Recipe: Memorial Day Edition! Yogurt Marinated Chicken and Vegetable Kabobs

I'm happy to say that grilling season is officially here! The sun is shining, the pools are open, and everyone wants to do some outdoor cooking. One of my favorite things to make on the grill are kabobs. Not only do they cook quickly, but they are quite versatile and make it easy to create a large spread with something to please every palate. I like to make mine using a product called the Fire Wire. The long wire allows you to pack lots of food on to one skewer and they have a handle at the end that you can grab with your hand (burn-free) when it's time to flip. They are also nice if you have a round grill because you can snake them around, giving you a much more efficient use of the cooking space. I find they work better with meats than veggies, as the vegetables tend to spin around when it's time to flip, but it's still doable.

Now for the food! I cooked chicken, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, red onion, and pineapple. The pineapple was cubed and grilled au naturale. For the veggies, I brushed them with a little olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. Both simple and simply delicious. The chicken was cubed and marinated in a mixture of yogurt and spices which gave it lots of moisture and great flavor. Try this out at your next cook-out or for dinner with the family and you won't be disappointed. I know I"ll be making it all summer long!

Yogurt Marinated Chicken Kabobs

serves 2-4 people


1.25 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed (thighs would also work, if you prefer)

1/2 cup organic, plain yogurt

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

Pepper to taste



1. Combine yogurt, lemon juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper in a bowl or measuring cup and mix thoroughly.

2. Place chicken in a shallow dish or large plastic bag and add yogurt mixture. Mix well to ensure the marinade is completely incorporated. Cover (or close the bag) and refrigerate for 3-6 hours.

3. Prepare your grill and heat on medium-low. When chicken is done marinating, remove from refrigerator and put on your favorite skewers. If using wooden skewers be sure to soak them in water for 30 minutes before adding the chicken and fill them completely, limiting the amount of exposed wood. This will help prevent a flaming skewer or the skewer burning and breaking into pieces.

4. Place chicken skewers on hot grill and cook, flipping once. A good rule of thumb it not to flip the meat until it pulls away from the grill freely. Don't be the person that moves the food around constantly. Place it on the grill and be patient. The results will be much better, I assure you.

5. When chicken is cooked, remove from grill and serve with grilled vegetables.

What is you favorite food to grill in the Summer? Tell me in the comments below! : )

Gameday Food Without the Guilt

With football season underway, many of us will spend our weekends tailgating or munching away in front of the TV.

However, gameday festivities don't have to be centered around greasy processed foods with little in the way of nutrition. Now don't worry, I'm not trying to take away your burgers and replace them with celery sticks. With just a few simple swaps and some new ideas, you'll be on your way to a healthier get together without sacrificing flavor.

1. Kabobs

Once of the easiest ways to please a variety of palates and sneak in some veggies is a kabob. You can choose whatever meat you and your guests like, from chicken to shrimp to steak, and choose from a variety of marinade and seasoning options. Vegetables and fruits also do well on the grill. Try zucchini, red onion, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, peaches, pineapple, and even the season's last watermelons for a rainbow of colors and flavors. Grilling caramelizes the sugars in produce making them extra yummy. One tip is to fill each kabob with one item (all shrimp or all zucchini, for example) to make sure everything cooks evenly.

2. A Better Burger

Hamburgers are a quintessential tailgating food, but they don't have to be a diet destroyer. The first way to improve this classic is the quality of the meat. Choose lean, organic, grass-fed beef which has more omega-3 fatty acids and no gross hormones or antibiotics. Next, is the bun. Toss the classic white bun, which spikes blood sugar and has been stripped of its fiber, and instead choose a 100% whole wheat bun. Just make sure not to be fooled by clever labeling loopholes. The third trick is to load up on healthy, filling add-ons. Traditional toppings like lettuce, tomato, and onions are great, but don't be afraid to mix it up with avocado, grilled pineapple, grated cabbage, or even hummus.

3. Soups and Stews

As the weather starts to turn cold later on in the season, there's no better way to warm up than with a piping hot bowl of chili or soup. Make a nutritious pot by using lots of beans, lean meats, and a variety of veggies. You can even use some homemade stockas a great base and let your creativity take control. Want to make this even easier? Break out the slow-cooker and let it do the cooking for you!

4. Personal Pizzas

This is a fun food that each guest can personalize to their own tastes. Create a pizza assembly station with 100% whole wheat tortillas, pizza sauce, diced onions, fresh basil, chopped bell peppers, mushrooms, and a couple of cheeses, such as fresh mozzarella and feta, along with any other toppings you like. If grilling, slap the assembled pizzas on the grill and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the tortilla is crispy and the cheese is melted. If at home, place on a baking sheet and cook at 425 °F for 10-12 minutes. Just make sure not to load up with too many toppings or the pizza won't get crispy and everything will slide right off of your floppy crust.

5.Pick Better Chips and Switch your Dips

I don't know if I will convince anyone to give up their chips, but there are at least some better choices out there. While they may not be called a health food, they can make a difference. Look for baked chips that are made from whole sliced potatoes and then baked to perfection. Stay away from the ones made from a potato pulp and then mixed with weird ingredients, like chicken fat (not kidding), and shaped into a chip-like silhouette. In the dip category, ditch heavy french onion and sour cream based dips an instead opt for fresh salsa, hummus, or a yogurt based ranch.

What's your favorite gameday food?

Salmon Panzanella with Grilled Corn on the Cob

Some people look forward to summer for the sunshine and days by the pool. Me, I'm all about the produce! There is nothing better than chopping up a red, juicy tomato and throwing it into a salad after so many fall, winter, and spring months without one. Heck, I love them so much, I could eat one all by itself. This dinner highlights tomatoes and cucumber, two of those veggies that just scream summer, along with corn on the cob, and another summer favorite, grilling!

Salmon Panzanella with Grilled Corn on the Cob

adapted from
Serves 4

4 ears of corn, with husks

8 Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped

3 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 thick slices 100% whole wheat bread

2 large tomatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium cucumber, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup thinly sliced or chopped red onion

1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil

1 pound wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, skinned and divided into 4 portions

1/2 teaspoon salt


1. Discard outer husks on corn and peel back inner layers to reveal silk. Remove silk and fold inner husks back around corn to protect it on the grill.

2. Fill large pot with water and soak corn, stalk end up, for 10-30 minutes (this will allow corn to steam inside husks and remain moist on the grill).

3. Meanwhile, whisk olives, vinegar, capers, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper in large bowl. Slowly whisk in oil until combined. Add tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and basil and toss to distribute dressing.

4. Preheat grill.

5. Remove corn from water and shake to remove excess. Grill corn, turning occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until tender.

6. Season salmon with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and remaining 1/8 teaspoon of pepper. Brush both sides of salmon with olive oil. Grill salmon for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or until it flakes with a fork.

7. Grill bread slices for 2-3 minutes on each side, or until grill marks are visible and bread is toasted.

8. Slice bread into 1-inch pieces and add to vegetable mixture at the last moment to retain crispness (when storing leftovers, remove these "croutons" as they will get soggy).

9. Divide salad into 4 portions and top with salmon. Serve corn on the side. I don't use butter because it's so deliciously sweet it simply doesn't need it!