Joshua's Grill

Joshua's hot-weather stuffed peppers: Grilled Peppers with Chicken Santa Fe (new recipe)

Is it 100 degrees where you live right now? And you want to make stuffed peppers with those beautiful bell peppers that are on sale, but don't want to turn on the oven for an hour or more?

Okay, probably not. But minus the 100-degree part, we did. Leave it to Joshua to create a great "stuffed pepper" that uses the grill and tastes fabulous! This recipe has some of my favorite ingredients and fits our current eating style (low cholesterol and healthy-ish) and current cooking style -- GRILLED. :)

Joshua came up with the idea of this recipe when colored bell peppers were on sale and he wanted a main dish that included grilled bell pepper halves.

While we love traditional stuffed peppers, they're usually big in the red meat and cheese department, both things we've been cutting back on. And turning the oven on in the afternoon isn't my list of things-to do-when it's 80 or 100 out! :)

When Joshua suggested "stuffing" grilled peppers with "Chicken Santa Fe", I got busy creating a delicious fried rice with grilled chicken, fresh tomatoes, peppers, and cilantro. Shredded cheese sprinkled on top -- and of course, my favorite -- fresh cilantro completes the presentation and taste!

Grilled bell peppers are sweet and crunchy. This recipe is the perfect hot-weather-and-healthy version of traditional stuffed peppers! :)

We often grill extra chicken breast, and use the leftovers for tacos, burritos, or salads. I also freeze extra grilled chicken (sliced thinly) for a quick and handy pizza topping. Rice is another ingredient that freezes well.

We buy brown rice at Costco, which takes longer to cook (45 minutes). When I make rice, I cook a large pan and use the leftovers in other recipes, make freezer burritos, or just freeze containers of rice for quick use later. The frozen rice, when thawed, seems to have a different texture but I've found it tastes almost just like fresh after it's been re-heated -- so don't worry about how it looks just-out-of-the-freezer. :)

Rice is an especially good staple ingredient or side dish that I use a lot in my kitchen. Hot rice is a good complement to grilled chicken or fish, and since we use brown rice we're getting some fiber and protein along with the carbs. (Of course, like anything, rice should be consumed in moderation!) Rice goes great with cooked beans, and is a frugal staple of our diet. (An added bonus? When we have guests who need to eat gluten-free, rice fits the bill!)

Anyway, back to these Grilled Peppers. We've made this recipe several times this summer and it's really good. Joshua leaves off the cilantro, but it's one of my favorite parts! The pepper halves are not very filling, really, when eaten for the main meal of the day. The rice is fluffy and the pepper is, after all, a vegetable. We've found that a good serving (enough to hold us over for a good number of hours) is actually two pepper halves topped with the chicken and rice. So, take that into consideration when deciding how many servings to make. :)

Let me know if you try this recipe! It's one of our new summer favorites! :)

Have you created anything new for the grill lately? I'd love to hear about it. :)

Budget-friendly meets delicious: Whole chicken on the grill!

This recipe is one of Joshua's new ideas! (Well, I'm sure others have done it, but it's new to us!) :) When whole fryer chickens go on sale (for $0.69/lb in our area, usually limit 3) I buy them. For under $4, we can get a 5+ lb chicken and have meat for at least a couple meals from it!

Joshua loves my oven-roasted chicken, which is a very easy meal to make, and I like having leftover chicken meat to use in other recipes. But, oven-roasted chicken isn't really a great summer meal. It heats up the house. And who really wants the same chicken recipe all year long?

We like to experiment, and Joshua loves to grill. (And I love it when he cooks for me!) As the chickens piled up in the freezer this summer (by "piled up" I mean 5-6 whole chickens...) Joshua decided he wanted to try grilling them!

Our Weber Q grill doesn't have a rotisserie attachment and isn't big enough to grill a very large chicken. No way do I want the chicken touching the inside of the lid of our 7-year-old very-well-used grill! Plus, a whole chicken takes a while to cook.

So, Joshua cut the chicken in half before grilling. His method involves brining -- a salt-water soaking -- to make the chicken super tender. He also coated the chicken with oil and lightly seasoned the outside. The chicken halves grilled in about 60 minutes, and the end result was a really good rotisserie-like grilled chicken! The meat was so tender and flavorful! We had dinner guests that evening and everyone raved about Joshua's chicken.

