One of the best parts of summer is barbecuing. I love sitting outside on a warm evening, sipping on a cold beer or glass of wine, and throwing something yummy on the grill. The thought of it just makes me smile.
This past weekend, we noticed the summer slipping away from us. It was the end of July and we had yet to have a B-B-Q. What? So we took action, invited a few friends over, put together a simple menu, and stocked the cooler with cold beverages.
I had fun planning the meal. The featured items were lemon dill chicken kabobs and a lovely Greek balsamic orzo salad. Don’t let the summer go by without hosting a barbeque of your own. I highly recommend whipping up these recipes. They were delicious!
Lemon Dill Chicken Kabobs
- 1 1/2 cups plain low fat yogurt
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp lemon zest (zest of 2 lemons)
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 tsp fresh dill, chopped
- 1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 tsp fresh oregano, chopped)
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp pepper
- 2 1/2 lbs boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into cubes
- 4 red bell peppers, cut into 2 inch pieces
- 2 red onions, peeled and cut into wedges
- wooden skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes
In a large resealable plastic bag, add first 9 ingredients and mix well. Add chicken, seal, and refrigerate for 4 – 24 hours.
Thread chicken, bell peppers, and onion wedges onto skewers. Discard extra marinade.
Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Lightly oil grates, and place kabobs on the grill. Cook 10 minutes, turning as needed, or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender.
Servings: 7 (Serving Size: 2 Skewers)
Greek Balsamic Orzo
- 3 cups orzo, uncooked
- 6 oz bag baby spinach, roughly chopped
- 1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 14 oz can artichoke hearts packed in water, diced
- 3/4 cup kalamata olives, cut in half
- 1/3 pine nuts, toasted
- 1 cup crumbled feta
- Zest from 1 lemon (1 tbsp)
- Juice from 1/2 lemon (or more if needed)
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- salt and pepper, to taste
In a medium size bowl, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Wisk until well blended. Add chopped tomatoes to the vinaigrette and let marinade for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook orzo according to package directions. Add chopped spinach to serving bowl. When orzo is done cooking, drain pasta, (do not rinse) and add to chopped spinach. Stir to combine. Note: make sure to add orzo to the spinach when it is still warm, the warm orzo will wilt the spinach.
Add artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, and tomatoes along with vinaigrette. Toss to combine.
Allow salad time to cool to room temperature. Add feta cheese and toasted pine nuts.
Toss and serve.
Servings: 12 (Serving Size: 1 cup)