July 2015

5 Flavorful Summer Grilling Recipes for Vegetarians

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Grilling isn’t just for carnivores, especially during summer when produce is at its freshest. In fact, there many vegetables and types of fruit that taste great grilled.

Grill-friendly vegetables include bell peppers, zucchini, onions, corn, potatoes, asparagus, and tomatoes. The most grillable fruits include watermelon, peaches, apples, bananas, and figs.

grilled vegetables

Vegetarians, vegans, and meat-lovers alike can enjoy our 5 favorite summer-friendly vegetarian grilling recipes:

  1. Spicy Jerk Vegetables

In this recipe, three kinds of mushrooms are used, along with whole scallions, eggplant, and even fennel.

The jerk seasonings include allspice, garlic powder, cayenne, powdered ginger, nutmeg, thyme, salt, and pepper.

Working in batches, grill the seasoned vegetables over moderate heat.  A yogurt-scallion sauce recipe is included to compliment the spicy veggies, containing yogurt, minced scallions, and lime juice.

  1. Mixed Grilled Vegetables with Fonduta

Fonduta is Italian for a melted cheese sauce. Traditional throughout the Piedmont region of Italy, it adds a richness to vegetables like Portobello mushrooms, plum tomatoes, zucchini squash, and yellow squash.

Just season, lightly char, and bring milk and cream to a boil in a saucepan to make the fonduta. Stir in Parmigiano-Reggiano, strain the fonduta in a sieve, and serve alongside the grilled vegetables.

  1. Grilled Summer Squash Pizza

Yes, you can make pizza on the grill! Grilled pizza offers a fresh perspective on a family favorite, and this recipe for summer squash pizza is a great way to introduce it.

Prepare fresh dough as you usually would when making a pizza in the kitchen. Then, divide your pound of dough into four sections, making 8-inch circles. Dress your squash with seasoning and olive oil. Grill the squash and dough separately as directed, then combine ingredients to make your beautiful and delicious summer squash pizza.

  1. Grilled Peaches

And now – on to fruit! Peaches are delicious when grilled, and they only take about 15 minutes total. Simply combine olive oil and either agave nectar or honey in a small bowl and brush over the cut sides of the peaches.

Coat your grill rack with cooking spray and arrange the peach pieces cut side down. Cook the peaches until they are caramelized. Feel free to jazz them up with fresh herbs, ice cream, or granola.

  1. Grilled Fig Bruschetta

This recipe is a showoff – it looks great, and can be made as an appetizer while you’re warming the grill.

Preheat the grill to medium heat, string figs onto grilling skewers, and drizzle with olive oil. Place the skewers and French baguette slices on the grill. Cook for just a couple of minutes, chop the figs, sprinkle with bleu cheese or gorgonzola, and drizzle with honey. Voila!


Want more Summer Recipes before it ends? Try inspiration from these other Cooks Innovations Summer Blogs:

Top 5 Summer Pie Recipes

What is the BEST Margarita Recipe?

What is the Best Margarita Recipe?

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classic margarita

We can all agree that a palatable Margarita contains three basic ingredients—tequila, lime, and Triple Sec. Still, there is much debate over what makes the best margarita recipe truly the best.

According to the Smithsonian, more than one person claims to have created the world’s first Margarita. However, most historians agree that the Margarita was initially shaken and poured in Mexico in 1938 at the hands of restauranteur Carlos “Danny” Herrera.

That year, Herrera met aspiring actress Majorie King, who was allergic to all types of hard liquor—except tequila. To make his drink more palatable, he combined the ingredients he used in tequila shots, salt and a lime wedge—and turned it into a refreshing drink. The rest is beverage history.

What makes a “perfect” Margarita?

Search the web for the best margarita recipe, and you’ll surely be bombarded with a whimsical barrage of delicious-looking photos and recipes that seem nearly the same.

How do the top food and beverage experts rank the best margarita recipe, and most importantly, can we make it at home?

According to the experts…

margarita cocktail

Bon Appetit Magazine:

  1. 100% Agave Tequila is a MUST. The most recommended type of tequila for the “perfect” margarita is the dark Reposado.
  2. Include Triple Sec or Cointreau.
  3. 1 to 1 ¼ ounces of Lime Juice—don’t skimp!
  4. Salt on the Rim
  5. On the Rocks

CHOW Magazine:

  1. 100% Agave Tequila (no specification on style, but brands like 1800 and Don Julio are mentioned)
  2. Use Cointreau, not Triple Sec
  3. Lime Juice (the amount is unspecified)
  4. Salt or no salt—both are acceptable
  5. Stir—do not shake


  1. 5 ounces of 100% Agave Tequila
  2. Add 2 teaspoons of Agave Nectar (We LOVE this touch)
  3. Add 1 oz. of Lime and Ice
  4. Salt is optional
  5. Mix, swirl, or stir to dissolve agave nectar, then shake!

 Esquire Magazine:

  1. 2 oz. Silver Tequila (100% agave)
  2. 1 ounce of Cointreau
  3. 1 ounce of lime juice
  4. Cocktail glass
  5. Shake, then strain into the glass.

As you can see, a few things vary in these margarita recipes, like the use of salt on the rim, whether your tequila choice should be Silver or Reposado, and whether to use Triple Sec or Cointreau. What is clear is that a few simple ingredients can make a fantastic drink.

We, at Cooks Innovations, have a few best margarita recipe suggestions of our own…

Without any further suspense, here is our recipe for the Best Margarita:

  1. 5 ounces of Reposado Tequila (our favorite brand is Cabo Wabo)
  2. ½ ounce of Cointreau
  3. 2 teaspoons Agave Nectar
  4. 1 ounce Island Dave’s Sweet and Sour/Margarita Mix (Organic, Natural, Made with Key Limes)
  5. No salt
  6. A squeeze of lime
  7. Shake and strain over ice into a cocktail glass.

Love Margaritas? Follow us on Instagram for the Most Beautiful, Best-Tasting Margaritas throughout the entire month of July!