I decided to try grilling my own chicken after Joshua's success. Of course, he hadn't written down his recipe yet then, and he was at work that day, so I did my best imitation. Which meant I soaked the chicken and grilled it. I didn't coat it with oil, I didn't season the outside, and I didn't even grill it at the right temperature.

It got done and was edible, but was not nearly as good as Joshua's! The meat wasn't as tender, or as flavorful; the skin was icky and the chicken stuck to the grill.

So, if you make this Grilled Half Chicken, follow Joshua's recipe! It seems almost too simple to matter, but it does matter. Trust me! :)

This weekend, Joshua grilled another chicken and of course his was fabulous. We think it tastes very similar to Costco's rotisserie chickens. Rotisserie chicken has long been one of Joshua's favorites, and he's thrilled about making his own at home on the grill!

Joshua wrote up the recipe, and I also took a video of him cutting the chicken in half. That part scared me a little, but it seems easy enough. Now, if I would just sharpen our kitchen knives! ;)

Here is the video (it's also in the recipe):

I'm pretty excited about this new way of preparing whole chickens! I have a feeling that whole chickens are not going to pile up in our freezer ever again... :)

Oh, and I served the Grilled Half Chicken with some leftover Olive Garden Salad and Dressing. I thought it made a perfect summertime meal! :)

On the grill: Joshua's Cedar Plank Salmon (new recipe)

Last summer, we picked up a package of grilling planks at Costco. Joshua had been wanting to try grilling planks for years -- probably ever since we got our Weber Q grill 7 years ago!  Until now, the only recipe we've shared that uses grill planks is my Alder Plank Grilled Potatoes (which are a must-try if you have grilling planks)! :)

Cedar Plank Salmon. It's popular for a reason, and Joshua has been making some absolutely amazing grilled salmon using the cedar planks! Like most grilled recipes, it's easy to prepare and keeps the house cool during the hot summer weather.

It's also out-of-this-world delicious, and a stunning presentation for one of my very favorite fish! Grilled Cedar Plank Salmon was what we served to family on Father's Day this month, and it was very much enjoyed!

Nothing says "Welcome to summer in the Pacific Northwest!" quite like grilled salmon on a cedar plank! (I can't wait to make this for my parents from the Midwest when they come out to Seattle in August!)

With Joshua's grilled cedar plank salmon recipe, you can't go wrong. The simple seasonings blend perfectly with the cedar and allow the salmon's great flavor to shine through!

Have you ever grilled with grilling planks? I'd love to hear about it!

Kitchen Tip Tuesdays: Making the best grilled hot dogs (tip from Joshua)

Joshua makes amazing food on his grill. I love it when he cooks for us!

We bought a package of all-beef hot dogs at Costco, and Joshua made them (okay, part of them! It was a big package!) on the grill. Best hot dog I've ever eaten!

Here's Joshua's tip for making the best grilled hot dogs (or other similarly-shaped meat on the grill):

Grill the hot dogs parallel to the grill grate. When the hot dog is resting between the slats (rather than across many slats), it holds the heat in and gets nice and hot, quickly, without burning!

Joshua also grills with the lid closed on his grill. Always. We want food that's hot inside but not burned on the outside! (Why DO some people grill with the lid open??)

My delicious hot dog!
A loaded grilled hot dog: chopped Vidalia onions, dill pickle relish, horseradish mustard, ketchup, and cheese!

Memorial Day weekend was hot (70's)! We ate burgers outside and then roasted marshmallows on the grill. Here are Joshua and Eliyahu (5)... so cute together! :)

To Participate in Kitchen Tip Tuesdays:

Post a kitchen tip in your blog. Link to this post, and then leave your link here, so we know where to find YOU! :) In order to keep the kitchen tips more easily accessible, we need to be able to easily find/see what your kitchen/cooking tip is. :) Thanks for your participation! :)

Leave your tip links in a comment. I'll manually add them to this post!

1. 10 gardening tips (The Local Cook)
2. How to store fresh asparagus (Mindy at The Purposed Heart)
3. Cutting green onions (Cheryl at The Bz House That Love Built)
4. How to make coconut butter (Adrienne at Whole New Mom)
5. How to make homemade microwave popcorn (Stacy at Stacy Makes Cents)
6. Tips for sauces and gravies! (Donna at Moms Frugal)
7. Make jam without heating up the house (Jodi at Lg Family Farm)
8. "Double" your chicken breasts (Living So Abundantly)
9. Freezing onions

Keeping the house cool: The Salad My Husband Loved!

