The sun is shining, the days are long and the fresh produce is plentiful! What are you planning on doing with your veggies this summer? Our recent trip to California gave me some great ideas on what to do with mine! The friends we stayed with showed me how you can toss anything on to a grill and make a meal out of ANYTHING in minutes! I am a bit new to grilling so if some of you have some awesome grilling tips I want to hear them! If you do have tips please comment below! This is how my amateur and slightly grilling rookie-self does it!
- Grilling is healthy! “Grilling reduces the hidden fat in meats and makes it easier to fix vegetables.”
- When the summer heat sets in grilling keeps your home cooler by cooking outside!
- Cooking with the grill is EASY! What’s easier then making a few cuts, drizzling on marinades or oils then throwing it all on the hot grates?!
Get To Know Your Grill…
All grills are going to cook differently and at different temperatures. Our friends had a grill that used coals while I have a grill hooked up to a gas line. We both grill fabulous food! The biggest key in learning how your grill works is by using your eye and a timer. If you haven’t used your grill much you will want to start out with some inexpensive veggies so if you burn them you won’t feel too bad. Make sure your cuts of meat and vegetables are proportioned well. You want the size of the item your grilling to be as evenly shaped as possible, this will ensure your item cooks thoroughly and evenly.
One of my biggest rules is too check it sooner then you think! Sure you can semi-control the heat of a gas grill but you cannot control how much fat drips into a flame and how much heat and hight the flame gets. Just realize that with grilling it’s not a fix it and forget it. ALWAYS set a timer, cell phones are great tools for that if your outside! You do not want the neighbors asking you why your back deck is smoking! Also it is unhealthy to eat something that is blackened and charred. The more you grill the more you will get to know how long things will take and how things should be sliced. Even if you are a confident cook please take care not to get so overly comfortable that you just toss it and walk away. You want to keep your lunch or dinner healthy, not black!
Anyway You Slice It…
Here is a guide to how I cut things up for the grill. This will give you a good idea on how to do various vegetables and fruits. Experiment! Try anything in your fridge! My friends even threw breadsticks on the grill to give them a more smoky flavor! (The breadsticks were already baked).
Carrots – in half lengthwise or keep whole
Beets & Potatoes – I do not slice the tiny ones, half the small-med ones, quarter the larger ones
Young garlic & Green Onions – trim ends
Artichoke – half and clean out the choke (steam first, toss on grill for a smoky flavor with a bit of charring and add a stuffing or cheese to melt)
Large Peppers – half and seed
Small Peppers – do not slice, grill whole
Zucchini – whole of halved
Asparagus – trim ends
Radishes – trim
Garlic – I peel, cut in half, cut the sprout out and grill in foil
Onions – Peel and cut thick rings or cut onion in half, foil can also be helpful
Mushrooms – trim ends or stems, skewer if really small, other wise toss on grates top down or use foil
Tomatoes – small leave whole and skewer, medium toss on whole, large cut in half
Leafy veggies like Kale – trim and leaf (WATCH IT grill time on these will be VERY short!)
Pineapple – peel & slice in 1/2 in slices
Banana – leave in peel you can also use foil
Stone Fruit – half & seed
Apples – half or slice 1 in
Don’t Ask Meat…
I am getting better at grilling meat but I am not going to try to tell you how it works! Click the blue words below to get some great grilling guidelines
A Basic Marinade…
I am not going to give you amounts, you will have to eyeball it. How much you use will depend on how much you are grilling and the size of the items. A good rule of thumb is to make sure that all items are oiled so they do not stick to the grill. It’s also a good idea to use a brush the grill grates with oil before cooking, especially meat.
- Olive or Grapeseed Oil (Flavored oils are fun and add more flavor to your foods)
- Optional: White Balsamic Vinegar (or flavored)
Yep that’s it! YUM!
Drizzle and toss over veggies, you can let it “marinate” a for a bit or just toss it on the grill! I would suggest that you use grapeseed oil on the fruit, you can drizzle honey and coconut over the fruit once they are done cooking if you’d like.
Now go forth and grill, grill, grill! PLEASE tell me what you enjoy grilling and any great grill tips you have in a comment below!