Fruit and I have certainly had our ups and downs over the years. I like to describe our tumultuous connection using the Facebook relationship status of “it’s complicated”. In the past couple of years as I have worked very, very hard to get my gut issues under control, despite the usual suspects, I have come to find that many fruits, especially those highest in fructose to be one of THE biggest triggers in my chronic bloating, gas and general gastric upset.
This isn’t exclusive to me and it’s actually quite common with folks that struggle with bacterial imbalances in their gut, SIBO, leaky gut, etc. Fruits high in fructose can cause fermentation in the gut, which can lead to some not-so-pleasant after effects.
It took me some time to discover that fruit was one of the biggest culprits and more, it was hard for me to understand how a nutritious, healthful whole food, like fruit could be create such gnarly side effects. Seemed wrong. It was in experimenting with a low FODMAP protocol that I found some of the greatest relief and while there are still some fruits today, that I have to be careful with and mindful of how much I consume, it has changed so significantly over the last few years as I have worked hard to heal my gut and get my gut bacteria in better balance.
These Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings are a summertime entertaining staple at our house. A recipe developed and perfected by my husband Mark, I am so excited to now share it with all of you.
I have to say, in the over 7 years that Tasty Yummies has existed, I cannot believe we’ve never had my husband Mark as a guest contributor here. While I do most of the cooking around here, the grilling duties land nearly exclusively on his shoulders and this man has truly mastered his craft.
These are a low and slow method, so they aren’t a quick throw them on the grill recipe, but this actually makes for a great recipe when entertaining. Our grill is front and center on our large deck, we all gather round with drinks and snacks while Mark tends to his duties. He likes having a job and I love relinquishing some of the cooking control. Don’t rush these, the crispiness and lack of dryness is all thanks to the indirect method Mark developed.
What Beth Says: Mark takes his grilling very seriously and he is always tweaking and adjusting his methods, creating new ways to use old tricks. This grilled chicken wing recipe of his is by far the most popular. Based on the concept of his long-perfected beer can chicken these wings are now legendary and the reputation of these wings might just precede Mark, at this point.
I love this particular recipe for so many reasons. 1) it’s created by the human I love most in this world. DUH! 2) this recipe has afforded me a little more opportunity to actually enjoy dinner guests, especially in the summer months. With most of the cooking generally being my responsibility, with good reason, I usually host dinner and feel like I spend more time preparing and cooking, than I do being able to visit. Now I can craft a few sides, a salad and a dessert and leave the main up to my man! 3) being from Buffalo, I feel like it’s in my DNA to love chicken wings. However I am usually underwhelmed and left feeling crazy gross with almost all restaurant chicken wings, so I just never eat them. I can assume that likely the feeling of hot gut death is because they are submerged in hot, rancid, oxidized garbage vegetable oil. With these grilled wings cooking low and slow, they are crispy, without being dried out and there is not of those horrible, ‘what did I just do?’ feelings in your tummy. 4) We get invited to a lot more BBQs, with the request that we show up and make these. Fair enough!
Thanks for the photo Gustavo Jaimes
What Mark Says: Marky love wingy. They say everything in art is inspired by something else, well at least that’s what I hope they say – because I say it all of the time. The idea for my backyard Crispy Grilled Chicken Wings came from two other works of art. Years ago before Tasty Yummies was the powerhouse it is today, we experimented with the infamous Beer Can Chicken and the Butterflied Chicken (link below), these types of meals gave me a chance to give back to the woman that feeds me everyday and, if we’re being totally honest, looks after my nutrition like hawks fly around roadkill. The grill became my thing, I got good at it and for a food dummy, Tasty Yummies was proud of me.
When it comes to entertaining, boards are the ultimate in wow factor without a ton of fuss. More specifically I am a HUGE fan of cheese and meat boards. Selfishly when entertaining, since I prefer to avoid grains and greasy chips and snacks, cheese and charcuterie boards offer a great, pretty low maintenance way for me to have everything that I want, while still making all of my guests happy.
My cheese and charcuterie boards are generally focused around being totally grain-free and then depending on my guests, I will often have a generous pile of toasted crostini, that I serve to the side, separately for the non gluten-free or grain-free folks. I simple arrange sliced crostini in a single layer on a cookie sheet, brush both sides with olive oil and toss under the broiler for a few minutes on each side. Add a sprinkle of sea salt. It’s the fastest way to lots of toast.
Follow along for all of my tips on How-to Build an Epic Grain-free Cheese and Charcuterie Board.
I am back in New York right now, visiting my family for the week. I’ve been home but a couple of days and it’s been jam-packed with family, friends, fun and of course – eating. We have yet to fill our faces with a Greek feast, but I know it’s coming, that’s always on my MUST-HAVE list when I am home.
In moving to California over three years ago, I have found myself learning how to recreate some of my most favorite Greek dishes that I grew up eating, as well as many that I didn’t. To me, Greek food is the flavor of family and comfort and it’s the taste of home. Good homemade Greek food is always what I crave when I am feeling homesick and missing my family. Lamb is certainly a Greek favorite and while we traditionally enjoy leg of lamb roasted or grilled, I have really come to love ground lamb, as meatballs, in homemade gyro meat, in moussaka or especially these tasty burgers.
I know we are creeping closer to summer’s end, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. We still have several weeks left of summertime abundance and then, of course, the magical swing season where summer and autumn meet for a brief time and the produce is extra special. For now, I plan to continue to celebrate and indulge in all that the summer’s markets and local farms and gardens have to offer.
