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  • Writer's pictureLaurenWallace

This weeks easy, healthy, & Cheap family dinners | Grill Out Season

Updated: May 14, 2019

You all know what time it is... grilling seasonnnnn! & let me tell you, I am THRILLED. Our daughter is due in 3 weeks and 3 days...(not that I'm counting lol).. and I think that these easy to prep grilled meals are going to have to sustain our little family for the first few weeks. (and yes Grey is an excellent cook- he can cook literally anything... the whole grilling option is more of a preference at the moment haha) BUT for those of you with husbands who only cook when there is charcoal and open flame, these are for you. you're welcome.

ok, so full disclosure these are your non-traditional options for grilling out- lets be honest, everyone knows how to grill a hamburger or a hot dog. With this article, I wanted to show you just how many options you actually have for your grill. I have compiled a few recipes that are delicious and ALL the protein and veg is cooked on the grill. All you have to "cook" in the kitchen is a simple side like plain white rice in a rice cooker. everything else, goes to hubby. These meals are wonderfully RIDICULOUSLY healthy and absolutely delicious- and you can use the basics and put your own flavor twist on it. I kinda bounced between a few different protein/ veg/ flavor profiles, but you can easily mix and match. And I, of course, covered all the bases- pork, fish, shellfish, beef, and chicken.

I hope you all enjoy as much as I am going to!

No. 1



Tequila cilantro Lime chicken

1 lb chicken breast (boneless, skinless, thinly sliced)

2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil (divided)

1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)

1/8 tsp black pepper (or to taste)

1/2 tsp smoked paprika (or regular)

1/4 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 cup fresh chopped cilantro

2 oz tequila

2 limes (1 juiced & zested, 1 cut into wedges for serving)


DAY BEFORE: Rinse and pat Chicken dry. Combine chicken and all seasonings, herbs, lime juice and zest, tequila, and 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a Ziploc bag. Shake well to incorporate. Store in refrigerator over night while marinating.

DAY OF: Preheat grill to medium heat. Scrape and brush with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Once the grill is heated, toss on the chicken breasts and cook on each side approximately 3-4 minutes, flipping once. Time will be dependent on the thickness of the chicken breast. Remove from heat. Serve with an extra squeeze of lime juice and fresh chopped cilantro.


½ stick butter, melted

¼ cup mayonnaise

3 tbsp sour cream

Pinch of salt

3 tsp SWEET & SPICY COCOA RUB (divided)

¾ cup crumbled cotija or feta cheese

1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped

6 ears of corn, husks peeled back and silk removed

1 lime (zested and cut into wedges for serving


Preheat grill to high heat. Remove husk from corn cob. Mix melted butter and 1 tb spicy cocoa seasoning blend together. For convenience, you can skewer corn on pre-soaked skewers. Brush seasoned butter on corn and grill, turning every 2-3 minutes until tender and slightly charred, about 10-12 minutes. Stir together the mayonnaise, sour cream,1/2 of the cilantro, 1 tbs spicy cocoa rub, zest from lime, and salt. Place the cotija cheese in a shallow dish. Set aside. Immediately remove corn from grill, brush with mayo mixture and roll in cotija cheese to coat. Sprinkle with additional seasoning blend and remaining chopped cilantro. Serve with lime wedges and squeeze prior to eating.

Grilled tomato's & Peppers

1 container cherry tomatos

1 large red onion

1 green bell pepper

1 Orange bell pepper

2-3 chili peppers

1-2 jalepeno peppers

1/4 tsp chili powder

1/4 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp garlic

1/4 tsp red pepper flake

1/4 tsp cumin

salt and pepper to taske

Juice and zest of 1/2 lime

1/3 cup fine chopped fresh cilantro

1/3 cup olive oil

Pack of wood Skewers


Soak wood skewers in water so that they are fully immersed. Preheat grill to high heat. Wash and chop all vegetables into even sized cubes. Slide vegtables onto wood skewers. Combine spices, olive oil, and lime in food processor container. Baste mixture over the skewers and continue doing so as you are cooking them on the grill. cook untill charred and veg is tender, approximately 8-10 minutes.

Serve with white rice, chopped cilantro, sour cream, lime wedges, and grilled flour tortillas

No. 2


W/ grilled ASPARAGUS & Sweet Potato


1 Orange, separated- (reserve 1/4 cup fresh orange juice, 1/2 orange zest, and 1/2 orange peel sliced)

1 tablespoon Soy Sauce

1 tablespoon ponzu sauce

1 tablespoon Olive Oil

1 tablespoon lime juice

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 tablespoon ginger root, grated peeled

1 pound salmon fillet or steak, cut into 4 portions

1 tablespoon Brown Sugar

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper


NIGHT BEFORE: In a large resealable plastic food-storage bag, combine orange juice, soy sauce, oil, lime juice, garlic and ginger root. Add salmon; seal bag. Turn to coat. Let stand overnight to marinate.

