I don’t know about you guys but I love a good summer cookout, or barbecue, or whatever you want to call it. But I always have fond memories of it.
In my experience, it’s never been anything crazy or special, but just a time to grill out and eat tons of yummy foods in warm weather.
But of course, there are certain kinds of foods you “cookout” or “barbecue.” It can range from ribs to burgers and hot dogs or from swordfish to chicken kabobs. It’s really whatever you want. At my old apartment, I bought a little camping grill that collapses so you can roll it around and kept it on my balcony. I loved it, even though I only used it a handful of times. I now wish we had a balcony because we could be grilling out all the time. It’s just such an easy and fun way to make dinner in the summer.
So if you’re like me and don’t have access to a grill, there’s still ways around it.
You can bake your food, get a grill cast iron skillet, a George Foreman, or just saute your meat on top of your hob (stove top), which is what I did.
I had planned on making Ambitious Kitchen’s Jalapeno Curry Turkey Burgers with my own version of sweet potato fries and my very own summer pasta salad.
It’s all really easy. And if you don’t want to fancify your burger, you can just add salt and pepper, some cajun seasoning, or paprika, or whatever seasoning you want to it and mix it with your meat. However, the curry sauce on the burger and as a dip for the sweet potato fries was amazing and I highly recommend it.
On the day I made this, I didn’t have ground (minced) turkey in the house so had to run to the co op to get some. Of course the co cop didn’t sell ground turkey so I just bought ground (minced) beef with the lowest fat percentage and mixed all the seasonings, cilantro, and pepper with it in a bowl.
To make the curry sauce, you just have to mix tahini, garlic and ginger with a bunch of seasonings which was soooo crazy simple to do.
I meal prepped the pasta salad. I used bow tie pasta and added cucumbers and cherry tomatoes to the mix then added some feta, italian dressing, and salt and pepper to taste. And that is literally it. Sometimes after you’ve left it in the fridge for awhile, you need to add more italian dressing as it soaks into the pasta, but the one I bought was so oily that I didnt need to do that. Next time I make this, I think I’ll try to make my own dressing as I didn’t like the one I bought but it was the only one I could find as it’s not all that popular here – much more in States. For those in the States, the Kraft Fat Free version is the best to use!
As for the sweet potato fries, I cut them into very thin slices and then coated them with olive oil, salt, pepper, cumin, and some chili powder before putting them in the oven. They were quite soggy unfortunately. And apparently the secret to getting crunchy sweet potato fries is cornstarch.
I did actually try the cornstarch thing which does work. They aren’t nearly as crispy as I would like them but it was much better. I also put paprika and cayenne pepper as seasonings the second time and liked that mixture much more than the cumin, just as an FYI.
Anyway, that completes the meal. It really is quite easy and if you’re only making it for two people, there’s enough for dinner two nights in a row which is the best ever because leftovers are great.
Obviously to keep with the cookout theme, I’d suggest some kind of punch or Arnold Palmer. You could make kool-aid if you’re from the States, or just go with a good ol’ beer. It’s really up to you.
The best thing about this meal is that it’s all very healthy and balanced. The one thing I will never sacrifice by eating healthy is taste or flavour. Enjoying life is much too important to me.