Those Summer BBQs: What to Eat

Of course the only reason we go is for the food, right? The summer time brings out our favorite and fresh fruits and vegetables that we love raw or on the grill. Here are just a few dishes you could take to your next summer get-together.

We all know that hamburgers and hotdogs will usually be available off the grill, but how about adding something else. Maybe grilled vegetable skewers, with chicken or tenderloin for you meat lovers?

Cooking Light features a great recipe, and the vegetables can easily be switched out for your favorites. For all of us veggie lovers, just leave off the beef or chicken and add more veggies!


At our last family dinner, I brought a quinoa salad that is perfect for the summer time, very easy to make, and goes a long way for those events where you unsure how many people will come. It’s called the California Quinoa Salad, we found on Pinterest, and the recipe has been modified from Whole Foods. We modified the recipe from the one we found in the link above to serve around 12 people.

What you will need:

  • 2 cups quinoa, cooked (cook this first so that it has time to cool off)
  • 2 mangos, diced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 large red peppers, diced
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 cup silvered almonds
  • 1 1/2 cup raisins
  • 2 1/2 cups edamame (you can use frozen kind and thaw them)
  • 4 Tblspn White Balsamic Vinegar

To make, simply blend all the ingredients into a big bowl, serve, and enjoy!


Now I know, not everyone is a fan of brussel sprouts, but last night for girls night, Emily and I tried a Pan Seared Brussel Sprout and Cranberry salad. I am definitely a fan of brussel sprouts now. My mom found this recipe on Pinterest, and we decided to modify the recipe. We used a different cheese, left out the barley, and added a home made dressing that Abbie provided (which was delicious!)! The original one can be found here.

Our Version:

  • 2 lbs brussel sprouts
  • 2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 cups feta cheese
  • 1 cup pecans, chopped

For the dressing (Abbie and Judy’s Homemade “Spinach Salad Recipe”)

  • 1/3 cup vinegar
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup oil (we used canola)
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp minced onion (optional)

First make the dressing by combining vinegar, sugar, dry mustard, and salt in a food processor. Then add the oil. Stir in the celery seed, garlic powder, and minced onion, set aside. Add some olive oil to a skillet and heat. Next add your brussel sprouts and cook for around 4 to 5 minutes. Then add your cranberries and continue to cook for another 3 to 4 minutes or until the sprouts are tender. Then pour into a large bowl where you will add the cheese, pecans, and dressing. Enjoy! (Sorry about the picture quality, but that was the only one I had on my camera)


You can’t forget dessert! This is the perfect time to make a fruit bowl filled with your favorite summertime fruits. Carve out a watermelon and add watermelon, cantaloup, honeydew, grapes, strawberries, and pineapple. If you are in the South, then you know nothing taste better than a Georgia or South Carolina peach! Peach Smoothies are perfect by the pool! This particular recipe is one my friends and I make on girls nights.

Peach Smoothie Recipe:

  • 1 to 2 cups peaches
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 6 oz container of Greek pineapple yogurt (you could also do plain and add pineapple chunks)
  • Splash of skim milk (optional, you can also use Almond Milk or Soy Milk)

Blend and enjoy! (You can always use this same recipe with other fruits!)

peach 2Photo Source

Now that you have your main entree, a couple of sides, and dessert, enjoy with your favorite summer cocktail and friends! What are some of your favorite summer dishes?!


3 thoughts on “Those Summer BBQs: What to Eat

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