recipe1

Spiedini of Chicken and Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde

Grilling chicken is an easy way to transform this versatile food into something even more delicious. Various cultures serve chicken in kebab form after grilling it over an open flame, and taste is a big reason this particular method of cooking chicken is so beloved.

While you might not expect to see kebabs on the menu at your favorite Italian restaurant, “spiedini” is Italian for “little skewers,” proving that Italian chefs recognize how delicious chicken can be when served in kebab form. In this recipe for “Spiedini of Chicken and Zucchini with Almond Salsa Verde” from “Cooking Light: Dinner’s Ready” (Oxmoor House) by The Cooking Light Editors, skewers are paired with a zesty salsa full of nuts, herbs and citrus, which makes for the perfect complement to the smoky grilled flavor.

Makes 6 servings

Salsa:

  • 1 cup chopped flat parsley
  • 2 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
  • 3 tablespoons capers, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 garlic clove, minced

Spiedini:

  • 1 ½ pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 6 small zucchini, cut into 1-inch slices (about 11/4 pounds)
  • Cooking spray:
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Soak 12 (10-inch) wooden skewers in water for 30 minutes to prevent burning. Bring the grill to medium-high heat. To prepare the salsa, combine the first 12 ingredients; set aside.

To prepare the spiedini, thread the chicken and zucchini alternately on each of the 12 skewers. Coat the spiedini with cooking spray; sprinkle evenly with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Place on a grill rack; grill 6 minutes or until done, turning once. Serve with salsa.

Tip: Prepare the salsa up to a day ahead, and assemble the skewers earlier in the day. Coat with the seasonings just before grilling.


recipe2

Chickpea Salad

From food allergies to dietary restrictions to conscious decisions to avoid certain foods for ethical reasons, peoples’ diets tend to be as unique as they are. That can make it tricky when hosting a crowd and preparing a menu.

Variety is the spice to life, and having a go-to selection of recipes at the ready can make everything from sit-down dinners to impromptu backyard barbecues that much easier.

Vegans eschew all animal products such as dairy, eggs and meats. Vegans must carefully read the labels of foods that seemingly are animal-free, as even certain dairy-free cheeses may contain casein or other animal-derived products.

When grilling for family and friends, mushroom and tofu burgers can be prepared specifically for vegan guests, but a versatile salad can be enjoyed by all and make for a delicious side dish. This recipe for “Chickpea Salad” from “Vegan Cooking for Beginners” (Publications International) by the Editors of Publications International is sure to please vegans and non-vegans alike.

Makes 4 servings

  • 1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 dill pickle, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped red or yellow onion
  • 1/3 cup vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper
  • Whole grain bread
  • Lettuce and tomato slices

Place chickpeas in a medium bowl. Coarsely mash with a potato masher, leaving some beans whole.

Add celery, pickle and onion; stir to mix. Add mayonnaise and lemon juice; mix well. Taste and add 1/4 teaspoon salt or more, if desired. Sprinkle with pepper, if desired; mix well. Serve on bread with lettuce and tomato, if desired.

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