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Easy Summer Meals

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When the weather turns warm, many of us turn to the grill as the foundation for our culinary efforts. Somehow cooking outdoors, seems to draw people together.

Sitting outside on a warm summer's evening just seems to promote a shared sense of community that engenders light hearted, easy conversation.

And, what better way to keep the conversation going, than presenting a delicious meal of
Indian favorites: Grilled squash with Raita and Tandoori chicken. 

This easy to prepare meal is sure to be a palette pleasing hit while going easy on the waistline.  Enjoy!

Grilled Vegetables with Raita

This is a perfect starter dish: fast and easy to prepare with a light touch of flavor.

Serves 4

Raita Dip

  • About 1 cup of organic plain yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon of Garam Masala
  • Chop about ¼ cup of mint.

Combine and stir yogurt with the Garam Masala and mint. Set in a dipping bowl with a spoon

Grilled Veggies

  • About 1 pound of crooked neck summer squash/zucchini
  • ½ cup of canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon of Classic Garam Masala
  • Fresh mint

Cut the squash into ½ inch wide strips.  Combine Garam Masala and oil to form a marinade.  Coat squash with the marinade.  Grill the sliced squash over low heat until soft. Remove. Place on a large plate with a space for the dipping bowl and serve.

Tandoori Chicken

This is the favorite we all love. It is so easy to prepare and so good you'll wonder why you never tried it before! Serve with a nice rice pilaf or grilled corn on the cob.

Serves 4.
 
1 pound of chicken breast or chicken pieces
1 tablespoon of Tandoori Blend/seasoning
6 ounces of plain yogurt

Prepare the grill so that it has very hot coals.

Remove the skin from the chicken and make 2-3 small slashes in the meat.  Add the Tandoori seasoning to the yogurt. Place the chicken in the marinade for about 45 minutes.

Remove the chicken from the marinade and grill until browned and cooked through. Serve with lemon wedges and rice or corn on the cob.

Notes

Yogurt: If you are not a yogurt fan, you may want to substitute mayonnaise and sour cream for the dip and marinade. However, this substitution will add a significant calorie count to the meal.

Mint: Fresh mint can be quite strong. We call for a ¼  cup in our recipe, but you may want to add more or slightly less based on your taste preferences. If you are not partial to mint fresh parsley or cilantro can be substituted.

About the Flavorist 

ImageKathy FitzHenry is the founder of Juliet Mae Fine Spices, an artisan maker of fine spice blends and seasonings located in San Francisco. Known for her array of sophisticated, handmade products, Kathy has just begun to sell her blends nationally under the name The Occasional Gourmet.  You can find her blends at select specialty stores and at all the Northern California Whole Foods Stores. For more information, please contact Kathy at 415-474-1633 or go to www.theoccasionalgourmet.com

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