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Tag Archives: BBQ

Grilled Peach and Prosciutto Salad with Creamy BBQ Dressing

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There’s a little angel who lives on one of my shoulders, whispering, Be a good girl, Amy. Eat the apple instead of the brownie. Put down that fifth glass of wine. Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels. 

There’s a little devil on the other shoulder. He woos me with sexy little suggestions like, Come on, Amy…life’s too short to not enjoy delicious food. You’re not that much overweight. That chocolate will taste even better than skinny will feel. And wine is good for you…scientists say so. Trust me. Trust me. 

I was never ‘overweight’ until I had my babies. As a child, I was one of those featherweight gals who could scarf down remarkable quantities of lemon Italian ices, yodels, and meatball subs without a care. My hunger was infinite. In high school, I gained height without weight and bordered on scrawny. I sobbed like there was no tomorrow over my flat-chested fate. In college, I quickly gained the freshman fifteen (or twenty) on a diet of pizza, beer and Lucky Charms. It filled me out and gave me the curves I’d craved so badly in my youth. I slimmed down by the end of my college days. From there on out, I maintained a healthy weight, with barely an effort. I haven’t been ‘skinny’ since my high school days. But I was healthy and trim.

And then I had my boys. I gained a little more than I should have with each pregnancy. I lost most of the weight between pregnancies with a bit of discipline, but still started each pregnancy five pounds heavier than the one before. And now, here I sit, over a year after the birth of my third son, still struggling to get my weight down. It’s been harder this time. I’m not that far out of a healthy weight range for my height, but those pounds make a difference.

I started this year pumped full of motivation to lose the baby weight, just like millions of others who make grand new year resolutions and swear they’ll stick with them. I actually had a really successful start and quickly lost 15 or so pounds early in the year. And then I got lax and the number on the scale started creeping up again. I’ve been playing the yo-yo game ever since. Lose a few, gain a few, lose a few, gain a few. Lather, rinse and repeat. It would be so much easier if I didn’t love food so darn much!

The funny thing about those little guys on my shoulders is that, in my mind, the angel is blissfully plump. The devil is thin and decrepit. I secretly think that the angel wants me to enjoy the chocolate. He wants me to enjoy the beautiful world of delicious food…just in moderation, of course.

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of drool-worthy food out there which can still be enjoyed within the framework of wanting to shed a few pounds. And there’s no better time than the summer, when produce is at its peak and the hot weather naturally inclines us to eat lighter, to achieve those healthful goals. Take advantage of the season’s bounty to enjoy fresh salads full of vibrant summer flavors, like this grilled peach and prosciutto salad in a creamy barbecue-inspired dressing. Ripe peaches, at their summer best, get grilled to bring out even more of their natural sweetness. Combine that with crisp red onion slices, savory prosciutto, and salty gorgonzola, drizzled with a slightly-spicy BBQ dressing, and you’ll be singing summer’s praises.

Grilled Peach and Prosciutto Salad with Creamy BBQ Dressing

Ingredients

  • 3 peaches, sliced
  • 8 slices prosciutto, chopped
  • 1/2 red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 8 cups mixed spring greens
  • 3/4 cup gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • Vegetable oil, for rubbing the grill

For the Creamy BBQ Dressing:

  • 1/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mayonaisse
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Directions

Wipe your grill with a bit of vegetable oil to help prevent sticking. Preheat the grill at medium heat. Place the peach slices on the preheated grill and cook for a couple minutes on each side, until tender. (The peaches can be used hot off the grill or chilled.)

To prepare the dressing, stir the ketchup, mayo, brown sugar, mustard, worcestershire sauce, vinegar, onion powder, and cayenne pepper together until smooth. Refrigerate until using.

To assemble the salad, place about 2 cups of the spring greens on each plate. Scatter the onion slices over the greens. Arrange the peaches in the center. Top with the prosciutto and gorgonzola. Drizzle with the dressing.

Makes 4 Entree-Sized Salads

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Grilled Honey Garlic Baby Lamb Chops

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It’s grilling season. Even my four year old seems to sense it. He awoke on Saturday morning with his mind set on grilling hot dogs. It was undoubtedly a perfect weekend for grilling, but I’m not much of a hot dog eater…unless, of course, it’s a Nathan’s hot dog and I’m sitting at a Yankees game with a beer in my other hand. I suggested that we grill steaks instead. But his heart was set on hot dogs. I know, Mommy, he said, always ready with a solution. Hot dogs are for the ‘mans’ and steaks are for the ladies! I like the way this kid thinks! We agreed to grill that evening.

