By Elizabeth Waibel
Summer is almost here — the perfect time to fire up the grill and host a cookout for friends before everyone heads his or her separate way.
Students can recreate the backyard barbecue feel at Union using the three grills in the Residence Life complexes — one charcoal grill in the Heritage Complex and two gas grills behind the Bowld Student Commons.
Kristin Wells, assistant residence director of the female quads, said the grills behind the Bowld commons have been treasured and well-used since the commons opened last spring.
“Students enjoy them while cooking up a last-minute hamburger for dinner with their roommates (or) when having a cookout reunion with their GO Trip team,” she said. “The grills have even come in handy for Residence Life events, such as the Women’s Upperclassmen Luau, where chicken kabobs with veggies are served.”
Wells said students can use the grills at any time or reserve one for an event through the Residence Life page on Union’s website.
Ashley Jackson, residence director of the Heritage Residence Complex, said the grill in the Heritage complex is too small large for events, but she uses the grills behind the Bowld for personal entertainment and recently reserved one for a post-GO Illinois celebration. The Heritage grill is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Grilled kabobs with vegetables
This summer, try grilling something more adventurous than the typical hamburger-and-hot dog combo. To make a simple, healthy meal on the grill, marinate chunks of chicken breast or beef in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic and spices. Soak wooden skewers in water and use them to spear onions, cherry tomatoes and the pieces of meat. Anchor kabobs with meat at both ends so the vegetables do not slide off. Cook on a preheated grill, turning occasionally, until the largest piece of meat is thoroughly cooked.
While the meat is cooking, mix chopped vegetables, such as summer squash, slices of bell peppers and onion wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl. Wrap the vegetables in a piece of aluminum foil and place it on the grill next to the kabobs. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to caramelize and the vegetables are crisp-tender.