Tag Archives: Grill

Grilled Caprese Pesto Whole Wheat Pizza

Grilled Caprese Pesto Pizza

Before it becomes too cold to grill, I must share this goodie with you!  It’s a rainy, dreary Saturday here in Pittsburgh.  That means inside chores like laundry and basement cleaning.  Fun?  No.  But needed.  We also did some baby shopping.  There’s so much out there, it’s gonna take a while for it all to sink in.  And really, there seems to be so much more out there than is actually needed.  We haven’t actually bought anything yet because it’s just so overwhelming!  Soon!

So this pizza.  THIS PIZZA!  You guys, you are going to want to make this!  I have seen many grilled pizzas around the interweb this summer, and this is my first try at one.  It couldn’t have turned out better.  And really, what’s a better combo than tomatoes, basil, and mozzarella cheese?  Classic.  I had some leftover pesto sauce, so you better believe that went on it.  I made this pizza crust.  If you don’t want to make a crust, a pre-made crust is fine, but make sure it’s a raw one (freezer section).  Have everything set up and prepped and sliced ahead of time.  This pizza goes quick!

Caprese Ingredients

I used fresh mozzarella for my pizza.  You can get that right in the dairy section with the other cheeses.  It comes in a ball or brick shape.  Slice yours thinner than I did in the picture.  It will melt much better.  The crust should be grilled about 5 minutes or so on each side.  You will be amazed at how grilling the pizza transforms it.  And the pesto sauce instead of tomato sauce?  Amazing.  I promise.  You’ll love this!  I bet your kids will, too!  I mean, it is pizza!

Caprese Pesto Pizza on Grill

This isn’t exactly health food.  But it is healthified pizza.  We all need a little pizza sometimes.  It’s definitely better than pizzeria pizzas.  And it’s so gratifying to make it from scratch, right?  Enjoy!

GRILLED CAPRESE PESTO PIZZA

Sliced Grilled Caprese Pesto Pizza

Makes 1 16 inch pizza (serves 4)

Ingredients

1 raw 16 inch pizza crust (see my recipe here)

½ – ¾ cup pesto sauce

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced thin

8-10 fresh basil leaves

Directions

1.  Clean grill grates, and rub with olive oil to prevent sticking.  Preheat grill and reduce heat to medium low.

2.   Prepare all ingredients, and have them assembled by the grill ahead of time.

3.  Place pizza dough directly on grill grates.  Close lid and grill for about 5-8 minutes.

4.  Flip dough over, and assemble ingredients on top in this order: pesto sauce, mozzarella, tomatoes, basil leaves.

5.  Close lid and grill an additional 7-10 minutes, until cheese is melted.

6.  Carefully remove from grill.  It helps to use a spatula and slide a cutting board under the pizza if you don’t have a pizza peel.

7.  Slice and serve!

Grilled Caprese Pesto Pizza Nutrition

Happy, healthy eating!

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Grilled Blue Potatoes

Grilled Blue Potatoes

I help people along their weight loss journey every day, and this is something I hear every day: “I’ll never lose weight because I love carbs.”  Oh!  The infamous carb!  Never mind the fact that weight loss is about total calories (not total carbohydrates).  Do you know what “carbs” are?  Do you know what they do for your body?  Carbohydrates are found in most of the foods we eat in varying amounts: fruits, vegetables, grain products, dairy products, and foods containing added sugar.  Your body uses carbohydrates to make glucose, which is what your body (and your brain!) uses for energy to keep everything going!  Your muscles can’t even contract without this fuel source.

Invariably, once my clients start eating a balanced diet that includes a healthy amount of carbohydrates, protein, and fat (yes fat! But that’s a topic for a different day), they find they start dropping those “stubborn” pounds, without feeling deprived…and that’s weight loss that lasts!

Now some carbohydrates are “better” than others.  I hope this doesn’t come as a surprise to any of you, but your body doesn’t need added sugar.  That’s sucrose, fructose, maltose, honey, corn syrup, molasses, agave…the list goes on.  These sweeteners may taste good, but don’t provide much nutrition.  That’s not to say they’re inherently “bad,” but overloading on these can run up your calorie tab for the day, without really satisfying your body’s need for nutrition.  Healthy carbohydrates (also called complex carbohydrates) include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy products.  These foods provide you with bountiful nutrition for the calories, and can actually help you manage your weight!  That’s because those foods also provide things like fiber and protein to help keep you feeling fuller longer.

