Grilling is an all-year season.


On summer-like days I already have the grill in use.

It’s easy when the grill never gets put away.

If you’re enjoying an early warm-up you might have a hankering for a burger.

Better burger tips:

  1. Combine a can of black beans with half a chopped onion, a few spoonfulls of salsa, a quarter cup of bread crumbs, the juice of one lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Whirl through a food processor. Form into patties, grill or broil and serve on a bun topped with more salsa. Adverse to buns? Try a wedge of iceberg lettuce instead.
  2. Rub portabella caps with olive oil, salt, and pepper and grill until soft and lightly charred.
  3. Brush a turkey or beef burger with your favorite sauce a minute or two before it finishes cooking. Top with sharp cheddar, caramelized onions and bacon, for extra indulgence
  4. Breakfast burger: Mix ground turkey with chunks of apple, some maple syrup, and a pinch of cinnamon.
  5. Top a grilled beef burger with Swiss, a slice or two of ham, pickle slices, a good bit of Dijon. Cook the entire burger in a cast iron skillet, turning once, using a heavy pan to compress the burger, as if making a crispy panini.
  6. Fiesta burger: Grill beef or chicken patties for 4 minutes per side, flip, and top with a scoop of canned roasted chilies and a slice of Jack cheese. Dress with salsa and guacamole, optional.
  7. Grill patties made with lean pork or chicken and glaze with bottled teriyaki sauce as they cook. Grill slices of onion and pineapple at the same time. Combine the burgers with the onion, pineapple, sliced jalapeno, and more teriyaki on toasted buns,
  8. Remove a pound of chicken or turkey sausage from their casings and form into patties. Grill or broil topping each with a slice of Provolone after you flip—until cooked all the way through. Top with sautéed onions and peppers.
  9. Form patties using lean ground sirloin. Make a deep indention with your thumb in the center of each patty. Stuff with a Tablespoon of blue or goat cheese, then fold the meat over to completely cover the cheese.
  10. Black and blue: Rub bison or beef patties with blackening spices. Cook in a cast-iron skillet. Top with crumbled blue cheese and sautéed mushrooms.
  11. Turkey burger: thyme, feta, arugula, roasted red peppers, ¼ cup olives

If beef isn’t for dinner, then perhaps chicken is on the menu.

Keep your Chicken Kickin’, and I don’t mean spicy:

  1. Grind almonds in a food processor until they are fine as breadcrumbs. Smear chicken cutlets with Dijon, then dip into the almonds. Bake in a 425 degrees oven until crispy on the outside and cooked all the way through, about 12 minutes.
  2. Use a paring knife to cut a pocket into the side of a chicken breast. Stuff with sun-dried tomatoes, toasted pine nuts, and feta. Grill or roast in a 450 degrees Fahrenheit oven for 10-12 minutes, until cooked through.
  3. Pound chicken breast until uniformly ¼” thick. Rub with salt and pepper and olive oil and grill until lightly charred. Top with chopped figs, goat cheese, and arugula.
  4. Combine 2 Tbsp curry with a can of coconut milk and 1 cup chicken stock and simmer in saucepan. Stir in chunks of bok choy, and sliced mushrooms and simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over brown rice.
  5. Place breast in center of large piece of aluminum foil. Top with artichoke hearts, fennel, cherry tomatoes, pitted olives. And splash of olive oil and white wine. Fold foil to create packet and grill or cook in 400 degrees oven for 20 minutes.
  6. Combine ¼ cup orange juice with soy or soy alternative and 1 Tbsp minced ginger. Boil until thick, about 10 minutes. Grill or broil until cooked through. Brush with sauce.
  7. Combine 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard with 1 Tbsp of each: soy sauce, brown sugar, and melted butter. Brush on the chicken before and after cooking.
  8. Simmer 1 cup balsamic vinegar and 2 cups chicken broth. Poach chicken over low heat, until cooked through. Remove breasts, crank the heat, boil until liquid reduces by half. Spoon over chicken.
  9. Soak breasts in lime juice, cumin, garlic, and chipotle pepper for an hour. Grill until charred. Serve with guacamole, salsa, and hot corn tortillas.
  10. In cast iron skillet, grill chicken until cooked thoroughly. Remove. Add minced shallots, mushrooms, and brown. Stir in 2 parts white wine and 1-part coconut cream and cook until thickened. Pour over chicken.

Sunshine, summertime and grillin’ time bring out the ketchup, dip, and chips.

If ketchup is a vice allowed for kiddos, and friends, you may want to sit before watching this video. The best things come to those who wait. Remember that slogan? If you want the best, it might not be from Heinz.

How about that bag of chips and dip?

If you are concerned about natural flavors or GMOs, Vani, the Food Babe shows you what to look for .I never think about this, because “natural” should be natural; right? Glad the Food Babe keeps me aware.

About to cover those chips in a dip?

Vani has a great bean dip recipe too. I like her homemade chip recipe, and my husband has been using a similar recipe at our house for years.

We were out of chips and he broke out a bag of tortillas and ran the pizza cutter through them. They are so easy:

Place them on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Bake at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes and enjoy.

Food Babe offers her chip recipe right next to the bean dip. You’ll also see my comment about how I make fun of my husband for making our home version of chips. Now that Food Babe has shared her recipe, my husband is a hero.

Want more tips like these?

Get my cookbooks.