Inspire New Recipes for Summer 2017


I'll be honest. I'm not a professional chef. You won't find my show on Food Network anytime soon, but that doesn't mean I can't offer five suggestions for some new recipes to try this summer.

As I explained in last week's post, one of the best summer activities is attending a barbecue. Eating delicious food with your family and friends is a fantastic celebration. However, someone has to prepare the food for these barbecues. Who will do this? Well, you will. Volunteer to bring something new to the barbecue. Take a chance and try out a new recipe. You might just inspire others to try them, too.

Below are five recipes that will be perfect for this summer:

1. Grilled Chicken Salad 
Grilled chicken salad (photo/

Every time my family goes to Texas Roadhouse during the summer, my father orders the grilled chicken salad. It's a large plate of fresh lettuce, grilled chicken strips spread lightly on top, and many toppings, including onions, eggs, tomatoes, shredded cheddar cheese, croutons, and salad dressing. Of course, if you belong to my family, honey mustard is the dressing of choice.

You can make grilled chicken salad anywhere. It's a perfect choice to prepare for a barbecue. It's fresh and cool for a hot summer day, but it's also healthy for vegetarians or people who prefer salad over a hamburger.

To make this simple dish, you need:

  • Crisp, cold lettuce (shredded, if you prefer)
  • Strips of marinated chicken
  • Jack cheese 
  • Egg
  • Tomato 
  • Bacon
  • Red onions
  • Croutons 
Once you have these ingredients, marinate your chicken breasts in your favorite bottled marinade and cook in a George Foreman grill until the chicken is well-done. Add the chicken to the lettuce and additional toppings. 

2. Corn on the Cob & Summer Corn Salad 

Corn on the cob (photo/Spicy Southern Kitchen)

Corn on the cob is an easy recipe, but it's something that should be found at every summer barbecue. There's nothing like sinking your teeth into the sweet corn, and then only having to pick the corn out of your teeth an hour later. 

To make corn on the cob, fill a large pot about 3/4 full of water and let that boil. Gently place ears of corn (as many as you want!) into the boiling water, cover the pot, turn down the heat, and let the corn cook in the hot water until it becomes tender, which is about ten minutes. Then, you're good to go to enjoy this quick and easy summer dish! 

If you prefer not to have corn on the cob but you still want corn at your barbecue, then make it into a salad! 

You'll need the following ingredients for a summer corn salad: 
Summer corn salad (photo/
  • Five ears of corn, boiled or grilled
  • Diced tomato
  • Chopped red onion 
  • Diced green bell pepper
  • Lime, juiced
  • Three tablespoons of olive oil 
  • Salt 
  • Pepper 
  • Fresh cilantro, to taste 
Once you have these ingredients, you will need to remove the corn kernels from the cob and place in a bowl. Add the tomato, onion and green pepper. Toss to combine and add the lime juice and olive oil. Add the cilantro, salt and pepper to taste. This is a very quick and easy dish to prepare! 

3. Hamburger 
Hamburger (photo/

A hamburger is a classic barbecue dish. Basically every barbecue needs hamburgers on the grill to get the party started. There are so many recipes for hamburgers. You can make them super fancy or easy. Personally, I prefer simple hamburgers paired with delicious french fries or onion rings. So, I'm going to offer you a simple recipe for the perfect hamburger you can serve anyone. 

You'll need the following ingredients for your hamburger: 
  • One pound ground beef lean 
  • Egg
  • 1/2 cup of minced onion
  • About 1/2 cup of salt
  • About 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
  • Hamburger buns 
  • 1/4 cup of ketchup (or mustard, mayonnaise, etc.) 
  • Iceberg lettuce 
  • Tomato
  • 4 thin slices of red onion 
Once you have these ingredients, in a bowl, mix the ground beef, egg, 1/2 cup of minced onion, salt and pepper until well blended. Divide this mixture into equal portions and shape each into a patty about four inches wide. 

Lay the burgers on an oiled barbecue grill on high heat. Cook the burgers until they are brown on both sides. Cut to test to make sure there's no pink inside. This should take about seven or eight minutes, and then remove the burgers from the grill. 

Lay the buns (cut side down) on the grill and cook until they're lightly toasted. This should take about 30 seconds. Then, spread your ketchup (or mustard, mayonnaise, etc.) on the bun bottoms. Add lettuce, tomato, burger, red onion, and salt and pepper to taste. Place the top buns on the burger to complete the perfect barbecue dish! 

4. Hot Dog 

Hot dog with summertime slaw (photo/
Similar to hamburgers, a hot dog is a classic barbecue dish. If your barbecue party is having a bonfire, then it's almost a requirement that you need to have hot dogs. Hot dogs are very easy to make. You grill a hot dog over the bonfire and then put it in a bun with ketchup or mustard (the great debate). 

However, here is an updated recipe for your summer recipe: Hot dogs with summertime slaw. Slaw is perfect for summer because it's cold and crisp, but it's also a fun topping for your hot dogs. 

You'll need the following ingredients for your hot dogs with slaw: 
  • One cup of sour cream 
  • 1/4 cup of mayonnaise 
  • Two tablespoons of sugar 
  • One tablespoon of red wine vinegar 
  • One tablespoon of apple cider vinegar 
  • Two cups of sliced red cabbage
  • Two cups of sliced green cabbage
  • Salt and black pepper 
  • Grilled hot dogs of your choice, on a bun 
Once you have these ingredients, you'll whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, red wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar. Stir in the cabbage and toss. Season the cabbage with salt and pepper, to taste. 

Serve the slaw on top of a grilled hot dog. You can even use this as a side dish for hamburgers and grilled chicken. 

5. Chicken Quesadillas 
Chicken quesadillas (photo/

I recently found this recipe. I've been searching for a long time for an easy recipe to make quesadillas, but now I finally have found the perfect recipe. These quesadillas aren't spicy, but perfect for a quick summer dish. You can still make this for your barbecue, as you only need your hands to eat them. 

You'll need the following ingredients for your chicken quesadillas: 
  • Six inch tortillas 
  • One cup of Colby-Jack cheese
  • Four ounce rotisserie chicken, shredded
  • Red bell pepper 
  • Green bell pepper
  • Pan spray 
Once you have these ingredients, you'll combine the chicken and cheese in one bowl. Then, you'll place a pan on the stove over low to medium heat. Spray with pan spray. 

Lay the tortillas on the pan. Place three tablespoons of the chicken and cheese mixture on one half of each tortilla, then spread the peppers on top. Fold the tortilla over into a half moon shape and lightly press to flatten. Cook the quesadilla until it's lightly golden brown. Flip and allow other side to become lightly golden brown. Once you're done, remove the quesadillas from the pan to serve. 


These aren't exactly new recipes. I didn't invent these recipes, but maybe you've never tried making these dishes. Be bold and daring. Try something new for this summer to bring to your next barbecue. You might impress your friends with your delicious food, and then you'll give them the recipe to try. Inspire a friend to try something new. Besides, while you're inspiring and encouraging people, you'll have wonderful food to enjoy! 



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