Now, let’s put that information to use, and cook up some healthy carbs!  My inspiration here came from some blue potatoes left over from our CSA, and the fact that it’s officially grilling season.  Never grilled potatoes before?  It’s a must!  You can use regular potatoes for this as well if you don’t have blue.  Just make sure to leave the skin on for the biggest nutritional bang for your buck possible.  I paired it with some grilled chicken breasts and a few spears of asparagus I grilled (also from our CSA).  I know it’s hard to tell in the picture, but they really are blue!  See?

Blue potato

Grilled Blue Potatoes

Grilled Blue Potatoes

Serves: 4

Ingredients

12-14 Blue Potatoes, sliced

¼ cup olive oil

Directions

1.  Preheat grill, and turn heat to medium.

2.  Brush both sides of potato slices with olive oil and grill approximately 10-15 minutes on each side, until cooked through and slightly crispy.

Happy, healthy eating!

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Ramp Marinated Grilled Chicken Breast

Ramp Marinated Grilled Chicken

Grilled food is summer.  There’s nothing like absolutely anything on the grill.  I even have a cast iron grill pan.  And while I love cooking with it, it’s still not the same as a real grill.  And for grilling, marinades are where it’s at!  They help tenderize the meat, and lock in the flavor and juices while it’s cooking.  Not to mention they add a lot of their own flavor!  Commercially produced marinades typically are loaded with salt and sugar, so I try not to use them so much.  I’ve been playing around with my own marinades from scratch.  They do take more time than opening a bottle, but not much more.  Usually a little salt is needed, but I don’t use sugar.  Not necessary even a little bit, in my opinion!  This marinade was so delicious!

If you’re not familiar with ramps, they are a sure sign of spring here in the Eastern part of the country.  They are also called wild leeks, although they taste more like garlic.  Here’s what they look like:

Ramps

Ramps are in the genus Allium, along with onions, garlic, and leeks, and have a similar nutrient profile.  This group is most known for its cancer-fighting properties, due to its varied antioxidant composition, including vitamin C and quercetin.  The entire plant is edible, and delicious.  Ramps lend themselves well to pesto, because of the bright green color of the leaves, and pronounced garlicky taste.  I’ve also seen many recipes for ramp pizzas and pastas.

In this recipe, the strong garlicky flavor is toned down a bit by slowly grilling the chicken over medium heat.  The lemon undertones provide a little tang to balance out the ramps, and help tenderize the chicken.  The reduced sodium soy sauce finishes out the marinade perfectly, with just enough salt to enhance the flavors without being overwhelming.  I’ll bet this would be fabulous on fish or other seafood as well!

RAMP MARINATE GRILLED CHICKEN BREAST

Ramp Marinated Grilled Chicken

Ingredients

1/3 lbs Ramps, tops and bottoms separated

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

1 Tbsp Reduced Sodium Soy Sauce

1 Tbsp Lemon Juice

4 Boneless, skinless Chicken breasts, about 4 oz each

Directions

1.  Place tops of ramps (green part), olive oil, soy sauce and lemon juice in a food processor, and process until smooth.

2.  Put chicken breasts in a zipper bag, and pour in marinade.  Squish (that’s a very technical cooking term) the bag around until all the chicken is covered with the marinade.  Lay flat in the refrigerator, and allow to marinate at least 2 hours.

3.  Preheat grill, and grill chicken on medium heat, about 10-15 minutes on each side.  Discard remaining marinade.  Never baste meat with marinade it has been in – this can contaminate cooked meat with bacteria from raw meat!

4.  During the last 10 minutes of grilling, place ends of ramps on foil on the 2nd shelf of the grill.  Lightly grill and use as garnish.

Serve with a side salad and rice.

Have you ever had ramps before?  How did you prepare them?  Let me know in the comments!

Happy, healthy eating!

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