You may already be prepping the grill for Fathers Day on Sunday, but what’s going on the side? Here’s a couple of quick and yummy ideas to whip up for dinner that Dad AND the whole gang will love!

Grilled Veggie Skewers

  • Broccoli Florets
  • Cauliflower Florets
  • Baby or Fingerling Potatoes
  • Small Red Peppers, cut in half and seeded
  • Red Onions in 8ths
  • *Grilling Spice Drizzle

Step One Place the broccoli and cauliflower in a small microwaveable bowl. Cover and microwave for 2 – 3 minutes or until crisp tender.

Step Two Place the potatoes in a stockpot and cover with water. Add 1 TB salt and bring to a boil. Boil for about 20 – 25 minutes or until just tender.

Step Three Create skewers by sliding the broccoli, cauliflower, potatoes and red pepper on skewers. (If bamboo, soak the skewers in water for 30 minutes before using.) Drizzle with the dressing and grill for about 5 minutes over medium heat or until you have good grill marks. Serve with a pitcher of the remaining dressing.

*Grilling Spice Drizzle

There are so many fun spice blends out there – from “Steak Seasoning” to Spice Rubs. Here’s a way to use your favorite to spice up veggies!

  • ½ Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • ¼ Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 TB Dijon Mustard
  • 1 TB Your Favorite Grilling Spice
  • Shake all the ingredients up in a jar.

Summertime Picnic Pasta Salad

  • 1 Cup *Whole Wheat Small Macaroni, Cooked as Package Directs
  • 1 Can (15 oz) Black Beans Well Rinsed and Drained
  • 4 Ears Fresh Corn, Cut From the Cob
  • 1 Cup Chopped Tomatoes
  • ½ Cup Sliced Green Onion
  • 3 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Zest of 1 Lime
  • ¼ Cup Lime Juice
  • ¼ Cup Julienned Basil
  • ½ Cup Chopped Mint
  • ½ Tsp Chili Powder
  • 1 Grated Garlic Clove
  • Sea Salt and Freshly Cracked Black Pepper, to taste
  • Shredded Romaine and Spinach
  • Avocado Slices 

Step One In large mixing bowl, mix pasta, beans, corn, tomato, onions, Toss to combine.

Step Two Whisk together the oil, zest, lime juice, basil, mint, chili and garlic together in a small bowl. Toss with the pasta mixture and taste for salt and pepper. Scoop the pasta salad on top of the shredded romaine and spinach, garnishing with avocado slice

Did you know that pasta cooked al dente is actually better for you? The word “Al Dente” comes from Italian and means “to the tooth or to the bite”. Pasta that is cooked this way is midway between under-cooked, where pasta is still tough, and over-cooked, where it lacks any texture and begins to fall apart. Pasta that is prepared al dente has a lower “glycemic index” which means that it doesn’t send your blood sugar skyrocketing. To make your pasta habit even healthier, try whole wheat or whole grain shapes. You’ll get more powerhouse nutrients, plus a healthy serving of fiber!

Don’t make the common (and hot) mistake of confusing chile powder with chili pepper. While chile pepper is pure chilies in ground form, chili powder is a mix of chile powder, cumin, garlic and other ingredients like paprika and oregano. There are 100s of chili powder blends out there – try several different brands to find your favorite.

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