Our 15 Favorite Summertime Salads:
As I sit to write the posts for this website, 2-3 times a week, often I find myself lacking the words. I am no writer, have never claimed to be. I am sure my sentence structuring is atrocious, I am certain my posts are littered with typos and poor punctuation skills. I generally didn’t start this website to share my personal thoughts on life or my beliefs, as often as they do trickle into the pages by default. I mostly have always had a strong desire to help make a difference for those, like me, that struggle with their health, are challenged by navigating the ever-evolving landscape of eating and food and what it truly means to be well.
As our worlds are all constantly changing and shifting, as life seems to get busier than ever for us all, I find myself more called to want to simply live my life without a filter, to share my experiences in all their realness and hopefully, simultaneously, inspire you to be excited about getting into the kitchen and tapping into your own creativity. I want you to approach food and your health without fear. I want you all to feel empowered to be your own advocates and to never settle for anything other that feeling amazing, every day. My hope is also that through sharing my recipes, how-to’s and other tips here on the website and on social media, that everyone knows eating well doesn’t always have to be about the crazy flavor combos and complicated ingredients that you can only buy online or at a specialty food store. I think we all have to admit that even though weeknight meals deserve a little flair sometimes, a totally boring, basic
bitchmeal of veggies and some baked fish, that isn’t exactly instagram-able – that’s totally OK, too.
Summer is definitely all about the fuss-free eating, but to me, it’s also all about enjoying the abundance. With so much beautiful produce in season, there is no shortage of foods to be inspired by and get creative with.
To me, zucchini gets all the love during the summer and admittedly, I likely eat a farm’s worth myself every year. But lest we forget about the yellow summer squash, the beautiful golden sibling to the zucchini. While the flavor is very similar, the only real major difference is their skin color, so I find the yellow squash to be as equally versatile as the zucchini and it too is a mainstay in my summer kitchen.
Yesterday’s summer solstice marked the official start of summer, which means we also kicked off the season of grilling and barbecue. A good traditional barbecue sauce is key to a season of delicious backyard feasts. However, if you are like me, when you turn over most jars and bottles from the store, to investigate the ingredients, you are sorely disappointed. Most contain loads of sugar, high fructose corn syrup, various preservatives, thickeners, artificial flavors, colors and who know’s what else. Let’s be honest, they are also not all that good. We can do better!
Making your own sauce is incredible simple, you don’t need any special ingredients and with this simple tutorial and formula, I also give you the options to customize your sauce and make it just how you like it.
With summer nearly upon us, we are already planning a summer of BBQs, cookouts and picnics. While I am not a mayo hater by any means, I have always felt indifferent about traditional mayo-based potato salads. It’s just not my thing, something about it doesn’t sit well with me. I think it’s years of seeing it sitting in the sun at picnics, uncovered looking all gnarly. Yuck.
I have over the years developed several variations instead on vinegar and herby based potato and sweet potato salads that have become staples at all of my summer shindigs. That is until this Sweet Potato Salad with Bacon from Heather Christo’s book Pure Delicious. For the foreseeable future, this may just give all other potato salads the boot! It’s that good.
Summertime eating, for me, is all about salads and grilling, ok and maybe ice cream and popsicles. I try to get pretty much all of my meals to fit into one of those categories. I have to say, I do a fairly good job of it.
With an abundance of leeks coming in our weekly organic produce boxes, I’ve been looking for ways to get creative with them. I used to think of leeks more as a cool weather food, I love roasting them with other root veggies or adding them to a hot soup, but since they seem to be very much in season locally right now, when it comes to leeks in the summer, what’s better than grilling?
This post is part of my ongoing Restricted Diet series with the Free People blog BLDG 25
This refreshing, summer-inspired Tomato Cucumber Salad with Avocado and Olives is a beautiful addition to any summer meal. Growing up in a Greek family, tomato cucumber salads were a staple with many of our meals in the summer. We would go to the garden, grab what we needed, mix it up, top it off with some variations of a Greek-inspired dressing, maybe some feta and kalamata olives and that was that.
I swap the feta cheese for avocado in this rendition, creating a dish to please everyone. This light and colorful side dish has a beautiful crunch from the cucumbers, a salty brine from the olives, creaminess from the avocado and the bright fresh flavor of the tomatoes. If you have an abundant garden of your own or maybe a weekly CSA box delivery, I am certain this classic refreshing salad will become a mainstay on your summer menu.
This time of year is one of my favorites, for fresh local fruit. Stone fruit season means some of the most flavorful and sweetest fruits you’ll find all year. Peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums and the hybrids apriums, pluots — just to name a few.
I find, much like with various vegetables and other fruits, roasting the stone fruit truly brings out it’s inherent sweetness. The natural sugars as well as the small amount of coconut sugar also caramelize and we end up with an incredible rich and deep flavored sauce. The finely ground, fresh vanilla bean compliments stone fruit so well by bringing a fragrant and almost smoky, earthy depth to the light sweetness. Many times if I am working with particularly ripe stone fruit, which can tend to be very juicy, I will actually pour off some of the sauce, after roasting and I simply reduce it down by more than half, over a medium heat. This creates a delicious, rich syrup, perfect for drizzling over the coconut cream topped fruit or over yogurt or other treats.
This recipe is a pretty simple one, I really enjoy the roasted fruit as it is, topped with the creamy hint of spiced masala chai infused coconut cream. You can feel free to follow the same recipe and simply use whipped heavy cream or even creme fraiche instead of the coconut cream. This roasted stone fruit would also be wonderful layered with yogurt, sorbet, ice cream or frozen yogurt for a delicious parfait. You can top it with nuts and seeds or your favorite granola. Of course, you can always stand over the oven and eat the roasted fruit straight from the pan, which I may have done a time or two.