Grilled Halloumi and Peach Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Grilled Halloumi and Peach Salad with Lemon-Tahini Dressing

Make this summery grilled halloumi and peach salad with lemon-tahini dressing! It’s has tons of different flavors and textures from crunchy veggies, sweet and juicy fresh peaches, creamy avocado and squeaky grilled halloumi cheese! You’ll love the easy lemon tahini dressing too!

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Grilled Chicken and Peach Kebabs with Honey Mustard Glaze

Grilled chicken and peach kebabs with honey mustard glaze would be perfect for your Fourth of July cookout! 

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by Heavenly Organics. Thanks for supporting the brands that make Avocado A Day possible! 

Happy (almost) Fourth of July!

I hope you have some exciting plans for the weekend. We'll be spending the day poolside. Yay for friends with pools in their backyard! Perks of adulthood ;)

July Fourth is one of my favorite holidays, I think because I associate it with with reunions and friends. Growing up, my dad threw a big backyard pool party for his college fraternity buddies every year on the fourth. It was really cool to see a group who had been friends for so long go out of their way to consistently see each other every year. The idea of using the fourth as an excuse for a reunion has always been appealing to me. I'm happy to say that's what we've done for most Fourth of July celebrations since college and I hope to keep the tradition going well into the future!

And of course, the food is just the best. There's the perfect ratio of rich and decadent dishes and fresh, bright summer flavors. There's always smoky ribs or hamburgers and gooey macaroni and cheese. But there's also perfectly ripe summer fruit salad (never with bland honeydew for filler!), and juicy spears of grilled corn on the cob. It's balance, holiday style!

For today's Fourth of July friendly recipe, I am SO excited to be partnering with Heavenly Organics to highlight their incredible honey. I'm always excited to share delicious things with my readers, but I'm even more excited when those delicious things come from a company that is doing so much good in the world.

Heavenly Organics was started over a decade ago by Amit Hooda, who grew up near a conflict zone in northern India. The experience stayed with him, and as an adult, he wondered what he could do to help eliminate conflict in these areas. With the help of his father, a renowned agronomist, he created Heavenly Organics, makers of high quality raw honey, cane sugar and the yummiest chocolate honey patties. They help small farmers in conflict areas in India support their family, while preserving sustainable, traditional farming methods. Their business model is all about promoting peace by bringing profit. How cool is that? Today, Heavenly Organics supports over 600 family farmers with a goal to increase to 5,000 farmers in coming years.

Plus, their honey is seriously incredible. If you've only tasted what comes out of that little brown bear, you are in for a treat. Their honey comes from naturally occurring, wild beehives found in remote areas making it exceptionally pure. The neem honey (which I used) is rich and robust, while the acacia honey is fruity and herbal, perfect for lighter dishes. Because the honey is kept raw and only lightly filtered rather than the heated, ultra-filtered honey you usually see on the market, their product still contains live enzymes, pollen, vitamins and minerals. This means it's more flavorful and it maintains it's antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory benefits.

Oh, and how pretty is their package?

For July Fourth, I wanted to create a delicious grilling recipe that highlights summer produce and let's the flavor of Heavenly Organics honey shine through. Here in South Carolina, we have the absolute best peaches in the world. While they're perfect fresh and raw as a snack, their sweet and tart flavor is a tasty addition to grilled chicken kebabs. Also, I think you'll love this honey mustard glaze! If you make a lot of fresh salads or snack on crunchy raw vegetables, you'll want to make extra to use as a dressing.

To connect with Heavenly Organics Honey:

Istagram: Heavenly Organics

Facebook: Heavenly Organics

Grilled Chicken and Peach Kebabs with Honey Mustard Glaze

Serves 4

Ingredients

Marinade: 

  • 1/4 cup Heavenly Organics neem honey
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

Kebabs:

  • 1 1/4 lb chicken breasts
  • 3 peaches
  • 1 red onion

Instructions

  1. Whisk together the marinade ingredients in a large bowl. Season with salt and black pepper. Cut the chicken breasts into 1 1/2 inch chunks. Scoop out about half of the honey mustard into a small bowl and reserve for serving. Toss the chicken breast cubes in the remaining marinade. Cover and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or up to overnight.
  2. When ready to cook, spray grill with oil and preheat on medium high. Cut peaches in half around the pit then cut each half into 6 chunks. Peel onion and cut into 3/4 inch chunks. Alternate skewering onion chunks, peaches and chicken on a metal skewer or wood skewer soaked in water for 30 minutes.
  3. Place kebabs evenly on the hot grill. Baste top with remaining marinade from chicken. Cover and cook five minutes. Carefully flip and cook 3-4 minutes more until chicken is cooked through. Serve with remaining honey mustard.

