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Tuesday, 08 July 2014 13:22

Raw Food Recipes and Cooking without a BBQ Grill?

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BBQ season is in full swing but what's up with 'Raw Food Recipes' and cooking this summer without a grill?

Even though it is high season for enjoying our favorite barbeque recipes let's not forget the many other options available for some really delightful menu options this season.

First up, raw foods....what is it and why is it such a good idea these days? This category of recipes is particularly at home now with the plethora of produce available in peak season. Well, this doesn't necessarily refer to the Paleo fad these days but rather, think of some traditional recipes that require little more than a sharp knife or a blender to make. Raw food recipes-think salsa, slaws, gazpacho and such. There are a ton of raw or uncooked menu ideas to include in your lunches, snacks and dinners this season. Let's explore a few of them for your summer enjoyment.

Tomato, red onion, cucumber, garlic and pepper with diced jalapeño and cilantro garnish. Just pulse in a blender and enjoy.
White Gazpacho
Almond Milk, green grapes, tomatillos, spicy pepper of your choice, cucumber with thinly sliced red onion and cilantro garnish. Again, just blend and serve chilled.
Pico de Gallo
Tomato, onion, jalapeño pepper, green onion and garlic-all diced, not blended and served over your favorite main course.
Firecracker Slaw
Napa Cabbage, red cabbage, red peppers, green peppers, cilantro, vinegar and sugar substitute, all sliced thinly and spiced as desired with your favorite hot sauce or spicy peppers.
Salsa Fresca
Tomato, tomatillo, onion, garlic, and jalapeño all pulsed in a blender or food processor until chunky but not liquefied. Include some tropical fruit, lime juice or vinegar, and cilantro to taste.
Chilled Strawberry Soup
Strawberries, watermelon, red grapes, ground cinnamon, mint and jalapeno-all blended smooth with a little crushed ice.
House-made Hot Sauce
Spicy peppers (jalapeño, habañero, etc.), cucumber, garlic, vinegar, tomato paste and sugar substitute- blend until smooth and thin with water as needed.
Red Pepper Dipping Sauce
A CMWM favorite! Roasted Red Pepper Puree - non fat plain Greek yogurt, and garlic all blended until smooth.

Now, what up with cooking without a grill? Just because we can barbeque this season doesn't necessarily mean that we have to. Let's not forget that we can still employ our trusty slow cooker, sauté pan, wok and oven to prepare our summertime favorite recipes. Here are but a few ideas we shouldn't forget this season that we enjoy without our trusty bbq grill.

Oven BBQ Chicken
No worries about blackening your chicken dinner if you bake your chicken lathered in barbeque sauce (unless you put it under a broiler and forget to keep a close watch on it).
Pan Seared London Broil
Seared tomatoes and Chimichuri- Sear your London Broil, well seasoned with your favorite dry rub or marinade, turn the heat down and toss in cherry tomatoes in the same pan when you turn the steak over to finish cooking it. Remove it from the pan, allow it to rest for a few minutes before slicing and serve it topped with CMWM's own Chimichuri sauce.
Bouillabaise with Basil
This is another CMWM favorite spin on a French classic dish. Sauté some garlic and onion briefly then toss in chunks of your favorite firm white fish (like halibut), add some mussels and clams, top with water just to barely cover then bring to a simmer. To finish add a little saffron (optional) and serve, sprinkled with shredded basil. Easy and delicious!
Pork Scaloppini with Onion and Plums
This is another from the archives of the CMWM recipe database. Thinly slice pork tenderloin and sauté with thinly sliced red onion and wedges of plums. The pan drippings and juice from the fruit make its own sauce. This couldn't be easier or quicker. Great summertime flavors in a pan!
Seared Steak in Lettuce Cups
On hot summer days sometimes a lite meal is so much better than heartier fare. Simply sear your favorite lean cut of meat (well seasoned of course), cook briefly then chop coarsely and combine with chopped tomato and cucumber and serve in butter lettuce cups (leaves). It's scrumptious, simple, fast and lite.
Broiled Salmon with Garlic, Maple and Bacon Bits
This is foolproof and oh so tasty. Simply sprinkle some of McCormick spice Smoked Maple seasoning over the surface of the salmon with a little garlic salt and broil away! If that seasoning spice is not available in your area, mix a few drops of Maple Extract with a few drops of liquid smoke together and brush on top your salmon steaks, sprinkle with garlic then broil away and be prepared for a simple but savory dinner. Sprinkle with a tiny bit of bacon bits (or make your own with lean turkey bacon chopped fine and broil with the fish) then serve.
Flounder in Paper
This is an old classic that has been enjoyed by my CMWM friends over and over. Just put a portion of flounder dead center on a large piece of parchment baking paper, sprinkle with your favorite Walden Farms salad dressing then top with thinly sliced onion, peppers, and other favorite vegetables. Finally, bring the edges of the parchment together and crimp together to form a neat little pouch. Just bake on a cooking sheet pan in a hot oven. When the paper starts to brown slightly, your meal is done! To serve, just slice your paper pouch open and enjoy the aroma and your meal 'en papiollote'.
Pan Seared Smoked Turkey Sausage with Peppers
This is also from the CMWM archived recipes that is so very versatile. Mix lean ground turkey breast with a little egg substitute (just to moisten) and season with salt and pepper, fennel seeds, garlic and a few drops of liquid smoke. Form into meatballs, patties or sausage shapes and sear in a non stick pan, add some sliced onion, sweet peppers and your favorite veggie and you've got a meal in a pan.
Cauliflower Polenta, Eggplant Marinara
Combine CMWM's own cauliflower 'rice' (preferably using yellow cauliflower) with a little cauliflower 'alfredo sauce', top with roasted eggplant (cut into large cubes) mixed with your favorite marinara sauce and you have a hearty vegetarian meal or savory side vegetable.
Napa Firecracker Slaw with Pulled Pork
Top this savory slaw (described above) with slow cooked, shredded pork for a quick summertime lunch idea. This lends itself to Asian flavors with addition of cilantro and hot chili peppers. It's a very tasty lite dinner idea.

Look forward to these and many more recipes spelled out in detail in the weekly blog, recipe of the week and monthly newsletter. If you make these on your own, don't forget to do your nutritional computations first! We don't want you to slip off plan as you experiment with fun recipes.

Until next time,

Bon Appetit!

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