Making a salad that my husband really enjoys is a challenge. He's definitely more of a grilled steak kinda guy. Most dressings that don't have "Ranch" in the title are just not his cup of tea. So what do they say? "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em", right? ;)

Grilled Steak Stir Fry Salad was my attempt to create a salad that Joshua actually would enjoy eating. Okay, so it's grilled... and it is loaded with steak... and he put Ranch dressing on his.

But still! There's broccoli and onions and peppers and garlic and lettuce... lots of lettuce. And Joshua really, really likes it! I do think "love" is too strong of a word to use for Joshua + this salad, but who would read a post titled "The Salad My Husband Really Liked"?? ;)

Grilled Steak Stir Fry Salad recipe

The stir fry part is cooked on the grill, though I suppose you could use a pan on the stove if you're not all into grilling like we are this year. :) It smells deliciously garlicky and fragrant as the veggies turn a perfect crisp-tender, and you'll start to wonder why you're chopping lettuce instead of cooking rice.

The finishing touches really are the fresh chopped tomatoes, crumbled feta cheese (you do know that feta + tomatoes = love and that's NOT an exaggeration, right?) and croutons. I didn't even use dressing on mine, though Joshua liked his tossed with Ranch.

If you have a husband who's on the fence about salads, or you need a meal that won't heat up the house, or you have some fresh tomatoes on hand, or you love salads, or you like to grill... then you need to make this salad! ;)

Side dishes on the grill: Alder plank grilled potatoes

For some time now, Joshua and I have wanted to experiment with wood planks on our grill. When we found this set of cedar and alder wood planks at Costco for $8, we decided it was about as frugal as grill planks would get -- aside from finding a place with wood we could cut ourselves! ;)

I still cringe a little at the idea of spending over a dollar for a basically disposable grilling accessory like a wood plank, but after making these grilled potatoes on one, I think it's definitely an okay splurge... and our home-cooked food is probably our favorite thing to splurge on! :)

Alder Plank Grilled Potatoes

Potatoes grilled on a wood plank? The package instructions suggested grilling potatoes, but gave no details or recipes. I searched for grilled potato recipes that used wood planks and couldn't find any.

I came up with this very simple (but VERY flavorful and tasty!) recipe for Alder Plank Grilled Potatoes using thinly sliced potatoes tossed with salt, pepper, garlic, basil, and oil. The basil and alder wood flavors go together perfectly, and the potatoes grill up tender inside but crisp around the edges. These grilled potatoes rival the best potato wedges!

Alder Plank Grilled Potatoes

I made this recipe for the first time while Joshua was away at work, and when he came home and tasted the potatoes I had grilled, he was amazed! I was just happy that something totally new to me had turned out so fabulous. :)

Chicken squash bake and grilled potatoes

I served the Alder Plank Grilled Potatoes with another recipe I created (from several years ago) -- Chicken Squash Bake. We are so blessed to enjoy such bounty!

I'm not sure why I feel so intimidated about trying new things, but I'm so glad I branched out and tried grilling these potatoes! :) I'll be tucking this recipe away for at-home date nights or when we're having guests. :)

Alder Plank Grilled Potatoes

Have you ever grilled with wood planks? Tell me about your experience! :) I've done these potatoes as well as cedar-planked salmon (recipe coming next week).

Salmon at its finest: Copper River Salmon

Grilled Copper River Salmon

Yes, I'm on the topic of fish again! ;) When we got our last fish order, it included some Copper River Salmon. I had never heard of Copper River Salmon until we moved to WA and Joshua started working for a seafood company 2 years ago. You can find out more about Copper River Salmon here! That link has some great photos and info.

Copper River Salmon fillets

Copper River Salmon is normally quite outside our price range, but we got some at a deep discount with our fish order* and WOW! I already liked Atlantic salmon and considered salmon to be my favorite fish, but Copper River Salmon is just amazing!!

Grilled Copper River Salmon

Copper River Salmon has such a beautiful color and rich flavor! Grilling it is quick and easy, and the result is tender, flaky, juicy salmon. Each bite is savory and I just never want it to end. (Eating slowly makes the 4-ounce fillet very enjoyable!)

