Fourth of July is all about the BBQ. Unfortunately, Fourth of July can also be about junk food; you know the cotton candies, the corn on the cob, the hot-dogs. I don’t know about you, but I am getting a stomach ache just typing.
Here is my version of a summer afternoon cookout that will leave you just as satisfied, but also healthy and vibrant.
You guys know, I own the business in West Seattle, but I am a country girl. My husband and I live past Tiger Mountain out in the wilderness surrounded by the forest. When it comes to backyard activities, country people do everything a bit bigger, and more elaborate than our city cousins. My neighbor has acres of vegetables, you can buy duck eggs down the street in front of someone’s house, and we love our fire pits.
My husband made our fire pit as a birthday present to me a few year’s back, since then it has been the focal point of all summer parties.
Enjoying a slow Sunday with a book by the fire.
Making a fire takes time, you have to allow the wood to burn down to coal before you can start cooking. It takes hours to make a meal. But cooking over fire creates flavors that are, well, they are amazing. If you cannot find a fire pit for Fourth of July, try putting some wood-chips (if your BBQ allows) along with your BBQ to create that smoky goodness.
We all like to mingle and celebrate during a holiday, so here is a recipe that will give you time!
Marinated shrimp and vegetables with cucumber and tomato salad
My father worked in Italy for many years where he was inspired by simple, fresh cooking. He used to make this salad with summer meals often. It really does not get simpler than this!
Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Cucumber and Tomato Salad
Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
In a food processor, slice equal amount of cucumbers and tomatoes. Place in bowl, pour plenty of olive oil. I said pour, please don’t drizzle, douse it c’mon it’s good for you! Don’t be shy, then squeeze the juice of 1 or 2 lemons on top. Make sure not to let the lemon seeds go in your salad. Add salt and pepper to taste. Done. OK that took what 8 minutes?
The roasting of vegetables
Primal Kitchen Mayo – or make your own mayo. In one of my previous blogs, I wrote a recipe for dill caper mayo. Just skip the dill and caper, and there you go. Homemade mayo without added preservatives. (Do not, do not, don’t even dare to buy that soy oil crap they call mayonnaise by Kroger brand…)
A hint of Smoked Paprika
A bigger hint of Chipotle Pepper
OK, not pretty but gets the job done perfectly
Cut the vegetables into 1-2 inch pieces. Place all veggies in a plastic bag.
Mix the Avocado oil with equal amount of Mayo, add a juice of half of a lemon. Make enough to cover your veggies. Usually, 1.5 cups will do for a bag of vegetables. Add oil-mayo mixture to bag and shake.
Open the bag and sprinkle onion salt, garlic salt, Smoke Paprika and Chipotle Pepper to taste. Close bag with air in it, and gently shake until all flavoring ingredients are perfectly distributed, and your veggies are coated to perfection.
Once your fire reached low, medium temperature, lay out your veggies to roast! Make sure fire is not too low or they will be mushy, not too high, or they will burn)
Grilled Shrimp with Greek Marinate
Marinating the shrimps
This recipe was inspired by Tom Douglas. In one of his very first books; Tom’s Big Dinners, he has a fantastic menu for “Grandpa Louie’s Dream Greek Vacation.” If you don’t have the book, which is a sacrilegious act if you are from Seattle, get it. It is a classic for hosting big celebrations. Slow cooking at it’s best! I have made almost everything from the book, they are elegant but approachable recipes for the everyday experienced cook.
A pound of large I prefer to keep shells on because they add flavor. They do make for a messy eat, but so what, enjoy the finger licking goodness, and wash your hands after..
Kalamata olives pitted
Lemon juice and lemon rind
Salt and Pepper
Very Dry Sherry
Greek style Fourth of July BBQ
Marinate the shrimp for a few hours, in a cup of olive oil, rind of one lemon, juice of one lemon, one cup of Kalamata olives, four crushed garlic cloves, a generous sprinkle of dried oregano, salt and pepper and half a cup of Very Dry Sherry. Make sure all ingredients are well distributed before you put the shrimp back in the fridge to marinate.
When the fire is ready, skewer the shrimp with the olives and cook over a steady coal fire. You will have to flip them once or twice and eye the progress. Once the shrimp is orange, and the shells are little crispy, you are done. Keep an eye on them, shrimp cooks fast!
Happy Fourth of July Yogis!
Dora – Owner of Spira Power Yoga®, CEO of Spira Mindful Wellness™, Inventor of M3B-Method®
Good food, done the old way… Paleo, Primal Living at it’s best.