Last night, Charlie and I hosted my sweet cousin and her husband for dinner. Rachel and I (pictured at left visiting the Tennessee Brewery a few years ago) share a bond that is hard to describe, and we have waded through some tough life mess together. I am so thankful that she and Clay live close by so that we can spend more time together. They are welcoming their first child in the next couple of weeks, so Charlie and I were anxious to get a little more time with them before a new season of their life begins.
When hosting friends and family for mealtime, I like to keep things as simple as possible. Usually, that means that I make a big casserole or lasagna, throw in a vegetable side and garlic bread and call it a day. Over the past few weeks, though, I’ve been looking for ways to clean up our meals while also not making my kids and husband hate me. It can be difficult to do when you’re cooking for more than four or five people and don’t want to spend all day in the kitchen. My answer? Delicious grilled chicken thighs, garlic sticky rice and roasted broccoli with lemon and parmesan. (Recipes for those last two in posts to come.)
I don’t know about your family, but Charlie, the boys and myself can throw down on some Asian food. This teriyaki marinade takes about 2 minutes to assemble and is a healthier stand-in for the bottled stuff since you can control exactly what’s going into the recipe. The dark brown sugar in the marinade turns to a delicious glaze as the chicken grills over an open flame, making this one of Charlie’s favorite chicken preparations. It also features lime vitality essential oil, giving a burst of refreshing citrus flavor without the prep of juicing or zesting the fruit. This recipe can also be used as a sauce base if you go the vegetable stir-fry route. So many options with this one! Try it out and let me know what you think.
Teriyaki Marinade | Adapted from this recipe at Epicurious.com
- 3/4 cup soy sauce
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons ginger paste (available in the produce section of most grocery stores)
- 3 tablespoons minced garlic
- 2 drops lime vitality essential oil
- Combine all ingredients into a large bowl or gallon-sized resealable bag.
- Add your choice of protein, making sure to coat evenly in the marinade.
- Refrigerate for at least twenty minutes (up to two hours).
Notes: This can be made ahead of time and refrigerated in a larger mason jar. If you don’t use essential oils in your cooking yet, 2 tablespoons of fresh-squeezed lime juice can be subbed for the vitality oil.