DAY OF: Coat grill grate with cooking spray. Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Remove salmon from marinade; reserve marinade to baste. Place salmon on grill; cover grill. Grill, turning once, basting again, 8-10 minutes until internal temperature is 140°F. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix brown sugar and pepper. Coat top surface of each salmon portion with brown sugar mixture. Cover grill; grill 3 minutes until salmon is cooked through and brown sugar mixture is melted. Serve on a bed of cooked white rice.


1 bunch asparagus

1 tbs ponzu sauce

2 tbs butter, cut into small pieces

1 lemon, sliced into wedges

aluminum foil (to make packets)


Turn on the barbecue and set to medium heat. Cut off the tough woody ends of the asparagus. create foil packet out of aluminum foil and fill with aparagus, butter, 3-4 lemon wedges, and ponzu. toss with salt and pepepr to taste. Close and seal foil packet and place on grill, shaking and flipping every few minutes. Cook for 15 minutes. serve with remaining lemon wedges.

Grilled Sweet Potatoes

2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced into planks


2 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs lemon zest

1 tbs ponzu

2 tbs soy sauce

1/4 cup fresh cilantro

1/4 cup olive oil

Kosher salt


Preheat your grill to medium high heat. While the grill is heating up, peel the sweet potatoes and slice lengthwise, or on a diagonal, into 1/4 inch-thick pieces. Make the dressing: Combine all of the remaining dressing ingredients into a small bowl. Toss the sweet potato slices with olive oil mixture and lightly sprinkle with Kosher salt. Grill the sweet potatoes: Once the grill is hot, lay the sweet potato pieces down onto the grill grates. Cover the grill and cook until each side gets some grill marks, between 3-6 minutes for each side, depending on how hot your grill is. baste your sweet potatoes in sauce when you flip them and before serving. enjoy!

Serve with White rice, soy sauce, & ponzu sauce.

No. 3

Grilled Kielbasa Kabobs

W/ Bell pepper & red potatos

Kielbasa Kabobs with Honey Balsamic

3- 14 oz Kielbasas, Cut into 2" chunks

1 Red bell pepper

1 Orange bell pepper

1 yellow bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

1 red onion

1 Pineapple

Honey Balsamic Glaze:

½ cup Honey

1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar

¼ tsp Fresh ground pepper

¼ teaspoon Salt


Prepare glaze by combining all ingredients in a small bowl, then set aside. Chop peppers into 1-2" squares. Prepare pineapple by cutting off the exterior skin, top, and bottom, so only the flesh remains. Cut pineapple into 1-2" chunks, discarding the core. Add ingredients to skewers, alternating kielbasa, peppers, pineapple, then onion. Repeat until all ingredients have been used. Periodically rotate kabobs from front to back, over the coals, to ensure they cook evenly. Turn the kabobs as needed to allow each side to cook. and periodically brush with glaze, reserving some for the end. Kabobs are done with kielbasa is heated through and starting to blacken slightly on edges. Paint with any remaining glaze and serve immediately.

Grilled Red Potatoes

1 lb. red potatoes, quartered

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1 shallot, finely diced

4 garlic cloves, smashed

1 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

3-4 rosemary sprigs

2-3 slices of lemon

*salt and pepper, to taste


First, heat your grill to 400ºF. Next, prepare red potatoes. Wash them and pat dry. Then, cut in half, and in half again to quarter them. Prep shallot by finely dicing. smash 4 garlic cloves. Place potatos in aluminum foil. drizzle with olive oil, spices, and salt and pepper. Top with rosemary sprigs, garlic cloves, butter divided into 4-6 pieces, and lemon slices. Then place another piece of foil on top. Fold the sides in, creating your foil pack. Last, use a fork to poke a few holes on the top of your foil pack.Place foil pack on your heated grill right on top of the flames. Then, cover grill and let cook for around 20 minutes or until the potatoes can be easily pierced with a fork and have reached desired consistency.

Serve with fresh parsley, mustard, and chilled saur kraut and enjoy!

No. 4

Honey BBQ Shrimp

W/ grilled avocado & Mango Salsa

Honey BBQ Grilled Shrimp

1/3 cup your favorite barbecue sauce (I use kroger sweet and tangy)

1/3 cup honey'

2 to 4 cloves garlic, finely minced or pressed

2 to 3 tablespoons chili garlic sauce, optional and to taste if you prefer some spiciness

