Keepin’ it Cool in the Kitchen

Today is Portland’s second day in a row above 97 degrees… Holy guacamole! In my book, that makes it officially summer.

Cody and I have very few “rules” with each other, but we have one that we’re both strict on! If it’s predicted to reach 90 or above, we don’t cook inside. No exceptions. I may have slightly broken that rule this morning when I made him snickerdoodles, but it was a special occasion and the oven was off by 6:45 a.m. How’s that for early morning productivity?

Our best purchase in our new place has absolutely been our grill. Cody was adamant it was something we needed, which I gave him a bit of pushback over. NEED? Really? A grill?

I have been proven wrong!

Nine times out of ten, Cody’s the one that does the grilling, but I tend to prepare whatever it is that’s going on there. Below, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite things to make when indoor cooking isn’t an option, AKA, to be made on the grill.

  • Kebabs with any and everything you can imagine. I’ll typically cube chicken, marinate it in one of Primal Kitchen’s dressings (sesame ginger and lemon turmeric are my go-tos!), slice veggies like bell pepper, onion, and mushroom and spritz them with avocado oil. Cody tends to add salt and pepper while they’re grilling. They’re GOOOD.
  • Sliced zucchini… zucchini is definitely one of my favorite veggies, largely because of its versatility. Fried, roasted, zoodled, grilled: whatever way you want it, there’s probably a way to cook a zucchini.
  • Baked potatoes. Yup, you can make these guys on the grill, too! We’ll brush them with avocado oil and rub with salt and pepper before wrapping loosely with aluminum foil.
  • Sweet potato fries: The key to making the edges crispy, I finally learned, is to add a little bit of corn starch to whatever else you coat them in. You can cut them any which way you like, but the longer and skinnier they are, the more they’ll crisp up.
  • Corn on the cob. Need I say more?
  • Shrimp! My favorite way to season shrimp is with freshly squeezed lime juice and Trader Joe’s Chile Lime seasoning. Yep, that’s it! If we have some on hand, I may add a little bit of cilantro as well. I’ll let them marinate for at least an hour before grilling.

Another thing I should note, is the salt block you can see Cody grilling steak on in the photo above. My dad bought the block for us as a housewarming gift, and it’s been really fun to play around with! I thought it was pretty gross at first, when I learned that you aren’t supposed to wash it between uses…but it’s amazing how much flavor each subsequent food has, after picking up the juices from whatever meat or veggie was cooked on it before! You can find salt blocks at most stores that sell kitchen supplies, but since I’m partial to Crate and Barrel, I’ve linked to theirs here.

If you give a boy a sweet potato fry, he’s probably going to ask for something to dip it in, at least mine does! Here are our favorite healthy dips and sauces:

  • Siete Foods Cashew Queso. It’s surprisingly amazing and tastes (almost) like actual queso.
  • The New Primal BBQ sauce. It’s like the real thing, without the sugar.
  • All of Primal Kitchen’s ketchup and mustards are delicious. You just can’t go wrong. Their mayos are an awesome base for making your own sauce, too, and since they have an avocado oil base, it’ll pack your sauce with healthy fats, as opposed to the ones that will clog your arteries and make you feel gross (canola oil, I’m talking to you!).
  • Homemade guac. Come on, how could I not include this on here?! Grab a nice, tender avocado, slice and pit it, scoop out that good stuff and mix it in a bowl with some sea salt, fresh lime juice, and cilantro. If you’re really feeling adventurous, add a pinch of cayenne or some diced jalapeños.
  • And lastly, when in doubt: Sriracha.

That’s all for now! What’s your favorite thing to throw on the grill? Tell me in the comments below 🙂

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