Warmer weather, longer days and smells of sizzling meat on the grill are the sweet, sweet signs of summer. As you gear up for the season of backyard barbecues and spontaneous weekend getaways, don’t let the cost of summer entertaining take a toll on your wallet.
Sizzle into summer with these tasty tips and techniques that will make cookouts, road trips and impromptu pool parties mouthwatering for less:
- Less Flipping, More Grilling: When grilling for that backyard barbecue, don’t make the mistake of constantly lifting the lid on your grill. Every time you lift the lid, you lose smoke, which will make your meat less flavorful!
- Make More Time for Fun: Keep recipes simple so you can join the party and avoid getting stuck in the kitchen. Sometimes all you need for big flavor is to infuse simple spices into your meals. Whip up a quick dry rub with common spices like cumin, chili powder, oregano and peppercorns, and use when grilling meat, fish and even veggies.
- Put a Fresh Twist on Comfort Foods: Add a twist to your barbecue staple foods to make your dish stand out. Stuff your burgers with jalapeño slices and cheddar cheese or top them off with unique flavors like pineapple, avocado or kiwi.
- Keep It Cool in the Sun: Have homemade freezer pops in your freezer for impromptu pool parties and neighborhood slip and slides. Mix up this traditional summer treat by combining a classic fruit flavor with an exotic one. Coconut flakes, cilantro or honey will add a unique spin on a classic snack.
- Bring Adventure Home: Switch up your go-to recipes with some regional flavors like Texas BBQ ribs or Chicago deep dish pizza. Follow the Summer Starts Here virtual road trip series for regional recipes, tips and tricks at ALDI.us.
Keep your road trip simple and pack finger food snacks that can easily be taken on the go. Quesadillas are quick to make for grab and go meals, and taste great with a combination of sweet and savory flavors.
- Experiment with fun flavors like ricotta cheese and strawberries; sweet potatoes and black beans; or blueberries and cream cheese.
- Make batches ahead of time and have on-hand for when the kids get hungry. Just heat and serve for a simple snack.
- Incorporate fresh spices and produce to keep variations fun and unique all summer long.
Lemon Pesto Mason Jar Pasta Salad
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Scott
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: Two 16-ounce mason jars
1/2 cup fresh parsley
1/2 cup Little Salad Bar Flat Leaf Spinach
1/4 cup grated Priano Asiago Cheese Wedge
1/4 cup Carlini Pure Olive Oil
6 tablespoons Southern Grove Cashew Halves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons Stonemill Essentials Minced Garlic in Olive Oil
1/2 lemon, zested and juiced
Stonemill Essentials Iodized Salt, to taste
Stonemill Essentials Ground Black Pepper, to taste
1/4 cup SimplyNature Organic Diced Tomatoes
1/4 cup Tuscan Garden Large Pitted Ripe Olives, chopped
4 ounces Happy Harvest Mushroom Stems & Pieces, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup Kirkwood Grilled Chicken Strips, diced
2 cups cooked Reggano Tri-Color Pasta
1/4 cup grated Priano Asiago Cheese Wedge
For the Pesto: In a food possessor, combine parsley, spinach, 1/4 cup Asiago cheese, olive oil, cashews and garlic. Pulse until fully incorporated. Add lemon juice and zest, season with salt and pepper to taste.
To assemble: Pour pesto into the bottom of a 1-quart mason jar, add tomatoes, olives, mushrooms and chicken. Top with pasta, and remaining cheese.
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Stacey
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 16 minutes
Total Time: 26 minutes
1 tablespoon Carlini Pure Olive Oil
1 zucchini, halved and sliced into 1/4-inch slices
7 mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
Carlini Canola Cooking Spray
6 Pueblo Lindo Flour Tortillas
3 cups Happy Farms Shredded Cheddar Cheese
In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add zucchini, mushrooms and onion. Cook until soft, stirring often. Drain any liquid.
Coat six squares of foil with cooking spray, lay one tortilla on each.
Place 1/2 cup cheese and 1/4 vegetable mixture on one half of the tortilla; fold in half. Seal the foil around the quesadilla. Keep chilled for any camping trip!
To cook each quesadilla, place foil packet on the outside of the campfire or on grill grates. Cook for 3 minutes per side. Allow to cool slightly before opening and eating.
Watermelon Lime Freezer Pops
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Kevin
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes (plus 6 hours to freeze)
Servings: 8 freezer pops
3 cups watermelon, cubed and seeded
3/4 cup Baker’s Corner Granulated Sugar, divided
3/4 cup blueberries
1/2 cup lime juice, freshly squeezed
Zest of 1 lime
1 cucumber, peeled and seeded
1/4 cup water
3 drops green food coloring
In a blender, puree watermelon and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth.
Pour into freezer pop molds leaving a 1 1/2-inch space at the top.
Drop 3–4 blueberries and freezer pop stick into each mold; freeze for at least 3 hours.
In a blender, puree remaining sugar, lime juice, lime zest, cucumber, water and food coloring until smooth. Reserve in refrigerator.
When watermelon pops are thoroughly frozen, add lime mixture to the top of the mold. Return to freezer, freeze for at least 3 hours or until frozen.