside until they are cool enough to handle. Quarter the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the peppers and the pesto and toss gently to combine. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and chill.

2005, Ellie Krieger, All Rights Reserved


     Just like the Holiday season, the summer time can often make it difficult to make and choose foods that are healthy and delicious. We hope these small tips can make your cookout and celebrations happy and healthy.


Thank you so much for joining us today! 

Stop by Thursday for our next blog post


Quote to take with you for the week:

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 

-F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby






Gail KhanComment