There’s plenty to be thankful for each day, especially in New York.
I don’t need to drive a car to get to work or pick up my groceries. There are literally hundreds of restaurants featuring dozens of cuisines from around the world that I can choose from. There’s no chance of ever being bored because there is always something happening at any time of day.
But one thing New York doesn’t have is space.
Summertime makes this fact even more obvious when I get that hankering for a grilled burger or a backyard barbecue. This is impossible to do when you’re living in a high-rise building in the middle of the Lower East Side.
And I’m not nearly daring enough to attempt to set up a grill anywhere in my apartment. I’m sure some intrepid New Yorker has attempted this in the past. Burning down my apartment isn’t on my to-do list this summer.
So I should really be thankful for the ingenuity of the person or persons responsible for creating the indoor grill pan. I admit, it doesn’t really compare to the flavors and experience of cooking and eating food made over an open fire, but it can at least help create the illusion that you’re holding your very own cookout in your tiny kitchen in Manhattan.
It’s the little things.
For my fourth recipe in this summer series, I decided to take my cast-iron grill pan on a little spin by trying something new: grilling fruit.
I trusted the good people of EatingWell magazine to steer me in the right direction, by adapting their grilled shrimp and plum kebabs. It was the right decision.
Before we get to grilling, let’s break down the facts of this recipe’s star ingredient, plums.
– Iron Absorption and Vitamin C. Vitamin C makes an another appearance in this stone fruit. At about 10% of your DV, one serving of plums will help your blood absorb more iron which aids in metabolizing proteins and produces more red blood cells and hemoglobin.
– Vitamin A. This vitamin boasts many different advantages for our health, most notably skin protection, anti-viral and anti-cancer properties. It keeps our skin and membrane cells healthy which helps reinforce the body’s immune defense from infection and viruses.
– Fiber and Digestive Health. Prunes are often associated with weight management and fiber, and with good reason. Plums have about 4% of the dietary fiber DV and are a great way to add fiber to your diet, whether you’re eating them raw or as dried prunes. These have both soluble and insoluble fiber which not only helps regulate your digestive system, but also allows your body to absorb more nutrients from food.
– Variety and Versatility. This is less of a nutrition fact and more of an FYI, but there are over 200 plum varieties available from all over the world. Plums can be enjoyed as is, dried, cooked (or grilled!), baked, pickled…you name it. Keeping several plums on hand will add a boost of vitamins and nutrients while keeping your diet from being boring.
- 2 tbsps of sesame oil
- 2 tbsps of fresh lime juice
- 1 tbsps chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 tsp lime zest
- ½ tsp salt
- 8 shrimp, peeled and deveined with the tails on
- 1 small poblano pepper, stemmed, seeded and cut into quarters (about 12 pieces)
- 2 plums, pitted and cut into sixths
Skewers, either wooden or metal
Note: I, of course, used an indoor grill pan. You can use any kind of grilling appartus you want, be it a charcoal, gas or Goerge Forman. Whatever is going to get you those awesome grill marks while cooking your food is alright in my book.
1. Prepare marinade by mixing the oil, cilantro, lime juice, zest, and salt. Leave a tablespoon on the side for dressing. Chop the peppers and plums for the kebabs and place them in a medium bowl with the shrimp.
2. Pour remaining marinade over the plums, peppers, and shrimp and toss until its incorporated thoroughly.
3. If you’re using wooden skewers, soak them in water for about 30 minutes prior to grilling. Dry wood + open flame = BAD idea.
4. Build the kebabs one at a time, starting with the poblanos, then a piece of shrimp and plum, and keep stacking as necessary.
5. Heat the grill (or grill pan) over medium-low heat and start grilling kebabs once hot. Grill on each side for about 4 minutes or until the shrimp is cooked through. Place on a serving tray with a side salad or grilled vegetables. Enjoy!
Have you ever grilled fruit? What’s your favorite grilled fruit recipe? Grilled plums were tasty and juicy and a delicious counterpart to the savory components of this kebab. I dare you to give it a try!
Did you know?
Plums originated in China and are over 2,000 years old. China remains one of the largest produces of plums in the world. Also, plums are a part of the rose family along with apples and strawberries. Give me fruit for Valentine’s day!
I HAVE ONE MORE RECIPE TO SHARE THIS WEEK. STAY TUNED!
Links and Resources
- WHFoods, Plums
- Discovery Health, Plums: Natural Weight-Loss Foods
- Cooking Light, Plum Types
- Discovery Health, Benefits of Vitamin A