A great pandemic grilling tip: clean up with an onion

Here’s a great grilling hack for everyone cooking more outside now that the weather has turned hot. The worst part about grilling is cleaning the grill, I think. I typically buy disposable grilling sheets at a local dollar store to put over my grill so food doesn’t bake on it. That cuts down on how much wire brushing I need to do in the cleanup stage.

But now I’m going to try this hack from Southern Living magazine that says an onion can be a handy cleaning tool for a grill. Just cut a large onion in half and put the cut side down on your grill, moving it up and down with a long grilling fork to remove cooking residue on the grill, it suggests.

I use these disposable grilling sheets to keep my main grill clean, but this onion trick sounds like a great alternative.

“For extra gunk-fighting power, spray the grates with lemon juice or our old friend white vinegar first. The extra acidity helps with the cleaning process,” the magazine article states.

“Not only do onions have natural antibacterial properties, but if you’re cooking with charcoal, you can throw into right in the coals when you’re finished to add flavor to whatever you’re grilling,” it goes on to state.


Still time to grill? Try these fruits and veggies for something different and fun

Labor Day Weekend is the traditional end for the outdoor grilling season, at least in northern climes such as Chicago where I live. But there will still be days when it’s warm enough to go out and fire up your grill, or grills (I have four!). Here’s a new take on grilling, ever think about fruits and veggies on the grill?

Cooking Light magazine has, apparently, in this piece on 10 fruits and veggies to grill (everything is a list these days, so they had to find 10 I’m sure).

Some of these, like watermelon, onions, eggplant and pineapple, I’ve heard of grilling before, but some, like apples and peaches really surprised me.

I’m guessing the key here is to find items with sugar content the flavor of which will be brought out by grilling.

Take a look, it’s a video, so you have to endure a commercial, but after that it moves fairly quickly.

And keep those grills fired up into fall, I know people who do their Thanksgiving turkeys outdoors in cold climates, that is hardcore grilling.


Grilling season — time for fish, here’s a how-to guide

Grilling salmon has become a go-to summer dish for me. I’ve done other fish on my outdoor grill, and hope to try grilling clams this summer, but salmon is king of the grill for me. That said though, I’m always open to new grilling ideas.

In another sheet of aluminum foil, place your four pieces of salmon and separate with aluminum foil. Then rub in marinades for each.
Grilling salmon is a luscious experience .with aluminum foil. Then rub in marinades for each.

So I was excited to see The Ultimate Guide to Grilling Fish on Bon Appetit recently. The magazine has been on a grilling roll lately, also writing recently about grilling salad, of all things. Continue reading “Grilling season — time for fish, here’s a how-to guide”

Grilled clams — gotta love ’em; here’s a recipe idea

Bon Appetit magazine often has very complex recipes that give me a headache. But this one it posted recently for grilled clams is as simple as it gets.

Grilling clams and mussels, I can't wait.
Grilling clams and mussels, I can’t wait.

Simply put the clams on a grill until they pop open, about 3-5 minutes, and they’re done! The only person to leave a comment for this post joked about it not really being a recipe at all, which of course it’s not, it’s just a prep suggestions. But I like the idea and plan to try it.

I’m thinking instead of putting them directly on the grill, I’ll put them in a shallow baking dish with some white wine for flavoring. Perhaps I’ll mix in some Italian spices as well. Clams are a favorite of mine and these days we supposedly don’t need to worry about the cholesterol in shell fish anymore.

Bon Appetit does have an accompanying recipe for Grilled Clams With Aleppo Pepper, Tumeric, And Lime Butter. Rather than butter, I would try some lime or lemon-infused olive oil to substitute a good fat for a bad one.

If you have other clam recipes, let me know.

Fourth of July: why I went hungry while the country celebrated

Fourth of July is a holiday everyone enjoys, isn’t it, a time for backyard barbeqcues and fireworks. But when you’re on a restricted diet, it becomes something different; it becomes a day when you can’t eat like other people.

We spent the day at a friend of my wife’s who traditionally makes all the usual Fourth favorites, none of which are on my low-salt, low-sugar, low-fat diet plan, unfortunately.

Let’s go through the list:
* Hamburgers – too much fat
* Hot dogs – too much salt and too much fat
* Corn – too much starch (i.e. sugar)
* Potato salad and cole slaw – too much fat and too much salt, depending on the variety made
* White bread buns – too much salt and too much starch
* barbecue sauce on anything – too much salt and too much sugar

And so I sat there watching everyone else eat and getting hungrier and hungrier. In the evening, rather than see our local fireworks display, I instead returned home and made myself some salmon and a green salad.album_pic.php

My advice if you know you may be in similar situation – bring a watermelon as your contribution to the party, you can eat plenty of that. Or bring along a chicken breast or low-fat burger you make at home and ask your host to cook it for you.

And if you want to celebrate at your house with a cookout, try these barbecue items I’m now making for myself:

• Salmon dressed with lemon or a low-salt marinade
• Chicken breasts in a low-salt marinade (Mrs. Dash or another brand)
• Hamburgers you make with the leanest possible beef; I have found 96% lean beef in my area.
• Low-fat hot dogs (Hebrew National makes them, look for those or similar brands).
• Grilled vegetables brushed with olive oil and Italian spices
• Tilapia made in aluminum foil to hold in the flavor, garnished with lemon slices and lemon juice.
• Whole wheat or Ezekiel bread and buns
• Home-made fruit salad for dessert or fat-free ices or sherbets

I thought my grilling days were over after my angioplasty, but I’ve found these adjustments allow me to continue cooking out and enjoying it.

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