Category Archives: Grilling

Mexican Style Hamburgers.

Photo compliments of the hubs…he still eats wheat!

I have not been posting much recently. On the recipe front I have been making more of other people’s recipes than writing my own, which is fairly strange. But I think this stems from my major diet and lifestyle changes. As I get used to cooking without most grains and with limited dairy I have found it easier to use other people’s recipes, you know, to get my toes wet. I am also on a quest to remove all GMO foods from my diet. This is particularly difficult, even more so than most people have to come realize, but I will save that story for another day.

On the garden front, we have finally bedded down the garden. The garlic is planted (200 bulbs!!) and there are some broccoli and cauliflower plants that are looking strong as winter nears. I am the first to admit that the summer garden suffered this year and that is why there have been no posts about it. We had a very successful hop harvest, which I shared with you in September, but that was by far our most successful garden item this year (thankfully the hubs was manning their care faithfully!). The tomatoes, peppers, and squashed suffered from uneven watering and hot/dry weather that came too little too late. The beans did very well , as did the potatoes. And I did harvest 117 (I think) garlic bulbs.  But at the end of the season, I feel defeated and I am looking forward to planting my cool weather crops soon. To starting over in the garden, so to say. My 2013 early spring and summer gardens are planned. Next step is to plan the 2013 winter garden which will come in time.

Enough moping about my garden frustrations, and back to something I did right! These burgers turned out great. They are lean and mean, free of GMO, feature a little garden in the cilantro, garlic and jalapeño, and taste great without a bun!

Mexican Style Hamburgers. Makes four 1/4 pound burgers.


1 lb grass fed ground beef

1-2 T fresh organic cilantro, finely chopped

1 t ground organic cumin (I am really excited to be trying to grow my own in the 2o13 garden!!)

3 cloves of organic garlic, minced

1/2 t sea salt (I used smoked sea salt)

1/2 t fresh ground organic black pepper

1/2 small organic jalapeño, seeds and veins removed (to your heat tolerance), diced finely (or a tiny one like I had leftover from the garden!)

thinly sliced brie, or other creamy cheese, don’t do dairy? I strongly recommend avocado…or both!


Combine all ingredients except the cheese, mixing well, but avoiding beating up the meat too much. Divide into four burgers and place in the refrigerator until ready to cook. When you turn the grill on, remove the burgers from the refrigerator and place on the counter to warm them up a little.

Preheat grill to 425, place burgers on the grill over direct heat and cook for 4 minutes. Do not squish the burger with your spatula or turn before your timer goes off. After 4 minutes, flip each burger, place cheese on burgers if you are using it and cook another 4 minutes. This process will produce a medium to medium rare burger depending on how thick they are. If you want them medium to well, cook for 5 minutes on each side.

Remove burgers from grill and serve with toppings and buns if you are using them.



Filed under Beef, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Mexican Inspired, Paleo

Beefy Lamb Burgers.

I have never made lamb before. I have eaten it and not really liked it, so I have not found a good reason to make it myself. However, last summer we had some lamb burgers at a family friend’s that the hubs really liked and he has been asking me to try and make some ever since. I finally got up the motivation, and courage I guess, to make some lamb burgers. This one was fun because it was the first time I cooked lamb, I wrote the recipe, and we had friends over for a Portland Timbers viewing party to try my untested first attempt at cooking lamb! Haha! BUT…it worked and so I will share it with you to try as well.

Beefy Lamb Burgers. This recipe makes four 1/4 lb burgers.


1/2 lb lean ground lamb

1/2 lb 5% fat ground beef

1 clove of garlic

1/4 t cumin

1/4 t kosher salt

1/2 t fresh cracked back pepper

1 T basil, finely chopped

4 t soft goat cheese


Mix all ingredients, except cheese, together in a large bowl. Divide into four equal parts. Roll each part into a ball and then make a well in the middle. Place one teaspoon of cheese in each well. Close up the well and gently form into a patty.

Preheat grill to 400-450 degrees. Cook burgers for 5 minutes on each side and remove from grill. Serve on your favorite bun, with your favorite fixins!


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Filed under Beef, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Greek Inspired, Grilling

Kohlrabi & Cabbage Slaw.

