Memorial Day Barbecuing – Veggies Worthy of the Grill

This Memorial Day, we’re throwing a party for the men and women who sacrificed their lives to keep America safe. But forget standing in line at the butcher’s for a few sausage links. The real prime selects come in more colors than red and brown. Add flavor to the day with veggies that are good raw, but even better well-done. Here’s what to grill and how to do it.

 

Eggplant

Eggplant is often considered a vegetable, when in fact it is a fruit. It can be deep purple, red, green, or black, and rich in vitamins C, K, and B6. It is also a great source of fiber, folic acid, potassium, and manganese for energy.

To prepare, Martha Stewart recommends:

  1. Sprinkle eggplant slices with salt on both sides. Place in a colander set over a bowl; let stand 1 hour to drain. Discard liquid; rinse eggplant slices under cold running water.
  2. Generously brush both sides of eggplant slices with oil; sprinkle with pepper.

 

Zucchini

Zucchini, a popular summer squash, can range in color from yellow to deep green. The crunchy fruit (often confused for a veggie) has become a cult “diet” food, since its composition is 95% water. It is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, zinc, protein, and vitamins B1, B2, and B6.

To prepare, Delish.com recommends:

  1. In a large bowl, toss zucchini with olive oil, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper.

 

Corn

Corn has become an American favorite, regardless of grilling season. Though typically bought in yellow, get festive with cobs of red, orange, purple, blue, white, and black. Corn is high in fiber and carotenoids that improve eye health.

To prepare, Bobbly Flay recommends:

  1. Pull the outer husks down the ear to the base. Strip away the silk from each ear of corn by hand. Fold husks back into place, and place the ears of corn in a large bowl of cold water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes.
  2. Remove corn from water and shake off excess. Place the corn on the grill, close the cover and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes, or until kernels are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove the husks and eat on the cob or remove the kernels. Serve with the BBQ Butter and/or Herb Butter. Spread over the corn while hot.

 

Portobello mushrooms

Portobello mushrooms are of the fungi family, and have a hearty, earthy taste, which make them the ultimate meat substitute. Their ability to absorb matter from the ground make them nutrient-dense, and help to eliminate toxins from the body when consumed. Health-wise, they are most popular for their cancer-fighting properties.

To prepare, Food Network recommends:

  1. Several hours before cooking, place portobello mushrooms in a large sealable plastic bag. Pour in some olive oil, enough to coat all mushrooms, plus some excess. Sprinkle a little salt and some cracked pepper into the bag. Add about a tablespoon of minced garlic. Seal bag and shake. Refrigerate for a few hours.
  2. Remove the mushrooms from the bags and place on grill for 5 to 7 minutes per side or longer; you really can’t overcook them. Flip them every few minutes or so.

If you don’t have a few hours to marinate, try Veestro’s plant-based and ready-to-eat Portobello Steak Dinner.

 

Asparagus

Asparagus seems to find its way into everything from pasta dishes to salads. The green veggie is pumped full of vitamins A, C, E, K, and B6.

To prepare, Epicurious.com recommends:

  1. Trim off the tough bottom of the spear by grasping each end and bending it gently until it snaps at its natural point of tenderness—usually two-thirds of the way down the spear. If the spear is less than 6 inches long, chances are it has already been trimmed for you. Alternatively, you can cut the ends off with a knife.
  2. Coat each spear with olive oil by placing clean, dry spears in a resealable plastic bag, pour in the oil, and massage spears to coat each one. Sprinkle with salt and massage again. Leave the asparagus in the bag until ready to cook.
  3. Place on the cooking grate crosswise so it won’t fall through. Grill for 10 to 15 minutes (depending on the size and thickness of the stalks), turning occasionally to expose all sides to the heat. Asparagus should begin to brown in spots (indicating that its natural sugars are caramelizing) but should not be allowed to char.

 

Sources:

https://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/grilled-asparagus-242259

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/eggplant-benefits

https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/grilled-portobello-mushrooms-recipe-1945508

https://draxe.com/portobello-mushroom/

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