Salutations friends. Apologies for the deafening silence. I have taken a new career opportunity and am in the throes of finding my rhythm. I am pleased to report that we are vectoring. Slowly but surely. How spectacular has this past week's weather been? I gather that we bypassed Spring and find ourselves cheering, hello Summer. This time of year is all about spending time outside and if you have a barbecue, grilling one's dinner. It should be noted that Matthew trembles every time I use the word barbecue as a verb. I love the onset of deliciously warm weather as it simplifies supper time logistics enormously. I find that the grocery store rotation involves picking up proteins, herbs, fruits and vegetables. No need for long recipes or planned deliberation. We pull together select marinades and rubs and let our mains rest over night absorbing the delectable infusions.  Does your city have a local spice market? If yes, venture there and get creative. This past weekend we picked up a Moroccan rub that I will try this week as well as an intense Korean variation. All you have to do is give your meat a gentle rub, let it sit in the fridge for a night and you are in business. Each night this past week we rotated organic chicken, fish, hanger steak and bison burgers on the grill. I do not know what it is but with temperatures in the 80s and 90s, I am all about beef. Within reason of course. Serve with a colorful salad and let the meat speak for itself. Be sure to pick up the grass fed variation. Far healthier and your taste buds will immediately perk up recognizing the difference. When at Whole Foods, we usually venture to the butcher for a pound of bison meat and a pound of grass fed beef. I like to use both for burgers. Please note that one pound will make four generous sized burgers. Hello leftovers! To make dynamite ones, simply chop a red or white onion, a handful of parsley as well as a pinch of kosher salt and cracked black pepper. Mix with your hands, form patties and to the grill we go. 

During these warmer evenings, as Matthew incorporates his Midas touch, I prepare some of the season's freshest vegetables. It is truly as simple as chopping, heating a pan with a dollop of olive or coconut oil and throw in your goodies for a few quick minutes. A squeeze of lemon or lime juice and perhaps a dash of sesame seeds and voila. Be sure to pick up leafy heads of kale, rainbow Swiss chard, dandelion greens, collars greens and spinach. Gorgeous purple heads of cabbage are calling out to me these days. Make stunning bowls of colorful salads. Now is the time. Waxy green and yellow beans are also lovely as they only require a bit of unattended love. Steam them and bingo, within minutes you are in business. Cauliflower is also the cat's meow. You can roast, steam, puree or even pulse it into coarse parts and let can serve as a carbohydrate  substitute for rice or cous cous. Asparagus is in its prime right now. PIck up a bundle, drizzle with olive oil, rock salt and some pepper flakes if you like the heat. Throw them on the grill with your meat. You can pretty much cook anything on the grill. Crisp romaine for homemade caesar salads, avocado, lemons, oranges and most sweet fruits. Nectarines as well as peaches are mischevious when grilled with pork tenderloin. How about garden peas. They like to sit in a large bowl with chopped radishes, fresh herbs, salty cheeses like chèvre or pecorino, olive oil, something acidic and cracked pepper. Now we're talking! A few nights back, Matthew had a yen for teriyaki chicken. I agreed if I could find a healthy recipe as I am still cleansing. My trusty cook book came to the rescue once again. Easy as pie. I made the meat marinade the day before and let it soak for a good 15 hours. As he grilled it, I prepared some French lentils with leeks, chopped up a bevy of goodies including green onions, cucumber and cilantro. From the fridge, we pulled out our now favorite carrot ginger dressing (it is on weekly rotation at the Reynolds Ranch) and delicately washed the collards. In no time, we were seated al fresco, listening to the sounds of summer and enjoying our food. Happy summer eating!

Teriyaki Chicken
Adapted from It's All Good

To the Market We Go

2 organic chicken breasts
1/3 cup of balsamic vinegar
1/3 cup of raw honey - I like Y.S. Eco Bee Farms
3 to 4 inch knob of ginger - chopped and peeled
1 TBS miso paste
1 tsp mirin
1 TBS water
1 tsp red pepper flakes
3 green onions - chopped
Bunch of cilantro - chopped

Do Your Thing

1. In a small pan, please blend the balsamic vinegar, honey, ginger and pepper. Bring to a coil and lower to a simmer. Now you want to cook the mix for approximately 8 minutes or so. 10 is fine too. Add the miso paste, mirin and water and give a big stir. Let the mix cool and then throw in a plastic bag with your chicken. Let it marinade for a couple of hours but overnight is best.

2. Heat your grill and throw on the meat. Discard of the remaining sauce. I set up a wrap station with chopped goodies and our now beloved Carrot Ginger Dressing, whose recipe also comes from this very same cookbook. If wraps aren't your gig this go around, serve your chicken with chopped green onions and cilantro and a giant crisp salad. Bon appetit!

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