I have cabbage and kohlrabi coming out of the garden right now and even though cole slaw is one of those traditional dishes that epitomizes summer cook outs, it seems fall is a great time to make such a dish with garden veggies. Both the cabbage and kohlrabi were seeded in early July and planted outside in late August. The kohlrabis have been ready each week for the last three or four weeks, but the cabbage finally produced a head! Only one so far, but the rest are not far behind (those that made it through the rash of bugs we have had).

To accompany a lovely tri-tip steak this past Sunday evening we had this lovely slaw and some simply roast fingerling potatoes. It is just a little bit of summer as we head full boar into November!

Kohlrabi & Cabbage Slaw. Serves 2-4.


1 small head of cabbage

1 medium kohlrabi

2 medium carrots

2 T sour cream

1/4 t celery salt

1/4 fresh cracked black pepper

1 t cider vinegar

1 t lemon juice

2-3 oz crumbled blue cheese, optional

Peel kohlrabi and carrot and core cabbage. Shred all three vegetables using a hand grater or the grater attachment for the food processor. Transfer to a tea towel and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place in a medium mixing bowl.

Make dressing in a small bowl by combining all remaining ingredients except cheese, adjusting seasonings to taste as needed. Add dressing and cheese to the vegetables and mix to combine. Refrigerate until serving.


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Filed under Edible Plants, From the Garden, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Salad, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Grill Roasted Zucchini Boats.

It is zucchini season and everyone knows what that means…time to get creative! Zucchinis are prolific, the produce and produce and produce. I started my zucchini season simply, I added baby zucchinis to veggie grill basket, I roasted some of it, and I threw it in some pasta. Then I went on vacation and when I returned there were behemoths in the garden.

Now what!? Well we started the giant zucchini noshing session with these simple boats. The filling is rather scalable and just about any of the ingredients can be subbed. I supplemented the ground beef and rice with a smattering of veggies I had lying around, but you could easily use different ones. You can also use any variety of ground meat or grain.

This is a great meal that can be prepped entirely ahead of time which would also make it a great camping meal. If I were camping or cooking on an open flame without a lid I would make foil tents.

Grilled Zucchini Boats.


4 large zucchini (about 1 lb each)

1/2 lb 5% fat ground beef

1 small onion, diced

1/2 t of each of the following: granulated garlic, fresh oregano, paprika, kosher salt, fresh cracked black pepper

1 C jasmine rice, cooked

2 small carrots, peeled and grated

10 grape tomatoes, quartered

1 medium kohlrabi, peeled and grated

1 jalapeño, seeded and deveined, optional

1 C shredded cheese (I used swiss)

Brown ground beef with onions and spices. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl. Add all of the vegetable and 1/2 cup of cheese. Mix to combine thoroughly.

Cut zucchini in half lengthwise and gently scoop out a trench in the middle with a spoon, making a trough for your filling. Chop one quarter of the removed zucchini and add to the meat filling. Mix to combine. Carefully fill each boat with 1/4 of the filling. Top each boat with 1/4 of the remaining cheese.

Preheat grill to high and turn off one of the burners (or move coals to one side). Place zucchini boats over the cool side of the grill and cover. Roast for 40-60 minutes, checking every ten minutes after the first 20. If you are using charcoal be sure to watch as your cook time may vary. Serve with your favorite sauce or gravy!

*You can also cook these in the oven, covered at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook 15 minutes more.


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Filed under Beef, Casseroles/Bakes, Cheese, Edible Plants, From the Garden, Garden, Grains/Rice, Grilling

Chili Beer Marinated Pork Tenderloin.

So we have made this twice since I wrote the recipe. The first time the cook times were a little rocky so we wanted to make it again before we wrote up that part. Because there are a lot of chili beers coming out in Portland right now, we used a different one each time which I have linked to below. I will tell you that without a doubt this is one of my new favortite prepartions of pork loin and it allowed us to do some more meaty beer grilling, which we are now IN LOVE WITH.

Chili Beer Marinated Pork Loin.


2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

2 T fresh oregano, chopped

1 T cumin

1/2 t sea salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

4 T olive oil

2 C chili beer (use something with some heat, I used the Calapooia Chili Beer the first time and Burnside Brewing Sweet Heat the second)

1 jalapeño pepper, sliced

1.25-1.5 lb pork tenderloin, silver skin removed

Combine marinade ingredients in a gallon size plastic bag. Add pork loin and refrigerate overnight.

