I can hardly believe it's Fourth of July weekend already! This is one of those holidays synonymous with cookouts and I'm ready for it. How many times have you gotten so stuffed eating a greasy burger with a big o'll bun a side of heavily mayoed potato or macaroni salad and chips and so on and so forth and wished you hadn't eaten so much? I'm sure we've all been there a time or two and it really puts a damper on the fun. So, how about switching up the cookout menu? How about grilling up something that required about the same amount of effort but delivers in a "I feel like I'm eating at a restaurant" satisfying sort of way? And how about feeling good about what you ate when you were done? I've got ya covered. Get yourself a nice bunch of asparagus, a couple of chicken breasts and a few shrimp and I'll show you what's up.
I start by blanching my asparagus. Basically you steam it for about 2 min so it's not totally cooked through but has a little head start. When you remove it from the pot, shock it, or stop the cooking process by submerging it in ice water. Just fill a bowl with some cold water and a few cubes and that will do the trick. Once it has cooled, remove it to a plate so it doesn't get water logged.
While the asparagus is doing it's thing, I chop up a bunch of herbs that are growing behind the house (I highly recommend adding herbs to planters and flower boxes if you're not growing them in a garden. It's a fantastic way to add flavor to your food without adding excess fat or salt). I had oregano, thyme, chives and garlic (I don't do much of anything without garlic!) and I believe I had a shallot on hand so that's in there too. I added about a quarter to a third cup of olive oil and and juice from a lemon and a little salt and pepper. Just let that sit and become fabulous.
I skewer up my shrimp and brush it and the chicken breast generously with the herby lemony garlic oil.
Then you just put those bad boys on the grill.
Stay with me, this is so good. We had some grilled asparagus for an appetizer at one of our favorite brew pubs and we couldn't wait to make it at home.
Once it gets all charred and yummy, remove it to a plate.
Chicken looks great!
Just set everything aside as it's done, these taste just as good when they've cooled off a bit.
How good do these look? Toss them on a green salad or just eat as is. So tasty.
When all is said and done, serve with a little jasmine rice if you like, or as I mentioned, on a bed of greens. Drizzle a little more of that herb lemon oil goodness over the top and I assure you, you will not feel gross after eating this cookout food. So trade in those burgers and dogs for something healthy and delish. You won't be disappointed.