Grill Your Vegetables Too!

Food on the grill photo credit: Pirate Alice

The grill is not just for meats anymore. You can cook an entire meal on the grill which is quite convenient and saves on clean up. Clear a space on that grill top for those delicious vegetables.
You can grill a variety of vegetables on the grill. Contrary to popular opinion charcoal is not good for digestion unless they are trying to pump your stomach. The excess charring that can occur when grilled foods cook too long is dangerous. Chemicals created by the char can cause cancer in the long run. If you grill out every once in a while then you are okay, but it is not the safest practice to let your meat turn black.

Start by chopping up your vegetables. Some of the ones that work well on the grill are: zucchini, squash, peppers, and onions. Green leafy veggies and some with high water content don’t do well on the grill. But, the easiest way to find out if your favorite vegetables will pass the test is to put one or two on the grill. Peppers can be grilled directly over the heat but keep an eye on them because they will cook fast if your grill is preheated like it should be. Keep them on the grill long enough to get those beautiful grill lines and then remove them.

Vegetables that require additional cooking can be placed in foil. Spray the foil with non-stick cooking spray and then add the vegetables. Throw in a few sprigs of your favorite herbs like rosemary, thyme, or oregano. The flavor of the herb will seep into the vegetables as you cook them in the foil.

Foil wrapping is also a good idea for vegetables that have been marinated. Trying to put them directly onto the grill is an accident waiting to happen. Dripping marinades can cause flare-ups that can burn the cook as well as the food. Shake as much of the marinade off of the vegetables as possible and then put them in tented foil to cook. Watch the vegetables closely to avoid overcooking.

Vegetables that need direct heat from the grill should be cooked first before the meat. This avoids your guests going home with salmonella or some other ugly bacterium. A clean grill is the best place to put your vegetables. When the meat is finished cooking, you can spread the grilled vegetables on top for a flavorful presentation. Don’t forget to move your foiled vegetables to a cooler part of the grill once they are done.

I can smell those vegetables right now! Grilling is another healthy way to prepare your vegetables if you are tired of steaming and stovetop heating. It provides variety and plenty of taste possibilities.

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