Are you getting your grill ready for Labor Day weekend?
Why not throw a healthy and modern “Mama Q” instead of a regular BBQ?
Grab your favorite wedges: They’re best for planning, prepping, and grilling while being so very modern. Oh yes, we are talking shoes here, not lettuce or lemons!
Set yourself up with paper and pen because you’re about to start the planning process. Read through this, fully imagine the scene, and then procure everything you’ll need for your own fantastic Mama Q.
Please keep in mind…a Mama Q has got to be healthy, so it must contain balanced amounts of carbs, proteins and fats.
Your ideal Mama Q will feature whole grains, fruits, veggies, and beans for carbs, lean proteins like fish, chicken and > 90% lean cuts of meat, and healthy fats such as omega 3 fatty acids and monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs).
As predicted, cauliflower is one of the hottest vegetables of 2013. Impress your friends by grilling fresh cauliflower and ears of corn. Instead of Cuban corn, you are serving up “C2” – Cuban cauliflower and corn with yummy queso. Whole Foods now carries queso… just in case you need to find it. I bet no one else will be so clever at the grill! And oh, don’t forget that Brussels sprouts are still trendy, so why not make Brussels sprout slaw or grilled Brussels sprouts on skewers?
On the Grill
Next, buy some shrimp and 90% lean grass-fed beef. Grill the shrimp on skewers brushed with lime and tequila. Serve them in a big bowl next to freshly made salsa. If you don’t want to make your own salsa, your farmers’ market or local Mexican restaurant probably has some ready for purchase.
Make mini beef sliders topped with avocado slices and fresh grapefruit flesh. Your taste buds will dance! I promise! And your guests’ bellies will be full from the lean protein and healthy fats like the omega 3 fatty acids in the shrimp and the monounsaturated fats from the avocado.
And finally, for the après Mama Q snack, bring out frozen and refreshing mini key lime pies sprinkled with wheat germ. Make one for each guest and serve them with fresh blackberries or raspberries. Your guests will be feeling a spring in their steps… and you’ll sleep well knowing you helped their hearts.
See below for recipes…
Sprouts on a Skewer
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, stems removed
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp dry mustard
- 1 tsp salt
- Ground black pepper to taste
- 6 metal skewers (10”)
Prepare grill to medium heat. In a large microwave-safe bowl, combine the Brussels sprouts, olive oil, garlic powder, dry mustard, salt and pepper. Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Remove and allow the sprouts to cool before handling.
Add 5 or 6 Brussels sprouts to each skewer. Place on grill with cover on for about 6 minutes. Rotate and grill for another 4 to 5 minutes, or until the sprouts have a nice char. Remove them from the skewers and adjust seasonings. Serve immediately.
Cuban Cauliflower and Corn
Ingredients (Serves 6-8)
- 1 head of cauliflower, leaves removed and cut into large florets
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground pepper
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp chili powder
- 6 ears of corn, husk on but silk removed
- 1 cup queso fresco
- Heavy duty aluminum foil
Prepare grill to medium heat. In a large bowl, combine cauliflower florets, olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika and chili powder. Place the cauliflower mixture on a large sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil and fold up the edges to create a sealed pouch. Place foil pouch over grill for about 30 minutes, or until the cauliflower is tender.
In another large bowl, soak the ears of corn for 15 minutes. Remove from water and pat dry. Place the corn on the grill and cover for about 20 minutes, rotating the corn 2 to 3 times. When cooked through, remove the corn and allow it to cool. Remove kernels from the cobs. When cauliflower is ready, toss the corn kernels and cauliflower together. Serve warm or cool with a side of queso.
Tequila Lime Shrimp with Salsa
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp tequila
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
- ? tsp sea salt
- ? tsp cumin
- ? tsp chili powder
- ? tsp black pepper
- 2 limes, sliced in wedges
- 6 wooden skewers (10”)
- 1 cup salsa (see below for recipe)
In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, tequila, lime juice, cilantro, salt, cumin, chili powder and pepper. Toss in the shrimp and refrigerate for at least 1 to 2 hours or longer. Prepare an outdoor grill on medium to high heat.
Soak the skewers in water for 15 to 30 minutes to prevent them from burning. Drain marinade from shrimp and insert about 6 shrimp on each skewer. Grill shrimp uncovered for 7 to 8 minutes or until they turn pink. Do not overcook. Garnish with cilantro and lime wedges. Serve warm with a side of salsa.
Ingredients for Salsa
- 1 cup diced fresh mango
- ½ cup diced avocado (about half an avocado)
- 1/3 cup diced red bell pepper
- ¼ cup diced red onion
- 2 tbsp cilantro, minced
- 2 tbsp fresh lime juice
- salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a medium bowl, gently combine mango, avocado, pepper, onion, cilantro and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Ingredients (serves 12)
- 1 lb ground beef, 90% lean, grass fed
- ½ cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing the grill
- 3 tsp garlic, chopped
- ¼ cup chopped parsley
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- 12 mini size whole-wheat rolls
- Optional toppings: lettuce, avocado, grapefruit, sliced tomatoes, pickles
In a large bowl, gently combine the beef, onion, mustard, olive oil, garlic, parsley, salt and pepper. Form twelve 2” patties (about the size of a golf ball or 3 tbsp each).
Prepare an outdoor grill on medium to high heat. Place burgers on hot grill and cook for about 10 minutes or until meat is cooked through; learn more about food safety here.
If you like, toast rolls on the grill for a minute. Otherwise, serve the burgers on rolls with 2 tbsp avocado and 1 tbsp grapefruit! Get the younger ones involved by letting them dish out the avocado and grapefruit.
Mini Key Lime Pies
Ingredients (makes 12 mini pies)
- 1½ cups graham crackers, crushed
- 3 tbsp granulated sugar
- ½ cup Greek yogurt, strained
- 3 tbsp butter, at room temperature
- 4 egg whites
- 2 cans of sweetened condensed milk (14 oz each)
- 2 limes, zested and juiced
- 12 cupcake liners
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together crushed graham crackers, butter, and sugar. Put cupcake liners in the pan. Press 1 tbsp of the graham cracker mixture firmly into the bottom of each cupcake liner. Bake in the oven for 5 to 7 minutes, or until firm and golden. Be careful they don’t burn! Remove from oven and allow them to cool.
Meanwhile, in another bowl, whisk together the egg whites, condensed milk, yogurt and lime juice. Fill cupcake liners with about 3 tbsp of lime filling. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes and then allow them to chill for 2 hours. To serve, sprinkle lime zest on top as garnish.
Can be prepared in advance and refrigerated or frozen.