Summer Kick Off (Nutritious Style)

It's Memorial Day weekend! Some say that's the unofficial start to summer! To me summer always means grilling season. (Although here in Southern California our weather affords grilling year round).  I often forget about the variety vegetables you can cook on the grill. From a nutrition standpoint, I try to fill half of my plate with vegetables every meal. This week I'll go over some vegetable cooking tips and my favorite veggies to throw on the grill.

Grilling Veggies 101

  1. Oil them up! Vegetables will dry out on the grill, so the oil helps that a bit. A light brushing of oil or gently tossing the veggies in oil works well. Oil also is helpful with getting any seasonings to stick to the vegetables. (I personally like a gentle sprinkle of salt and garlic powder.) Also - all oils aren't created equally! I usually just use some cold pressed olive oil.
  2. Consider cooking times! Not all vegetables take the same amount of time to cook on the grill. If you are grilling bigger denser vegetables, they will take more time! Consider cooking them over a lower heat area of the grill for longer to ensure equal warmth throughout. Smaller thinner vegetables will cook faster, so save them for last. This is also affected by how you may chop up the vegetables.
  3. Don't lose the veggies! Some vegetables are small and can fall through the grates. Consider a grill basket (or a fake tin foil basket/packet) or skewers to manage your veggies on the grill. Also when you are cutting up bigger vegetables - cut them into pieces that will skewer well or work well in the grill basket.

Best Grilling Veggies

  • Asparagus
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccolini
  • Eggplant
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes (can work on a skewer in wedges or wrap in tin foil)
  • Zucchini (try seasoning them with olive oil and lemon juice)
  • Onions (cut in wedges for a skewer or in thin slices for burgers)
  • Potatoes (or sweet potatoes)