More Honey Recipes:

Honey Kefir Coconut Ice Cream 

Honey Kefir Coconut Ice Cream 

Roasted Strawberry and Coconut Popsicles
Roasted Strawberry and Coconut Popsicles
Honey Bourbon Barbecue Tempeh
Honey Bourbon Barbecue Tempeh

Peach Buttermilk Chai Smoothie

This peach buttermilk chai smoothie is packed with probiotics from buttermilk and antioxidants from chai tea! 

Yay for smoothie weather! Time to share my latest smoothie obsession - this peach smoothie spiked with chai tea!

While it feels like peach weather, it's not quite peach season, so we'll have to rely on frozen peaches to make this bad boy. I'm such a huge fan of frozen peaches. I absolutely adore fresh peaches, especially living in South Carolina, aka the real peach state. But I really think someone put a curse on me when it comes to peaches. I'll get the freshest, most beautiful peaches from the farmers market and they'll go from perfect to moldy, mushy mess in 24 hours at our house. Drives me absolutely nuts! I get a case of seasonal binge eating disorder every time I see peaches at the farmers market in my attempt to eat them all before they go bad!

The peach chai combination might sound a bit odd, but peaches have a similar flavor profile to mango, a fruit commonly used in Indian cuisine and a natural pairing with chai spices. This recipe was inspired by one from Root to Leaf, one of my favorite seasonal cookbooks.

Peach Buttermilk Chai Smoothie

Serves 1 

If you'd like to add some protein to your smoothie, I prefer Kura for grassfed whey protein or Vega for vegan protein.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup frozen peaches
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
  • 1 bag chai tea

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until pureed. Serve immediately.

More recipes for smoothie season:

Turmeric Smoothie with Mango
Turmeric Smoothie with Mango
Red Velvet Smoothie
Red Velvet Smoothie
Classic Green Smoothie
Classic Green Smoothie

Roasted Peaches and Figs with Mascarpone and Almonds

Celebrate the start of fall by savoring every last bit of summer produce. My roasted peaches and figs with mascarpone is perfect for snack or a simple dessert for entertaining. 

Columbia friends, wasn’t yesterday a gorgeous day?? At 78 degrees, I was able to go out for a midday run and not keel over from heat exhaustion. It was fabulous. That breeze felt so good. But it was also a stark reminder that winter, I mean fall, is coming. Sorry, couldn’t help the Game of Thrones reference...

When it comes to the weather, I’m ready for fall. Or at least, ready to wear my hair straight again, as summer humidity doesn’t exactly love my hair. The one thing I’m not ready for? The end of summer produce. Wah!

I enjoy pumpkin, I do, but summer produce is really my favorite. There’s just nothing like a backyard summer tomato or a fragrant ripe melon. This weekend, I was making a recipe that called for two tomatoes. I sliced open one from our local market and another from the regular grocery store. It was like night and day. Or more specifically, white with a slight tinge of red and vibrant Crayola red. I realized pretty soon, all the tomatoes will be mealy and tasteless and white. Tear.

FYI: In case your wondering, I made that recipe with just one tomato. I'll leave it to you to guess which one.

So, let’s squeeze in ALL the summer produce while we still can, starting with these roasted peach, fig and mascarpone bowls. I’ve been really into roasting fruit this year. It's probably wrong, because when fruit is perfectly ripe, why do anything to it at all? Still, I love that caramelized flavor fruit gets after a quick trip to the oven.

Have you tried mascarpone cheese before? I’ve had it in cannoli before, but I don’t know that I’ve eaten it plain. Y’all, it’s kind of like heaven. It’s sooo dreamy, creamy and rich with a hint of sweetness. It has the texture of cream cheese but without the tart flavor. Mmm. Note to self: get more mascarpone in my life.

If you can’t find mascarpone or are just looking for something a little lighter, feel free to swap plain Greek yogurt or ricotta cheese. Or, if you can find coconut butter, I bet a dollop of it would be beautiful here too!