Preheat grill to high (450-500 degrees) heat. Sear pork loin for five minutes. Rotate 180 degrees and sear another five minutes. Remove from direct heat and reduce grill heat to medium. Rotate pork loin 90 degrees. Cook five minutes (grill should be at an ambient temperature of between 350-400 degrees). Rotate 180 degrees and cook for 5 minutes more. Move pork loin back over direct heat and cook for three minutes. Rotate 180 degrees and cook three minutes more. Check internal temperature, looking for 140-145 degrees and remove from heat. If your meat is under temp, continue to cook for three minutes on each side until desired doneness is achieved.

Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes, covered with foil, before slicing. Slice into one to one and half inch thick portions and serve.


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Filed under Beer, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Mexican Inspired, Pork

Grilled Portobella Mushrooms.

Mushrooms, being my #2 favorite food, are near and dear to my heart. Growing up I begged for sautéed button mushrooms. I remember watching my parents make them, 8 oz sliced mushrooms and a stick of margarine. How could I not become addicted with a buttery tasting mushroom goodness? Now I make mushrooms with almost every meal, sautéed, in breakfast potatoes and eggs, in stir fry, in hamburgers, in anything grilled.  I generally use crimini, but I do not discriminate against the others, whatever wild varieties are in season, very fresh buttons, and on occasion, portobellas.

Grilled portobella mushrooms are one of my favorite mushroom preparations. They are versatile, vegetarian, and light, but meaty at the same time. They are good as burger replacements or sliced and served as a steak replacement. There is something about the grill that brings out amazing flavors in a portobella and this marinade compliments the mushroom very well. Use this as your veggie option at your next BBQ and you will not disappoint.

Grilled Portobella Mushrooms.


4 large portobello mushrooms

2 T unsalted butter, melted

2 T olive oil

2 T white wine vinegar (you can use white wine here)

2 T agave nectar

1 t dried thyme, crushed

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

Clean stems and gills from the mushrooms discard waste and set aside mushrooms. Combine remaining ingredients and whisk to mix completely. Spoon one scoop into each mushroom cap. Brush the edges of each mushroom with marinade. Place each mushroom, gill side up, into a glass baking dish with remaining marinade. Cover with foil and allow to sit on the counter for at least 30 minutes. You can also do this in a plastic gallon sized bacg. Just add marinade and mushrooms and toss to coat.

Preheat grill to medium (375-400 degrees) heat. Place mushrooms, gill side up, on the grill over indirect heat. Pour remaining marinade into the cups. After 5 minutes turn mushrooms to get your hash marks. Cook for 5 more minutes. Flip the mushrooms and grill for 3-5 minutes, depending on size, over direct heat. Remove from grill and serve whole on buns, or slice and serve as a “meaty” side.


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Filed under Appetizer, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Grilled Tomato Basil Flatbreads.

“It smells like summer,” says the hubs as he walks into the kitchen, fragrant with balsamic vinegar and freshly sliced basil. I does, I think to myself. Basil, tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, these are things that epitomize summer in our household and this appetizer epitomizes these ingredients. I am a major sucker for basil, tomatoes and mozzarella. I cannot resist this combination.

I first came across this recipe in Cooking Light years ago. My recipe makes a smaller batch and is a little less precise but it is oh-so-good!

Grilled Tomato Basil Flatbreads

Ingredients (12 half ounce servings)

1 medium heirloom tomato

1 T chopped fresh basil

1 clove of garlic, finely chopped

1/2 t flake or fine sea salt

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

1 T high quality olive oil

1 T balsamic vinegar

6 oz quick pizza dough

1 T olive oil, reserved

1/4 lb fresh mozzarella (1 large ball), cut into 12 pieces

Preheat grill to high (450-500). Chop tomatoes in to a small dice and place in a glass bowl. Add basil, garlic, oil, vinegar, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Divide dough into 12 half ounce pieces. Press them into silver dollar (or a little bigger) sized discs. Just pull them flat with your hands if the dough is not cooperating. They should be about 3 inches in diameter. Place the discs on a sheet of parchment paper on a tray. Using a basting brush, lightly brush each disc with reserved olive oil.

Place each disc on the grill for 1-2 minutes. Flip each disc and reduce heat to medium-high. Place 1 piece of cheese on each disc and cook for 102 minutes longer. Remove from grill and place on serving tray. Top each flatbread with a tablespoon of tomato mixture.


