What's better on a fun summer day than enjoying a cold drink and the sound of dinner sizzling on the grill! Celebrate your independence this 4th of July with a simple and delicious grilled steak served with a side of amazing grilled sweet potato salad! Complete your celebration with a sweet and delightful red, white and blueberry dessert!
Grilling is a safe and healthy cooking method; just avoid burning foods. Charring or burning food can create some potentially harmful substances (known at Heterocyclic amines or HCA's) – here's a few ways to minimize HCA's:
1. Don't allow foods to burn - keep flames under control with a water bottle or move food to a cooler spot.
2. Foods high in fat and sugar burn faster - trim excess fat from meats, and add sweet sauces only in the last five minutes of grilling (reducing heat to low).
3. Olive or Avocado oil and citrus juices can reduce the production of HCA's by as much as 95% - so add lemon or orange juice to your marinades and lightly brush foods with avocado or olive oil to keep from sticking.
4. Make cooking veggies easier - cut them into large pieces, or use a vegetable basket or screen.
Seasoned Just Right! Grilled Sirloin Steak
3 Tablespoons Savory Dry Rub -- Use your favorite brand, or mix your own (store leftover rub in a sealed container or zip-lock bag):
1/3 cup True Goodness® by Meijer Organic Paprika
1/4 cup McCormick® black pepper
1 1/2 Tablespoons Salt
1 Tablespoon True Goodness® by Meijer Organic Brown Sugar
2 teaspoons True Goodness® by Meijer Organic garlic powder
2 teaspoons True Goodness® by Meijer Organic onion powder
2 teaspoons True Goodness® by Meijer Organic cayenne pepper
1. Preheat grill until very hot (about 500 - 550°F).
2. Season steaks with dry rub, massaging into meat.
3. Place steaks on preheated grill – they should sizzle.
4. After a couple minutes, once juices begin to rise to the surface, use tongs to flip steaks over.
5. Continue grilling steaks to desired doneness, using an instant-read thermometer
6. Remove steaks from grill onto clean plate and allow to rest approximately 5 minutes for juices to set.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 217 Calories, 8.5g Fat, 3g Saturated Fat, 107 mg Cholesterol, 292 mg Sodium, 1g Carbohydrate, 0g Fiber, 34g Protein, (1g Sugar)
Source: Meijer.com, Meat
Serve with: Grilled Sweet Potato Salad and fresh steamed green beans
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad with Hot Bacon Dressing, Blue Cheese & Pecans
For Hot Bacon Dressing
3-4 slices center-cut bacon
2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon True Goodness® by Meijer Organic Dijon mustard
3 tablespoons True Goodness® by Meijer Organic extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon bacon grease, warm
Sea salt, to taste
McCormick® ground black pepper, to taste
For Sweet Potato Salad
2-1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch rounds
Sea salt, to taste
McCormick® ground black pepper
2/3 cup sliced scallions (about 10-12 scallions)
1/3 cup sundried tomatoes packed in oil and cut into strips
1/3 cup True Goodness® by Meijer toasted pecans
1/3 cup True Goodness® by Meijer Organic blue cheese crumbles
To make the dressing:
1. Cook bacon until crispy; drain and reserve grease. Crumble bacon and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together vinegar and mustard; slowly whisk in olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the reserved bacon grease until dressing is emulsified. Season with pepper and salt (if desired). Cover to keep warm.
1. Pre-heat grill to medium heat. Put the potatoes in a resealable plastic bag, add the oil and massage to coat all surfaces. Lightly season with salt.
2. Place sweet potato rounds directly on the cooking grate (or in grilling basket) over direct heat; grill until well-marked, about 3 minutes on each side.
3. Move to indirect heat. Finish cooking, turning halfway through, until soft and tender, 20-30 minutes.
4. Remove from grill. Immediately cut into quarters and remove to a large bowl.
To make the salad:
1. To sweet potatoes, add 2 tablespoons of the dressing; toss until just coasted. Add reserved bacon, scallions, sundried tomatoes, pecans and blue cheese.
2. Drizzle a little more dressing and toss to coat. Season to taste. Serve immediately or at room temperature.
Oven method for sweet potatoes: Preheat oven to 400°F. On a rack fitted into a baking sheet, place sweet potato rounds and season with salt. Bake until tender and browned around the edges, about 30 minutes. Immediately cut into quarters and remove to a large bowl.
Nutrition Information (per serving): 295 Calories, 15g Fat, 3g Saturated Fat, 11mg Cholesterol, 528 mg Sodium, 34g Carbohydrate, 6g Fiber, 7g Protein, (7g Sugar)
Recipe Adapted from: http://www.ncsweetpotatoes.com, North Carolina Sweet Potato Commission, by Elizabeth Karmel for the NCSPC.
Patriotic Blueberry Tart
1 frozen puff pastry sheet
2 cups fresh blueberries
3 tablespoons True Goodness® by Meijer Organic cane sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon milk
True Goodness® by Meijer organic nonstick cooking spray
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
1. Thaw puff pastry at room temperature for at least 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a large bowl, toss blueberries with sugar and cornstarch.
3. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray. Unfold pastry and place on baking sheet.
4. Mound blueberries in center, leaving a 1-½-inch border.
5. Drape pastry over blueberries and press pleats firmly together. Brush pastry boarder with milk and sprinkle lightly with cinnamon sugar.
6. Bake in the bottom third of oven until crust is golden, about 30 minutes. Cool on a rack.
7. Top with whipped cream and sliced strawberries just before serving.
Recipe Adapted from: U.S. Highbush Blueberry Council, www.blueberrycouncil.org
Pink Blueberry Lemonade
Make 1 Quart
1⁄3 cup sugar
1 ¼ cups fresh blueberries, divided
1⁄3 cup lemon juice
1. In 1 quart glass microwave safe container, combine sugar, 2 Tbsp. of the blueberries and 1/2 cup water.
2. Microwave on high until hot, about 1 minute; stir until sugar dissolves.
3. Add lemon juice and enough water to make 1 quart. Chill.
4. Fill tall glasses with Blueberry* ice cubes, add chilled blueberry mixture and remaining berries, dividing equally.
5. Garnish with lemon slices if desired.
*Blueberry Ice Cubes Instructions: Place 3 berries in each of 12 ice cube cups of ice tray. Fill with water and freeze.