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HOT coals!

So it’s week two of eating healthy and this week, I had a boy to please as well. Also, without really realizing it, I selected three delicious recipes that all use a grill. Too bad it’s a heat wave, but we just waited until a little later in the night to start, and everything was peachy.

All of these recipes are great as alternatives to the usual hamburgers and brats—it was healthier, delicious, and definitely a change of pace from the traditional chicken breast recipe I’ve made in the past. Below you will find recipes for Teriyaki Chicken (my mother’s recipe), a Grilled Pork Tenderloin (with cherry salsa), and a Yogurt Marinated, Indian Spiced Chicken Beast.

But I’d have to give my ‘best of the week’ recommendation in a tie to two SIDE dishes I made: the Walnut Basil Pesto on Squash and the Parmesan Peppers. Both used the grill, and were new and exciting flavors I hadn’t tried before. Make both of those immediately.

Grill Night # 1:
Basic, Can’t-Fail Chicken Breast

Teriyaki Chicken (courtesy my mother)
*2 hour minimum marinating time required*

  • 6-10 Chicken Thighs (we used breasts)
  • 1 c. soy sauce
  • 1 c. sake (or crisp white wine as a substitute, I used a Viognier)
  • 1/3 c. brown sugar
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. powdered ginger (I used fresh, grated—I would highly recommend the upgrade)
  1. Combine all the marinade ingredients in a sauce pan, and cook until sugar melts. Pour on top of chicken and marinate overnight, or at least 2-3 hours.
  2. Broil in oven, or over the grill. Turn chicken once, after around 10 minutes. Cook until done (20-25 minutes).

served with
Grilled Squash with Walnut Parsley Pesto (Everyday Food)

  • 1 cup tightly packed, fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/3 cup chopped toasted walnuts
  • 1 small garlic clove, smashed and peeled
  • 1/4 c. Parmesan cheese, finely grated
  • 1/4 t. finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 T. fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 c. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 2 yellow squash, quartered lengthwise and seasoned with salt and pepper
  1. Preheat Grill.
  2. Using a food processor, pulse pesto ingredients (everything except squash and olive oil) for 10 seconds. Then, with the machine running, slowly add the olive oil in a slow, steady stream until a paste forms.  Season with salt/pepper and transfer to a small bowl.
  3. Grill Squash, turning occasionally, until lightly charred and tender. (About 10 minutes)
Grill Night #2:
Pork, The Other Grill Meat
Parmesan Peppers in the back stole the show

Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Cherry Salsa
(Bon Appetit June)

*15 minute marinating time, although overnight is preferred*

  • 1 c. coarsly chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1/2 c. minced shallots, divided
  • 6 T. fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1/4 c. vegetable oil
  • 2 pork tenderloins, about 2.5 lbs (one could feed 3-4 people)
  • 1/2 lb. fresh cherries, stemmed, pitted, halved
  • 1 fresh Fresno chilie, red jalepeno, or Holland–thinly sliced crosswise. (I used a green jalapeno)
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  •  Salt/Pepper
  1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Combine half the cilantro, half the shallots, 4 T. lime juice, and vegetable oil in a resealable plastic bag. Add pork, and seal. Turn to coat, and marinate at room temperature for 15 minutes, turning occasionally.
  3. Combine the rest of the shallots, cilantro, lime juice, cherries, chile, and olive oil in a bowl and set aside.
  4. Remove tenderloin from marinade and season generously with salt/pepper. Grill, turning frequently, until meat registers 145 degrees (about 15 minutes). Let rest for 10 minutes. Cut into slices and serve with salsa.

I had made a similar recipe before, but while the cherry salsa stands out, the pork wasn’t anything special. This time around, grilled, the pork held its own. Plus—we used the second tenderloin the next night for Taco Meat. THAT was another tasty meal that allowed me to indulge in dairy without also worrying about greasy meat. Just shred and reheat the meat.

served with
Parmesan Peppers
(Bon Appetit June)

  • 4 bell peppers
  • 1 clove, thinly sliced garlic
  • 8 thyme sprigs
  • 1 T. extra virgin olive oil
  • salt/pepper
  • 1/4 c. grated Parmesan
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced (optional)
  1. Stem, corn, and quarter the peppers and toss with all remaining ingredients except cheese. Place on baking sheet and roast at 425 degrees until softened (or use the grill). Top with cheese, and broil until cheese melts and peppers are slightly charred. Juice lemon over peppers, if desired.

Grill Night # 3: Exotic Chicken
I say exotic because the kitchen smelled like Indian food all night, but this recipe was just as easy to make as the Teriyaki Chicken on night one–make whichever one sounds fantastic for the moment! This one was slightly jucier, and had those fantastic ginger/garam marsala spice notes to it.

Yogurt Marinated Grilled Chicken (Bon Appetit)

  • 8 skinless, boneless chicken breasts
  • 2 cups plain whole-milk yogurt (I used Greek)
  • 1 cup coarsley chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
  • 1/2 large onion, coarsley chopped
  • 1/3 c. olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 6 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  • 1 T. fresh lime juice
  • 1 T. garam marsala
  • 2 t. salt
  • 1 t. pepper
  • 1 2″ piece of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
  1. Pound each breast of chicken between two sheets of waxed paper until they are an even 1/2″ thick. Transfer to resealable plastic bag.
  2. Combine the remaining ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Pour yogurt mixture over chicken and marinate at least 3 hours, or overnight.
  3. Build a medium fire, brush grill with oil (this meat stuck to an un-oiled grill, so I’d recommend). Scrape excess marinate off chicken and season with salt. Grill chicken, turning once, until browned and cooked through. (The recipe says 3-4 minutes, but ours needed at least 8-10 per side).