Taste the Rainbow
Not quite Skittles, but just as colorful and even tastier (in my opinion). Now, I am a self-proclaimed veggie lover all times of the year. I love roasted winter vegetables, crisp springtime salads, big pots of vegetable soup in the fall… but my favorite way to eat them is hot off the grill! My mom bought a grill basket a few years ago, and we use it at least 3 times a week for something. There are so many reasons I love veggies done this way: they have a great crispness like roasted vegetables but don’t require you to heat up the whole house in the middle of summer, they maintain all of their fresh flavor and pick up some grilled smokiness, and they are so colorful and fun! Even my dad clears his plate of veggies when done this way. A colorful basket of vegetables not only looks great (remember that you eat with your eyes before you eat with your mouth!), but they are also really healthy. The more colorful variety you have, the more nutrient variety that you have. Even better – they take 10 minutes tops, and can be a mixture of whatever you like! I love a mix of whatever is on hand: bell pepper strips, mushroom quarters, zucchini moons, Vidalia onion quarters, snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower florets, and carrot slices (if you are serving them as a side, they can be bigger pieces than if you are using them for sandwiches and wraps). Simply toss them with grapeseed or olive oil and Season salt, and then grill for 7-10 minutes. Serve them as a side dish, mix them in with rice and chicken, tofu or beans, or use them to make a sandwich or wrap! Below is a recipe for a grilled veggie panini that I made for a light weekend dinner, but don’t be limited to warm sandwiches! I use leftovers all of the time cold on wraps with hummus and lettuce, perfect for a to-go picnic lunch. Grab yourself a grill basket and give the veggies or this sandwich a try next time you’re out at the grill.
Grilled Vegetable Panini
2/3-1 cup mixed vegetables, cut in strips or bite sized pieces (about 2 handfuls, will shrink down when cooked)
1/2 tbsp olive or grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp season salt, or 1/4 tsp each paprika and salt
4-6 inch piece of whole wheat Italian loaf
1 tbsp hummus
1 tsp Dijon mustard
Cut your desired mix of veggies into strips and bite sized pieces. Toss with oil and seasonings, and then cook in grill basket over medium high heat. Turn every few minutes for about 7-10 minutes, until veggies are cooked through. Meanwhile, slice open bread and lightly toast on the grill. Coat top half of the bread with mustard and bottom half with hummus. Top hummus side of bread with warm vegetables (hummus helps the veggies to stick). Serve warm with desired sides: grilled sweet potato fries, potato salad, mixed green salad, etc.