Wednesday, July 2, 2014

On Patriotism and Eating your Vegetables...

Happy Fourth of July Week!

This weekend, we celebrate independence, patriotism, explosives, America, and the art of Grilling.

Below are a few of my favorite summer eats. They’re quick to prepare and you can also get friends and family in on chopping, mixing, and sampling.

But first- a story.
Once upon a time, my husband and I went to the grocery store. I piddled around in the produce section, while he proceeded straight to the meat section, got pork chops, steaks, and a pound of turkey, and then returned and asked me if he should get a place in line at checkout.

We were shopping for the week, people.
He had three things in the basket. And they were all meat products.

I fell to my knees in the middle of the aisle, wailing and gnashing my teeth because the man does not understand that MAN DOES NOT LIVE ON MEAT ALONE.
So, while turkey is still in fact, meat, here are some alternatives for those of you who like a little green in your 4th of July spread.

Zucchini Turkey Burgers
Adapted from “Family Circle Magazine”

1 lb. lean ground turkey
1 large zucchini, grated

¼ tsp. onion powder
¼ tsp. dried basil

¼ tsp. black pepper

1 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Multigrain sandwich thins

Combine the ground turkey, grated zucchini, spices and cheese in a large mixing bowl. Mix well and form turkey mixture into 6-8 medium sized patties.
For the grill:
Heat grill to 350-400. Grill each patty for an average of 8 minutes on each side, or until cooked through.

In a broiler pan:
Heat broiler. Place burgers on broiler pan and broil for 8 minutes. Flip and continue to broil on other side for 8 more minutes, or until burgers are cooked through.

Nestle the burgers snuggly in these healthy little sandwich thins and top with lettuce, tomato, whatever your heart desires.
Serves about 4.

Grilled Green Beans
Very slightly adapted from “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle”

I love these because they cook right alongside the turkey burgers and finish in about the same amount of time. And because they're just amazing.  
Fresh green beans (I must warn you, you'll want to make a lot of these.)
A few good glugs of olive oil

Dried basil

Dried oregano
Salt and pepper to taste (coarsely ground is preferable.)

Snap your green beans. This just means pinch off both ends. It’s probably not mandatory, but it makes the most heavenly, ozone smell and it’s great to do with a friend J
There are no real measurements for this, so I suggest pouring a good bit of olive oil and tossing until the green beans are coated. Add more if needed. Next, sprinkle on a little bit of the oregano and basil. Give that mixture a little sniff. Not strong enough? Add more of each. Continue adding and sniffing until it smells like you want it to! (This is very scientific stuff.) I haven’t tried it yet, but I imagine it’d also be delicious with a little bit of lemon zest.

Then give a few good grinds of salt and pepper and take them out to the grill master.
Unless you are the grill master, in which case, just… take them outside.  

Dump them into a grill basket and cook until they have a nice charred look to them and they shrivel up a bit. It’s especially fun if you give guests the option to eat them with their fingers.
Dip them into little ramekins of parmesan cheese and good balsamic vinegar.

Be sure to hop over to our new recipes page for more yummy recipes and for Shauna Niequist’s blueberry crisp recipe, which you’ll probably want to make for dessert!


  1. the green beans sound awesome!!! happy 4th!

  2. Hi sweet Caitlyn,
    I found your blog by accident this weekend. I am so very proud of you and your sweet husband! I love you both!
    Mama Deb