When summer finally rolls around the corner, my family enjoys grilling out. Grilled hamburgers, hot dogs, steaks, pork chops and chicken make common menu appearances.
We often eat a grilled side dish of potatoes and onions. This summer I plan to incorporate more grilled vegetables onto our plates. Vegetables add color, texture, flavor and nutrition without adding many calories.
Here are some things to keep in mind when grilling vegetables.
• Cut vegetables into large flat pieces of even thickness.
• Leave thin vegetables such as asparagus, and water vegetables, such as tomatoes, whole.
• Prepare bell peppers by cutting off the top and bottom of the pepper; remove the core and cut pepper in half from top to bottom.
• Lay vegetables on a cookie sheet. Brush them with olive oil or vegetable oil. Turn them over and repeat. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs or spices of choice.
• Grill the vegetables until they have grill markings on both sides. Remove them from the grill and place into a bowl or pot. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap to prevent steam from escaping for five to ten minutes. This will finish the cooking process without drying them out.
Enjoy these grilled vegetable recipes from the NDSU Extension Service.
Grilled foil-wrapped vegetables
3 medium onions, peeled and quartered
4 c. water
1 bunch broccoli flowerets
2 small yellow squash, cut into 1-inch slices
1 green or red pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
Lemon juice (2 Tbsp. total)
Pepper and salt (regular or seasoned salt)
Butter (3 Tbsp. total)
Prepare vegetables as described. In a saucepan, boil water, then add onions. Allow the onions to cook for three minutes, then drain thoroughly. Divide all vegetables into six portions and place on pieces of heavy aluminum foil. Sprinkle each portion with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice, and dash of pepper and salt. Top each with 1½ teaspoons of butter. Wrap packets tightly and grill over hot coals for about 30 minutes. (You also can cook this recipe in a preheated 375 F oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, until vegetables are tender.)
Makes six servings. Per Serving: 120 calories, 6 grams (g) of fat, 14 g carbohydrate, 4 g fiber and 180 milligrams sodium.
1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled, seeded and diced (optional or can substitute purchased red peppers)
1 Tbsp. margarine
1/4 c. fresh cilantro (optional)
2 Tbsp. chopped green onions
1/4 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. Tabasco sauce (optional)
4 ears fresh sweet corn, husked
To roast bell pepper, place on baking sheet; broil in oven until blistered and charred. Put in heavy plastic or paper bag; seal; let set for 20 minutes. Peel skin; don’t worry about removing all the charred parts. In a blender or food processor, combine the red pepper, margarine, green onions and cilantro.
Add salt, pepper and Tabasco sauce. Place each ear of corn in the center of a piece of aluminum foil, shiny side up. Coat each ear with a quarter of the pepper seasoning mixture. Wrap the foil around the corn, making sure the ear is well sealed by the foil. Refrigerate until ready to grill. Preheat grill. Place corn on grill near the edges or cooler areas. Grill until tender, turning frequently, about 10 to 15 minutes. Carefully unwrap the corn and serve.
Makes four servings. Per serving: 103 calories, 17 grams (g) of carbohydrate, and 4 g of fat.
(Source: Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service)
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