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Filed under Appetizer, Bread, Grilling, Side Dish, Vegetarian

A True Camping Gem – Cheese Sticks!

Happy Fourth of July everyone! In honor of one of the most grill-centric holidays I will share with you one of the most amazing dishes we created while camping last week. It is simple, pre-fab, and out of our normal realm, but it is AMAZING!

On the heels of our hobo pie creation, I was thinking, what else can we make with that pie iron? It just so happened that on account of the hubs request, we had string cheese in the cooler. Tortillas and string cheese. Hot fire and pie iron. Oh yes, it is what you are thinking.

With the large tortillas I had I was able to cut them into four equal pieces. I trimmed the cheese to fit the iron then rolled each stick in a piece of tortilla. I buttered the iron directly and then put it in the fire. I let the cheese melt and the tortilla cook then, voila! it was cheese sticks…only one of the best things in the world. Right there in the middle of the woods. Packed in by us…so delicious. Dip in marinara sauce and ENJOY!


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Filed under Appetizer, Cheese, Grilling, Vegetarian

Pie Irons & a Camping Creation.

So I eased you into our little camping trip with a quick list of foods consumed. One of those items was some chicken thighs in Mojo Sauce. We made this our first night camping, but did not eat all of the chicken. So I put it in the cooler for consumption the next day. I also reserved some of the rice we had with the chicken just to see what I could come up with. I was thinking quesadillas, but that is not what we ended up with!

I was sitting, looking at our afternoon camp fire, thinking. It came to me. Why make quesadillas on the camp stove when I could make them into hobo pies and cook them on the fire!?! This is what I got.


2 large flour tortillas

4 cooked chicken thighs

1 handful of grated cheese

1/2 C cooked jasmine rice


cheese for sealing

Butter tortilla on the back side where it is going to touch the pie iron.

Prepare the filling ingredients...chop the chicken. Oh and mix the cheese, chicken and rice together.

Fill tortilla with one half of the filling mixture and use cheese to seal the tortilla as you fold it.

Butter the outside and close pie iron.

Have fun with it!

Put the pie in the fire. Check every few minutes depending on how hot your coals are. You can just open the iron and check the char. Flip when you are satisfied.

Cut off the burned edges...though they actually did not taste bad...if you like that kind of thing!

Enjoy with a side of ranch dressing!


And, Enjoy!

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Filed under Cheese, Chicken, Grains/Rice, Grilling, Snacks, Test Items

Beer Marinated Grilled Flank Steak.

At the store the other day I asked the hubs to pick out some steak. With grilling season upon us (not that it ever really ends, but the summer weather to accompany it makes it more official), steaks were sounding mighty fine. I figured we would end up with some New York’s or maybe even Tri-Tip. What we ended up with was a new cut to me: flank steak. Not knowing much about it I set out to research and I was surprised to find that some of the majors like Food Network and Rachel Ray have posts about flank steak, but many of the blogs I am used to seeing on searches did not come up. This it seems, is not a commonly used cut of meat? Maybe that is why it was so expensive…which I did not notice until we got it home and I was checking its weight!

In any case, I recently made a pact with myself to cook with more beer so I thought I would try it out on the mystery steak. New world of cooking with beer, new cut of beef! The result was a well marinaded piece of meat that had clear flavors of beer.  With regards to the amount of beer flavor this beef took on, if the chicken I made the other night was beery, this beef was out of the park beery! The final result was surprisingly sweet, but in a very good way.


1.5 lb flank steak

1 C premium lager (I used Sessions Lager)

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

1 t sea salt (I used a smoked sea salt…check out The Meadow)

1/2 t fresh cracked black pepper

2 T fresh oregano, roughly chopped

1/2 t red pepper flakes

2 T Worcestershire sauce

2 T agave nectar

Combine marinade ingredients and add to a plastic zip lock bag. Add meat and seal bag, removing excess air to ensure the marinade covers the meat entirely. Place in refrigerator over night.

Preheat grill to 500 (high). Place steak on the hottest part of the grill,  and with the burners on high sear for two and half minutes on each side. Move to a cooler part of the grill and turn burners to medium-high and cook for three minutes on each side. Remove and let rest for 5 minutes before cutting. Cut against the grain and on a bias.


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Filed under Beef, Beer, Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Grain Free, Grilling