Summer Dinner Recipes That Won't Make You Sweat

Whether you're looking for a sweet treat or a savory dinner, we've got some great ideas on how to spice things up this summer!

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Put down your usual go-to Chinese takeout menus and try out these anything but ordinary summer recipes. It’s true that on scorching summer days, cooking over a hot stove is about the last thing on our minds, but with the right recipe cooking becomes less of a chore and more of a pleasure. With a summer season bursting with fresh vegetables and the steam of outdoor grills, no culinary creation should be out of bounds. Cooking on your own with these fresh, flavorful, and easy recipes will have you welcoming the summer heat with open arms for a change.These recipes prove that almost any meal can be made using your outdoor grill, which adds the perfect summer feel to your dinnertime meals. Instead of grilling your average hot dogs and hamburgers, you can use these recipes to revolutionize your ideas of barbecuing. From grilled pizza to grilled banana s’mores, these recipes mix it up and transform anyone into the culinary wizard of their backyard barbecue grill. Mostly all of these recipes have ingredients anyone can find  at home or at their local grocery store. And if you do not have access to an outdoor grill, any oven or stove top is fine to whip these recipes up.

Grilled Margherita Pizza
Pizza on the grill? Yes, you read that right. This recipe transforms pizza into a barbecue ready dish that pushes hotdogs and hamburgers to the side. Essentially, all you need is pizza dough, sauce, and cheese of your choice to make your own grilled pizza. For the pizza dough, it is easier and less time-consuming if you buy the refrigerated dough versus the frozen pizza dough. For the foodie at heart, you can add anything from pineapple, bacon, to sauteed spinach and balsamic vinaigrette, in order to form your own adaptation of this grilled pizza creation.

Ingredients:

  •     1 (16 ounce) package pizza dough, at room temperature
  •     1/4 cup olive oil
  •     4 ounces shredded Asiago cheese
  •     3 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
  •     1 cup packed whole basil leaves
  •     1 (8 ounce) package fresh mozzarella cheese, shredded
  •     salt and ground black pepper to taste


Directions

  1. Oil the outdoor grill lightly and preheat.
  2. Place pizza dough in a bowl to rise 2 to 3 times the original size, about 1 hour. Flour a work surface and a rolling pin. Divide dough in half; roll each half to a 10- to 12-inch diameter circle.
  3. Place the rounded pizza dough on the preheated grill using a wooden paddle and close the grill lid; cook  from 3 to 5 minutes. Remove the grilled dough from the grill and place onto a work surface. Then, lower grill heat to medium.
  4. Brush the grilled dough with olive oil. Spread half the Asiago cheese on each crust and add tomatoes, basil, mozzarella, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Transfer your pizzas to the grill and close the lid. Grill for 7 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted.
  6. Remove from the grill and let the pizzas stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Tex-Mex Burger
The man’s man burger. The Tex-Mex burger is anything but bland and it is sure to fill anyone up with a couple of bites. This burger combines everything men love: spice, beef, and cheese--all topped off with a bun.  For a manlier effect you can add bacon or onion rings to top the tex-mex burger off. Everyone loves a good burger in the summer time and this burger is sure to win a spot in your recipe book.  This burger would be perfect with a batch of fresh sweet potato fries or the classic french fries with a dash of salt and pepper.

Ingredients:

  •     1/2 cup mayonnaise
  •     1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
  •     1 1/3 pounds ground beef sirloin
  •     1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  •     1/2 cup diced white onion
  •     1 clove garlic, minced
  •     1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning
  •     1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  •     4 slices pepper jack cheese
  •     4 hamburger buns, split
  •     4 leaves lettuce
  •     4 slices tomato


Directions

  • Preheat your grill for medium-high heat.
  • Mix  the mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon of Cajun seasoning in a small bowl and set aside.
  • Using your hands, mix together the ground beef sirloin, jalapeno pepper, onion, garlic, 1 tablespoon Cajun seasoning, and Worcestershire sauce in a large bowl. Then, divide the mixture  into 4 balls, and flatten into patties.
  • Next, lightly oil the preheated grill surface and place the patties on the grill. Cook for about 5 minutes per side. About halfway into cooking, lay a slice of cheese on top of each patty. Then, spread the seasoned mayonnaise on top of the cooked patty. Place the cooked patties on buns and top with lettuce and tomato to serve.


Simple Summer Salad
Salads don’t have to be bland and tasteless. This simple summer salad proves that with the right flavors, salad can awaken any bored tastebuds. The simple summer salad combines tasty summer vegetables all mixed in a vibrant and light balsamic vinegar. If you wish, you can use either fresh red peppers or the jarred sweet roasted red peppers. The ingredient list for this salad is short and the ingredients that it does solicit combine well and compliment each other.


Ingredients:

  •     6 ears corn, husk and silk removed
  •     1 bunch asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  •     1 (7 ounce) jar roasted sweet red peppers, drained and chopped
  •     2 cloves garlic, minced
  •     6 basil leaves, chopped
  •     1 tablespoon olive oil
  •     1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  •     salt and black pepper to taste


Directions

  • Preheat your outdoor grill for medium-low heat and lightly oil.
  • Place the ears of corn on the grill, turning frequently and cook for about ten minutes or until the kernels are tender. Remove the corn from the grill and let them cool. When the corn is cooled, cut the kernels off of the cob.
  • Fill a large saucepan with lightly salted water and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the bunch of asparagus and cook for about a minute or until just tender. Drain the asparagus in a colander and immediately rinse under cold, running water until well chilled. Set th asparagus aside.
  • Combine the corn, asparagus, roasted peppers, garlic, basil, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper to taste. You may serve the salad at room temperature or put it in the fridge to chill.



Campfire Banana S’mores
An interesting adaptation to classic s'mores that offers you some new flavor to add to any summer barbecue. The grilled bananas are incredible added to the marshmallows and chocolate chips. As the bananas grill, the product is a warm, toasty, and deliciously gooey grilled treat. This recipe is both fun to make and innovative. As if you weren’t sold already, the campfire banana s’mores are only 140 calories, which is a perfect alternative to ice cream. This recipe is not limited to kids, but it can be a wonderful treat for adults and everyone in between.

Ingredients:

  • 1   whole Chiquita Banana, unpeeled                   
  • 6   whole  Mini Marshmallows                   
  • 12   whole Chocolate Chips                                                    

Directions       

  1. Peel one side of the banana and cut a wedge down the middle of the banana.
  2. Pour a few mini marshmallows and chocolate chips into the cut wedge. Put the banana peel back onto the cut banana and wrap the banana in aluminum foil.
  3. Place the banana on the barbecue grill or in the campfire coals for about 5 minutes.
  4. Remove the banana from the grill and take off the peel. Let cool for about a minute and then enjoy!
 

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