What we would grill quickly changed once I’d arrived at the grocery store. As I stood staring at the wide selection of succulent steaks, I was seduced by a rack of lamb. It whispered to me, just as I was examining the ribeyes. Before I knew it, I was stepping away from the steaks and placing a rack of lamb into my cart. Buh-bye, ribeyes. Hello, lamb.

Lamb chops gave me the perfect opportunity to try out an idea I’d mentally bookmarked. One of our local pizza joints serves the most delicious char-grilled wings. They offer them in a number of tasty varieties, including Buffalo hot, volcanic, mild, barbecue, teriyaki and rosemary parmesan. But, the honey garlic wings are easily my favorite. There’s something about the way that honey caramelizes on the grill which makes my mouth water. It’s char-grilled magic. I’ve been itching to throw something on the grill, slathered with a honey garlic sauce. Grilled baby lamb chops were my perfect opportunity! This preparation would also be delicious on grilled chicken or pork.

Grilled Honey Garlic Baby Lamb Chops

Ingredients

  • 8 baby lamb chops, bones frenched*
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
*One side of a rack of lamb is made up of 8 lamb ribs. Simply cut between the bones to get 8 lamb chops.

Directions

Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for about 3 minutes. Turn the heat to low. Add the soy sauce, honey, parsley, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine. Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes. Set aside to cool.

Trim the lamb of any excess fat or silver skin. Sprinkle each lamb chop with a bit of salt. Divide the sauce into two portions. Set one half aside at room temperature. Use the other half of the sauce to brush one side of each chop. Refrigerate the chops for about an hour.

Heat the grill to medium-high heat. Rub the grill with olive oil to prevent sticking. Place the lamb chops on the grill, brushed side down. Cook for 2-4 minutes. While cooking, brush the other side with the remaining half of the honey-garlic sauce. Then, flip the lamb chops and cook for another 2-4 minutes, until they’ve reached an internal temperature of at least 145 degrees. They will cook quickly, so don’t wander too far from the grill.

Serves 2

Baked Potato Salad

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I’ve mentioned my aversion to mayonnaise before. I have no good explanation for it. I think it’s something about the slimy texture. Maybe it’s the smell. It’s hard to say. I don’t avoid it completely, but I use it judiciously and when I do use it, it absolutely has to be Hellman’s. You’re welcome for the free endorsement, Hellman’s. Traditional summer salads pose an issue for me, since so many are laden with mayonnaise. Add that to my paranoia about food safety and refrigeration and my heart starts to race. I panic a bit during summer parties when presented with salad upon gloppy, mayonnaisey salad. Did they use Hellman’s?? How long has it been sitting out?? Is there anything else to eat?? My brother-in-law is as disturbed by mustard as I am by mayonnaise. Strange. I mean, what’s so gross about mustard?? But then again, I’m the one who just wrote a paragraph on my feelings about mayonnaise. So, I suppose that I am clearly the weirdo amongst us.

My distaste for mayonnaise is what brings us to today’s recipe; a non-mayonnaise alternative to potato salad which will delight your taste buds. It’s a potato salad inspired by a loaded baked potato. Think fork-tender chunks of red potato, blended together with sour cream, cheddar cheese, bits of bacon, and chopped green onions. Not a glop of mayonnaise in sight!

Baked Potato Salad

Ingredients

  • 3 pounds Red Potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1 cup Sour Cream
  • 1 cup Bacon, crumbled
  • 1 cup Green Onions, chopped
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, shredded
  • 1 Tbsp Mustard
  • Salt and Pepper

Directions

Place chopped potatoes in a pot. Fill the pot with water until it just covers the potatoes. Add a bit of salt to the water. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 8-10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain in a colander. Rinse with cold water in order to stop the cooking and slightly cool the potatoes. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes with the sour cream, mustard, cheese, bacon and onions. Season with salt and lots of coarse-ground black pepper. Refrigerate until completely cooled. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

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