While hand-held dogs and soft potato bun-encased burgers stand out in our minds as the all-American cookout foods, there are equally satisfying no-bread-necessary options for your grill. Middle Eastern in origin, kebabs consist of pieces of meat, fish or vegetables grilled on a skewer for easy, one-handed snacking. As far as healthy cookouts go, you can’t go wrong when pairing lean protein and fresh, seasonal vegetables with an array of your favorite spices. This summer, embrace outdoor cooking with these seven good-for-you kebabs that won’t slow down your backyard game of horseshoes.
Growing up, I spent several summers visiting my grandparents in the Florida Keys. These days, when I see key limes at the market, I’m catapulted back to age 10–to my grandmother’s sublime key lime pie, her tart limeade and that tangy-sweet steak marinade she made with fresh key limes from her tree. When it was time to head home, we’d squeeze a bunch of limes so I could bring juice home (clearly this was before carry-on liquids were capped at 3 ounces).
These days, you can find key limes in grocery stores nationwide. Thin-skinned key limes are much smaller than regular limes (usually the size of a ping-pong ball or golf ball) and they contain very few seeds. Green key limes are actually immature fruit and are fairly tangy, but as they ripen and turn yellow, the acidity drops and they get sweeter. There’s no shortage of uses for key limes–use them anywhere a recipe needs a tangy splash of citrus flavor, such as in marinades for meat, poultry and fish; dressings and vinaigrette; salsas, pies, quick breads, muffins, and more.
Here, I use them to give delicious flavor to chicken kebabs.
For most folks, Labor Day weekend is last time for a big BBQ bash. The kids are heading back to school (or are already there) and those half-day Fridays have all run out. Cherish summer’s final days and seasonal flavors with this versatile spread. Our menu features veggie kabobs to start, a spicy grilled chicken (or grilled zucchini for the meat-wary) and a fruit sundae to round things out.
We didn’t forget the drinks, either. Serve Blueberry Lime Margaritas for the adults and Blueberry Lemonade for the kids. If your friends aren’t blueberry fans, mix up a lighter, homemade batch of fresh iced tea instead.