To sweeten this, I used maguey sap, an unrefined sweetener made from the maguey plant, which grows in the highlands of Mexico. I had never heard of it before, so I was excited to try when Villa de Patos reached out to see if I’d like to try a sample. Not only does it taste delicious, with a mild flavor unlike honey or maple syrup, but it also packs a nice dose of prebiotic fiber, which helps nourish the healthy bacteria in your gut!

Roasted Peaches and Figs with Mascarpone

Serves:6

Ingredients

  • 5 peaches, quartered

  • 20 fresh figs, halved

  • 1-2 teaspoons coconut oil, melted

  • ¾ cup mascarpone cheese

  • 6 tablespoons chopped almonds, toasted

  • Honey, pure maple syrup or maguey sap, for serving

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

  2. Spread peaches evenly on a baking sheet. Drizzle with 1/2-1 teaspoon coconut oil and roast 25 minutes until tender and lightly caramelized. Toss figs with 1/2-1 teaspoon coconut oil, spread evenly on a separate baking sheet and bake 15 minutes until golden.

  3. Set fruit aside to cool slightly. Once warm or at room temperature, divide between 6 pretty glasses. Dollop each with 2 tablespoons of mascarpone, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped almonds and drizzle with 1/2-1 teaspoon sweetener of choice.

More Summer Produce:

Zucchini Chickpea Balls with Chopped Greek Salad

Zucchini Chickpea Balls with Chopped Greek Salad

Balsamic Roasted Peach and Fig Salad with Almonds, Blue Cheese and Bacon

Balsamic Roasted Peach and Fig Salad with Almonds, Blue Cheese and Bacon

Grilled Pork Tacos with Charred Eggplant and Tomatoes

Grilled Pork Tacos with Charred Eggplant and Tomatoes

Balsamic Roasted Peach, Fig & Almond Salad + California Almond Tour Recap

Balsamic Roasted Peach, Fig & Almond Salad + California Almond Tour Recap

Learn all about California almonds from my trip to Lodi, California where I got to see them being grown and processed! Plus, snag the recipe for this California inspired balsamic roasted peach and fig salad with almonds, blue cheese and bacon! 

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Grilled Peach and Vidalia Onion Salsa

Inspired by two of my favorite foods from Georgia, this grilled peach and vidalia onion salsa is great by itself, served over fish or on a salad. 

When I was seven, I moved to Atlanta from Brooklyn. It's funny now to think back on my memories of the move. My parents told me we had a slide in the backyard and a pool, so naturally my seven year old brain interpreted it as a waterslide. I was pretty distraught when I found out it was just a regular old slide and a regular old pool. Although I quickly got over it when I realized "OMG WE HAVE A SLIDE AND A POOL!" Although we had a house in Brooklyn, the whole neighborhood concept was very new and very exciting to me. Like, I'm allowed to play outside without an adult present? What is this craziness??

Being the food lover that I am, my strongest memories are of experiencing Southern food for the first time. In New York, we were constantly exposed to new cultures through food, so moving to Georgia was no different. We excitedly dug into a bags of boiled peanuts, explored nearby barbecue restaurants and learned to eat cornbread that didn't taste like cake.

This recipe is a bit of a tribute to those first memories of Southern food. I remember my remember my mom looking everywhere for Vidalia onions, a sweet onion only grown in Georgia. When she finally found them, she roasted them whole so we could enjoy the unadulterated taste. I don't know if I ever ate a peach before moving to Georgia, and although I now know South Carolina grows the best peaches, it was pretty exciting to try peaches for the first time in the peach state.

This salsa is great as a dip with tortilla chips, but there are many other ways to enjoy it. Here's some ideas:

Grilled Peach and Vidalia Onion Salsa

Adapted from Root to Leaf, appropriately written by an (amazing) Atlanta chef.

Ingredients

  • 4 firm-ripe peaches
  • 1 sweet onion, preferably Vidalia
  • 1-2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

Instructions

  1. Heat grill on medium-high heat. As the grill heats, cut the peaches into halves, removing the pit. Peel the onion and cut into 1/2 inch thick rounds. Place peaches and onion in a bowl, toss with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Spread peaches and onion evenly on the grill, cut side of peaches down. Cover and cook 5 minutes until peaches have grill marks then remove. Flip the onion and cook for 5 minutes more. Remove and set aside to cool.
  3. When cool enough to handle, chop peaches and onion into a rough dice. Place in a large bowl with jalapeno, lime juice and basil. Season with more salt and pepper if needed.