simple (grilled) summer recipes.

A little preface: TJ (my husband) has been wanting a grill basically since....we got married. It's a man thing, I suppose. Well, I wanted to get him one for his birthday in May, but it didn't work out. However, Home Depot recently had a sale on grills, so off we went and bought our very own two-burner propane grill. Since we don't have A/C, it's pretty miserable to cook indoors during the summertime (even if the outdoor temps are cooler than in the valley). Since we got the grill....we've used it nearly every day. I love the way girlled food tastes, and TJ gets to help me make dinner and actually enjoys it.

These two recipes can easily be made with or without a grill. But I highly recommend the grilling aspects if you have the capability. Also, I'm sorry for the lack of pictures, but I don't think they're that necessary for these recipes, and usually I'm too hungry or too lazy to bother taking pictures of my food. Ha!

Grilled Pita Pizza

This isn't so much a recipe as it is a concept. I posted back here about my love for pita pizzas. Those ones, I made in the oven. These, I made on the grill. This is a super easy recipe and perfect for having friends over (which we did) because everyone can make their own.

white or wheat pita bread
sauce of your choice
toppings of your choice

1. Light your grill and set it on about medium-medium high.
2. Have each person sauce and top their pizza (the options are literally endless...go for classic tomato sauce/pepperoni/mozzarella, or add onions and bell peppers and sausage; try simple basil pesto with mozzarella cheese; or try this divine avocado and cilantro sauce variation).
3. Place each pizza on the grill, close the cover, and let cook about 10 min or until cheese is melted and crust is crispy on bottom.

*Note: when I make pizza sauce, I just take a small can of tomato sauce and add my own seasonings, like salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, dried basil, and Italian seasoning. I just add them to taste. It's so easy and really inexpensive.

Grilled Vegetable Pasta Salad

Again, this recipe can be done in so many different ways. This would be great to serve alongside the pizzas, or add some grilled chicken or sausage for a main dish. This is also a "remix" of a recipe I've made previously. This recipe might sound like a lot of prep, but I promise it's super easy.

whole wheat pasta
vegetables of your choice
olive oil, s&p
shredded mozzarella cheese
vinaigrette of choice (see below for homemade version)
meat (optional)

1. Light grill to about medium-high and let it heat for a few min.
2. Set a pot of water on the stove to boil for the pasta; cook according to package instructions.
3. Get your vegetables prepped. I used zucchini, a yellow bell pepper, and tomatoes. I had three rather small zucchini, which I cut in half lengthwise, and then in half again lengthwise, so I had four spears of zucchini from each. I dressed these in a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of salt and pepper. For the bell pepper, it can be left whole and charred on all sides to remove the skin, or cut in quarters and charred that way (then you don't have to turn it as much). I did not grill the tomato, just diced it up and set it aside.
4. Grill your vegetables. Place zucchini spears across the grill bars so they don't fall through and get nice grill marks. Let them grill a few minutes on each side, until tender. (For peppers, let the skin char, which allows it to bubble away and be easily peeled off.)
5. Chop vegetables, and combine with pasta, some shredded cheese, meat (if be honest I used pepperoni when I made this ...the options are so varied). Toss with vinaigrette and serve.

Super Easy Vinaigrette

olive oil
apple cider vinegar (or whatever kind you like)
garlic powder
onion powder
dried (or fresh)basil leaves

In a small mason jar (like a jam jar), combine a couple tbsp olive oil, a couple capfuls (prob about 2 tsp) cider vinegar, a little bit of salt, a few dashes of black pepper, and the rest of the seasonings to taste (don't you love my precise measurements??). Taste it and see if it needs anything else. 

Well, I hope you try these recipes and make them your own.  Trust me when I say anyone can make these. Thanks for having me Ali, and I wish you and little Rory (and daddy) the best!

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