Grilled Vegetables–Not Like Your Mom Made!

Placing food on a grill gives it a flavor that cannot be described any other way then–YUMMY!  It’s like cooking with herbs–no added calories, sodium or fat–just pure flavor.  Vegetables taste different on the grill–and sometimes children are more likely to try them if they look like their hot dogs do!  Grilled vegetables can be used for salads, as a stand alone, or incorporated into a protein item.  I love to grill different types of sliced summer squash and place them on Italian bread as a great hero sandwich!  Grilled Portabella mushrooms taste so meaty, that they are great by themselves on a bun.  Grilled corn on the cob is a favorite.  Even placing canned vegetables in foil boats with a little seasoning makes for a great kids meal idea.

It is important that vegetables are grilled on an oil coated rack so that they do not stick, and cooked on a low flame.  Placing them on a fast, hot grill will cause them to char before they are cooked.  Grill pans, skewers and racks are all items that can be used to cook vegetables.  Even a baked potato cooked on the grill takes on a smoky flavor!

Here is a recipe that we have used for classes before.  The nice part about this is t hat you can change the vegetables to accommodate personal likes and dislikes.  Any leftover vegetables can be used on sandwiches or pizza later in the week.  Save yourself some time, and grill plenty of vegetables to use in many dishes.

Summer Vegetable Salad with Grilled Bread
From Cooking Light

The bread will start to soften when it’s tossed with the vinaigrette. If you make the salad ahead, toss in the bread cubes and cheese just before serving.

2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 garlic clove, minced

1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 (1-ounce) slices diagonally cut day-old French bread (about 1 inch thick)
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 large tomatoes, cored, cut in half crosswise, and seeded
1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 yellow bell pepper, quartered
1 red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
Cooking spray
3 cups (1/4-inch) sliced zucchini (about 1 pound)
3 cups (1/4-inch) sliced yellow squash (about 1 pound)
1 cup canned cannelloni beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained
1 Tbsp chopped fresh or 1 tsp dried basil
1 Tbsp chopped fresh or 1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled feta cheese

To prepare dressing, combine first 6 ingredients in a small jar; cover tightly, and shake vigorously.  Prepare grill. To prepare salad, combine 1 1/2 teaspoons oil and 1 garlic clove in a small bowl. Brush one side of each bread slice with garlic mixture; sprinkle with 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Grill bread 4 minutes on each side or until golden brown. Cool; cut toast into 1/2-inch cubes. Place the tomatoes, bell peppers, and onion in a wire grilling basket coated with cooking spray. Place grilling basket on grill rack; grill 6 minutes on each side or until tender. Remove from basket. Place zucchini and yellow squash in basket. Place basket on grill rack; grill for 6 minutes on each side or until tender. Combine the vegetables; cool. Coarsely chop vegetables; place in a large bowl. Add the dressing, toasted bread cubes, beans, basil, and thyme; toss to coat. Divide salad evenly among 6 plates; sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately.

Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1 2/3 cups salad and 4 teaspoons cheese)

Calories 240; Fat 7.9 g; Protein 9.3 g; Cholesterol 8 mg; Calcium 118 mg; Sodium 685 mg; Fiber 5 g; Iron 3 mg; Carbohydrate 35.9 g

Check out these other great blogs on grilling written by nutrition professionals involved in the monthly Recipe Redux Program!

Alexandra Caspero Grilled Summer Fruit Salad
Alysa Bajenaru – Inspired RD Grilled Romaine Salad
Cindy Brison Nutrition Know How
Chef Pandita Grilled Vegetables
Danielle Omar – Food Confidence Grilled Sweet Peppers
Diane Welland – EatWellEatClean Grilled Beet & Onion Salad with Goat Cheese
The Nutrition Budgeteer Dr Barb’s Grilled Corn and Tomato Salad
EA Stewart – The Spicy RD Grilled Polenta Veggie Stacks with Balsamic Cherry Tomatoes
Emma Stirling – The Scoop on Nutrition Char Siu BBQ Pork
Gretchen – Kumquat Grilled Tandoori Chicken Skewers
Jackie Mills- Delicious Diabetes Cooking Grilled Proscuitto Shrimp with Asian Dipping Sauce
Jessica Fishman Levinson – Nutritioulicious Grilled Salmon Burgers with Cherry Chutney
Kat Lynch – Eating The Week Portobello mushrooms stuffed with spiced couscous
Katie Caputo- East Meats West Succulent Sirloin Kabobs
Kristen – Swanky Dietitian Portabella Mushroom Burgers with Grilled Corn
Lisa – Healthful Sense Grilled Veggie Bean Burgers
Liz Weiss and Janice Newell Bissex – Meal Makeover Moms’ Kitchen Mushroom Burgers with the Works, Mushroom Cannellini Spread
Marie Spano Italian Grilled Turkey Burgers
Nicole Ferring Holovach – Whole Health RD Grilled Eggs
Rebecca Scritchfield – MeFirst Grilled Plantains: A Sweet Summer Side Dish
Regan – The Professional Palate Grilled Eggplant & Two-Tomato Whole-Wheat Piadina
Serena – Teaspoon of Spice Grilled Watermelon Salad

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