2 pounds fresh shrimp, cleaned and deveined

2 tablespoons olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

fresh lemon wedges, for serving

fresh cilantro for garnishing


To a medium bowl, add the barbecue sauce, honey, garlic, optional sriracha or chili garlic sauce, and stir to combine. Divide mixture into two bowls (one for brushing on the shrimp while grilling and the other as a dipping sauce when serving); set bowls aside.Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat (or indoor grill pan).Thread about 5 to 6 shrimp onto one metal or wooden grilling skewer (soak wooden skewers in water for about 30 minutes prior to using); repeat the threading with all remaining shrimp.Brush shrimp liberally with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.Grill the shrimp for about 2 minutes on the first side.Flip and brush the just-grilled side with the barbecue sauce mixture from one of the bowls.Grill for about 2 minutes on the second side, and brush the first side with the barbecue sauce mixture. As necessary, continue to brush the shrimp with the sauce and flip every 30 to 60 seconds or until done. Note – Shrimp cook very quickly, especially on a hot grill. Keep an eye on them and do not overcook or they will become tough and rubbery. There is a difference between a little charring on the tails from the grill versus overcooking them.Drizzle with lemon juice, optionally garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley, and serve immediately with the reserved dipping sauce. Shrimp are best warm and fresh.



4 to 6 ripe but firm California Avocados halved, pits removed

avocado oil or olive oil for coating

salt and pepper, to taste


1 fresh mango diced

1/2 habenero, seeded and finely chopped

1 chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped

1 jalapeno seeded and finely chopped

1/4 red onion finely chopped

1/2 lime, juiced

1/2 lime, zested

1 pinch salt to taste


Preheat the grill (fire up the coals or turn on the grill) to a medium-high temperature. While the grill is preheating, add all ingredients for the shrimp to a sealable bag and shake well to combine. Coat the flesh side of the avocados with avocado oil or olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt.

Place avocados on the grill cut-side down. Grill 2 minutes, flip, and grill another 2 minutes. Place grilled avocados on a plate and set aside. 

Place shrimp on the grill and cook until grill marks appear, about 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and continue grilling another minute or two, until shrimp are cooked through. Transfer shrimp to a plate.


Stir together all ingredients for the mango salsa in a bowl.


Stuff each avocado half with mango salsa and top with 2 or 3 grilled shrimp. Serve and enjoy! Note: you will have leftover shrimp, which you can place in a bowl and serve to guests who want more.

Serve with white rice, cilantro, lime wedges, bbq sauce, & ponzu sauce.

No. 5

Korean BBQ Short Ribs (KALBI)

W/ grilled zucchini & Rice

Korean BBQ Short Ribs

3/4 cup soy sauce

1/4 cup ponzu sauce

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup water

5 cloves garlic minced

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

3 green onions chopped

¼ cup sesame or vegetable oil

5 pounds Korean-style short ribs, cut across bones

Thinly sliced green onions for garnish, if desired

Korean BBQ Sauce:

1/2 cup soy sauce

1/3 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup

1 tbsp garlic minced

1 tbsp rice wine vinegar

1 tsp sesame oil

1/2 tsp fresh ginger grated

1/4 tsp red pepper flake

1 tbsp water

2 tsps cornstarch


SAUCE: Bring all the ingredients (except for the water and cornstarch) to a boil over medium heat in a small sauce pan. In a small bowl, make a cornstarch slurry by mixing the cornstarch and water together until the cornstarch dissolves. Add the cornstarch to pot and whisk over medium-low for 5-10 minutes and it's rich and thick.

RIBS: In a large zip lock bag, combine together the soy sauce, brown sugar, water, garlic, green onions and sesame oil to dissolve sugar.Add ribs, squeeze out all the air and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.Preheat outdoor grill for medium-high heat and lightly oil the grate. Remove the ribs and discard the marinade. Grill until meat is medium rare, about 3 minutes per side. Serve with korean bbq sauce on side.

Grilled Zuccini & mushrooms

3 zucchini, sliced lengthwise in quarters

4 portabella mushrooms, sliced lengthwise in 1" pieces

1 tablespoon olive oil for brushing 2 - 3 teaspoons fish sauce

1/2 lime, zest & Juice 1 teaspoon minced garlic 2 teaspoons sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon red chili flake

1 teaspoon rice vinegar

2 scallions, finely sliced

2 tablespoons cilantro, for garnish

Toasted white and black sesame seeds, for garnish


Slice each zucchini lengthwise in quarters (you will end up with 16 long zucchini rods) and portabella mushrooms lengthwise in 1" thick pieces. Preheat and Brush grill with olive oil. Mix all ingredients and toss zucchini and mushrooms in it. grill until tender, approximately 4-6 minutes per side depending on how hot grill is. brush with sauce when turning and serve with remainder of sauce, toasted sesame seeds, and cilantro.

Serve with White rice, sesame oil, scallions, sesame seeds, chili oil, kimchi, and soy sauce.

You guys already knew I was going to go the Asian rout at least once in this breakdown and since my in-laws, fiance, and daughter are all Korean, I figured this was a solid recipe to land on. This is a play off of your traditional korean bbq. I hope you all enjoy!



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