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Summertime means GRILLING TIME! Don’t forget the vegetables!

What is better than a warm summer night than cooking out on the grill?  Grilled chicken and fish are delicious and your healthy vegetables can be grilled right alongside them!  There is no need to dirty extra dishes on the stove or oven.  Just throw everything on the grill!how to grill vegetables

One of many great things about grilling vegetables is that they are done in a snap.  Potatoes take about 12-15 minutes to cook on the grill, while less dense vegetables like broccoli, snap peas, summer squash, bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and corn take just 5-7 minutes, depending on how tender you like them.

The best thing about grilled vegetables is that they are delicious!  The slight charring brings out the sweetness and adds a nice smoky flavor.

Marinades are key to delicious grilled vegetables, as they add moisture and flavor.

Steps for marinating vegetables:

  1. Chop vegetables to desired thickness and put in bowl.
  2. Pour marinade over vegetables and stir to coat evenly.
  3. Marinade vegetables for 30 minutes before grilling.

Here are a few to try depending on the overall flavor profile of your meal:

Lemon Soy Ginger

½ cup olive oil

½ cup fresh lemon juice

½ cup low-sodium soy sauce

1 clove garlic, crushed

1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and minced

 

Balsamic Dijon Vinaigrette

½ cup olive oil

½ cup balsamic vinegar

1 ½ tablespoon Dijon mustard

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Sherry Vinaigrette

½ cup sherry vinegar

3 teaspoons Dijon mustard

¾ cup olive oil

 

Chili Lime Vinaigrette

6 tablespoons vegetable oil (canola, grapeseed, or sunflower seed)

6 tablespoons white-wine vinegar

1-3 tablespoon jalapeno, finely chopped (can add more or less based on personal taste)

1-3 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves

Juice and zest of 3 limes

1 tablespoon sugar

⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

 

Try these four different ways to grill your vegetables:

  1. Use a grill basket. Line the basket with aluminum foil to prevent drippings from the marinade.  If you do not have a grill basket, fold a 24-inch long piece of heavy-duty foil in half and fold up and crimp the edges to create a lip and prevent spilling.
  2. Make kabobs. Cut the vegetables into thick, chunky pieces so that they stay on the skewer.  Smaller vegetables like cherry tomatoes work well on kabobs.  Pineapples also work well on skewers and are delicious on the grill.  When grilling both meat and vegetables at the same time, make separate skewers for each, as the vegetables do not take as long to cook and will need to come off first.
  3. Wrap in a foil packet. Use a 24-inch long piece of foil and fold in half.  Open the foil and on one-half arrange thinly sliced vegetables in a single layer, slightly overlapping.  Once you have assembled the vegetables, fold the foil in half over top of the vegetables.  Fold over and pinch the edges of the bottom and top together to create a tight seal.  Close the grill and cook until the vegetables are tender.  Use caution while opening, as the steam is HOT.
  4. Put directly on the grill. Cut into thin, long pieces so that the vegetables do not fall through the grates. Try to cut your vegetables the same size so that they will cook uniformly.  Also, keeping vegetables thin will maximize the amount of surface area in contact with the heat allowing them to cook quickly and to get that crispy outside.  Corn, either shucked or unshucked, cooks well on the grill.  If you choose to shuck the corn, just lightly brush with some olive oil and a little salt.

 

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