Grilled Copper River Salmon

I usually serve grilled fish with rice and a green salad. The meal is light, healthy, and refreshingly delicious.

Leftover salmon can be cubed and used for homemade salmon chowder. Okay, not that you'd have leftovers of Copper River Salmon, but still... ;)

Have you ever tried Copper River Salmon? If so, what did you think? :)

*You can read about how I emptied the freezer in preparation for the order, and see a week's menu of nearly all FISH meals when that was nearly the only meat we had on hand! :)

Grilled New York Steakburgers (Our version of "eating out")

Grilled New York Steakburgers
Grilled New York Steakburgers

We've been using our grill more this summer than ever before! Have you noticed how many of my recent recipe additions have been either grilled foods or a salad of some sort?! I'm so thankful for a husband who loves to grill, and a great outdoor gas grill that makes yummy food while keeping the house cool! :)

Joshua created these Grilled New York Steakburgers and they're so good! This is his version of a gourmet sandwich... thick juicy steak and all the trimmings! The tenderized steak is melt-in-your-mouth delicious. I'm not a huge fan of burgers, but with fresh tomato slices, lettuce, red onions, and a toasty grilled bun, this is one awesome sandwich!

Grilled New York Steakburgers

If you want to make a special dinner for the man in your life, this is a fabulous one. (Or, get the ingredients ready and let him do the grilling if that's something he likes to do!)

Grilled New York Steakburgers

The New York strip steak isn't cheap, but found on sale it can be an affordable treat, and these steakburgers are way better (in our opinion) than going out to dinner! :) You can also use a cheaper cut of meat if you wish, since it'll get tenderized before grilling. Obviously, the better your meat, the better your sandwich will be! Serve hot off the grill, with a salad and fresh fruit for an easy summer dinner.

Easy BBQ Side: Grilled Scalloped Potatoes

Grilled Scalloped Potatoes
I love the convenience of simply thawing some fish or chicken for Joshua to grill for our dinner. Dinner doesn't get much easier or healthier than lean grilled meats, and with the discounted fish from our freezer, grilling is affordable for us, as well!

Dinner on the grill is even easier with these Grilled Scalloped Potatoes. I am frequently at a loss when it comes to side dishes, and potatoes can be tricky to prepare in a way that's healthy, tasty, and not terribly time-consuming. These grilled potato packets are probably the least labor-intensive and yet very delicious and relatively healthy! ;)
The creamy-coated potatoes before grilling
Joshua prefers these Grilled Scalloped Potatoes made without the carrot slices, but I love the sweetness and flavor the carrots impart. Either way, it's a nice and easy change of pace from serving cooked rice (yet again). And the foil means clean-up is a snap!
Do you have any more easy grilled side dishes for me to try? I'll be attempting grilled broccoli and cauliflower later this week!

Keeping the house cool: Grilled corn on the cob

Grilled corn on the cob
Grilled corn on the cob

Our weather sure changed this week! On Monday, we were donning sweatshirts for a hike down to Puget Sound in the sub-60 degree weather. Yesterday it was in the 90's!

Thankfully our fans cool the apartment at night and Joshua suggested having cold-cut sandwiches for dinner rather than me doing any cooking. Today (Friday) is supposed to be nearly as hot, and we're having "breakfast" for dinner -- cold cereal (a rare splurge!), scrambled eggs, toast, and frozen fruit.

We've also been using the grill quite a lot this year. While grilled meats are still the number one thing on our grill, I've been branching out and doing some sides and veggies on the grill as well.

Grilling corn on the cob

I really love doing grilled corn on the cob! I thought boiling corn on the cob was easy, but grilling it is even easier, since it gets grilled in the husk and the afterwards the husk and silk all easily peels back leaving a delicious hot ear of corn!

The only downside is that we can't fit more than about 8 ears of corn on our Weber Q at one time. Still, it's enough for our family right now.

Grilled corn on the cob

Corn on the cob has always been one of Yehoshua's favorite foods! And since we don't have a/c, grilling is one of my favorite ways to keep the house cool! :)

See also:

Keeping the house cool: Grilled Pizza

Keeping the house cool: Grilled Asparagus

Coming next week:

Grilled Scalloped Potatoes (yummy and easy!)

Red, white and blue Whole Grain Waffles

4 fun summer uses for our apartment balcony

(...And more. Those are just three of the posts that were planned for last week and never got finished!)


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