Light up the grill

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  • Try something different, like pizza, on the barbecue this summer.

    Try something different, like pizza, on the barbecue this summer.

Summertime is meant for camping, (safe) sun worshipping, water sports and getting together with friends and family to enjoy all of the above. And nothing brings people together like a good barbecue. But when everyone else is going for seconds, it’s really easy to overindulge. Instead of worrying about having a second burger or drooling over a third hot dog, pile your plate high with delicious, healthy grilled food you can feel good about.

Grilled chicken with a chili-lime rub

You will need…

3 tablespoons chili powder

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons freshly grated lime zest

3 tablespoons lime juice

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

A pinch of ground cinnamon

4 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine the chili powder and oil in a small bowl with lime zest and juice, garlic, coriander, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper and cinnamon to form a wet paste. Generously smear the paste over each piece, place in a nonreactive baking dish (like stainless steel, enamel-coated or glass), cover and refrigerate overnight or for 24 hours.

Preheat grill to medium-high (or build a medium-high heat fire on one side of a charcoal grill). Leave the spice rub on the chicken and place it on the grill. Cook about 5 to 10 minutes per side, until a golden brown with char lines.

Grilled summer vegetables

Potato and macaroni salads are usual fare for a perfect party spread, but the healthy route calls for grilled summer vegetables.

You will need...

4 or 5 large peppers red, green, yellow, orange, and sweet

2 or 3 large zucchini

1 large eggplant

1 large red onion

1 bulb garlic

Olive oil, salt, black pepper, chipotle pepper to taste

Cut the vegetables into 1 ½ inch chunks, combine in a large bowl. Add olive oil, salt, black pepper, and chipotle pepper powder to taste. Shake to ensure even coverage. (You can prepare this the night or day before, cover, and store in the fridge until ready to cook).

Preheat your grill and cover your grate with foil, poking a few holes in it with a fork. Place the vegetables in a layer on the foil. Break up the garlic bulb and place full cloves on the grate with the vegetables. Close the grill and cook for 5 to 10 minutes. Turn vegetables and close lid for another 5 to 10 minutes, until vegetables brown and char on the edges.

Grilled pizza

Finger foods aren’t limited to chicken wings and sausages, and what’s more fun to snack on than pizza?

You will need...

Pizza dough (premade or homemade)

Olive oil

Your favourite toppings

Flour or corn meal for dusting the cookie sheet or pizza peel

Prepare your grill for high, direct heat, and a small bowl with olive oil for greasing the grill and brushing the pizza. Get your toppings ready and keep them handy.

Shape your dough into a round, about 12 inches in diameter, but do not make a raised rim it will interfere with the grilling process.

When the grill is hot, dip a tightly folded paper towel in the olive oil and use tongs to wipe the grates. Then, place the dough round onto a lightly floured (or you can use cornmeal) rimless cookie sheet (or peel). Let the dough slide off the cookie sheet onto the hot grill grates. Close the lid and let cook for 2 minutes.

After 2 minutes, check the underside of the dough is browning. Rotate with a spatula or tongs to ensure even browning. The dough is cooking when it starts bubbling up with air pockets.

Once it is browned lightly on one side, use the cookie sheet or pizza peel to remove it from the grill. Flip it over with your spatula to brown the other side. Keep the grill covered so it retains heat for the next step.

Paint the grilled surface of the pizza with a little olive oil, then cover with one ladle of sauce (any more and you will get a soggy pizza). Sprinkle on your toppings (finishing with the cheese). Again, go light with the toppings or else you’ll end up with a heavy, soggy pizza.

Return the pizza to the grill. If you are using a gas grill, reduce the heat. If you are working with charcoal, close the vents almost all the way. Let the pizza cook for another 2 or 3 minutes or until the bottom begins to the char and the cheese is bubbly. Remove from the grate with a spatula onto a cutting board or flat surface and let cool a few minutes before slicing and serving.

Grilled pineapple

Try a healthy option for dessert.

You will need...

A fresh pineapple that has been peeled, cored, and cut into approximately one-inch rings.

¼ teaspoon of honey

3 tablespoons melted butter

1 dash hot pepper sauce

Salt (to taste)

Place the pineapple in a large, resealable plastic bag and add the honey, butter, hot pepper sauce, and salt. Seal the bag and shake it to coat the slices evenly. Marinate for at least 30 minutes (or, preferably, overnight).

Preheat your grill for high heat and lightly oil the grate.

Grill the pineapple for two to three minutes per side, or until heated through and golden grill marks appear.

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Published Apr 26, 2012 at 10:19 am (Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 10:17 am)

Light up the grill

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