Monday, May 18, 2015

Vegetarian Summer Grilling

With Memorial Day right around the corner, it's time to start hauling out the grill to begin a season of outdoors cooking. If you are like my family and don't eat a lot of meat then you might be feeling a little left out. However, grilling and meat are not a package deal. That's right:  meat is not the only main course food item that can be grilled. Which is quite lovely for us sometimes-meat-eaters that still love to get out and grill on a beautiful summer evening sans all the meat.

Vegetable Kabobs

Vegetable kabobs are a family favorite that are also quick and easy to make. Below is a recipe that will help you get started but feel free to swap in your family's favorite veggies. (Grilled pineapple, although not a veggie, tastes awesome!) Since there are so many different variations of veggie kabobs, it's hard not to please everyone. Whenever there is marinating involved, I always add rosemary and thyme seasoning, whether or not the recipe calls for it, as it helps combat the carcinogens created during the grilling process. For a great protein side dish, cook up some quinoa and add pesto sauce with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Veggie Burgers

This is another dinner that can be full of variety and customized to individual tastes. Make sure to buy the veggie patties that do not include soy protein isolate. It is highly processed and shouldn't even be considered food. Most stores now carry veggie burgers and they taste great. There are so many varieties that there is bound to be one you like! Check in the frozen health food section. We go all out with our burgers and top them with mayo, lettuce, tomato, avocado, red onion, jalapenos (the adults, anyway), cheese and a fried egg on a sprouted whole grain bun. It really is one satisfying meal.

Grilled Eggplant

Eggplants are a nice, meaty vegetable that are fantastic grilled. Serve with marinara, crusty whole wheat bread and a fresh green salad for dinner in a weeknight snap.

Grilled Peaches

One of the sweetest ways to end dinner is with grilled peaches topped with homemade vanilla ice cream. Simply slice the peaches in half, remove the pit and place directly on the grill for 8 minutes, turning once. Sooo yummy.

We all know the effect that massive consumption of conventional meat is doing to this planet and our health. We are also well aware of the financial limitations of buying pastured meat. Limiting how much meat you eat shouldn't feel like a punishment. With all of the great recipes above, I hope that grilling can continue to be a fun and delicious summer past-time for you. Summer is almost here- let's light up those grills!

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