Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetables

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetables

Incorporating more healthy vegetables into our diets can be rather difficult, especially during a busy work week. I have found one simple way to do this! By taking advantage of the lovely summer produce available right now, you can grill them either indoors or outdoors. Luckily, I bought a great nonstick grilling pan several years ago, so grilling indoors is an easy option for me. A lot of the preparation can be done in advance, by slicing the vegetables ¼-inch thick and storing them in a food storage bag in the refrigerator. You can even prepare the seasoned olive oil, applied right before grilling, ahead of time too. This is such a simple and tasty way to eat more vegetables!

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetables

Ingredients:

  • ½ small eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini (8 inches)
  • 1 medium yellow squash (8 inches)
  • 1 medium red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup Organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon Organic oregano
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

DSC_2537Directions:

  1. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil and oregano. Add salt and pepper to taste and mix thoroughly.
  2. Lightly brush the seasoned oil on the vegetables. If using a nonstick grilling pan, cook each side over medium heat for a few minutes, until dark grill marks appear. Serve immediately.

Healthy Grilled Summer Vegetables

 

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“Roasted Basil Eggplant”

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I recently made an eggplant side dish from Danielle Walker’s newest cookbook, Meals Made Simple, Victory Belt Publishing, 2014. It was so delicious and so simple to prepare! Just love the eggplant, basil and pine nuts! Here is my adaptation:

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant (1½ pounds), cubed in ¾-inch pieces
  • 2 tablespoons organic grapeseed oil or any high smoke point oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Toasted pine nuts
  • Fresh basil, thinly sliced

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Using a large bowl, mix together eggplant, oil, vinegar and salt. Add freshly ground pepper.
  3. Spread evenly on a nonstick jelly roll pan, roast for 18 minutes. Add pine nuts and continue to roast until eggplant is slightly brown and tender for another 2 minutes.
  4. Add basil and serve. Serves 6.

Spicy Eggplant Pasta Sauce

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During my weekly trip to Trader Joe’s, I came across some really nice eggplants and decided to make my spicy pasta sauce. What is great about this sauce is that it can be made quickly during the busy work week.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoon organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • ½ pound eggplant, cut into ½ inch cubes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounce) organic diced tomatoes or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon dried organic oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried organic basil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sea salt

Directions:

In a large nonstick frying pan, heat olive oil with garlic and red pepper flakes over low-medium heat. Be careful not to burn the garlic. Once the garlic starts to sizzle, add the eggplant. Sauté until the eggplant starts to soften, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, basil and bay leaf. Cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Add salt to taste. Serve over cooked pasta of your choice. Serves 4.

Blogger’s note: This is a thick sauce and you may need to add a little water to have a little juice. For those who prefer a sauce with more liquid, use a 28 ounce can of tomatoes and adjust the seasonings.

Ratatouille

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This delicious recipe is full of wonderful vegetables and is from Emeril Lagasse’s show, “The Essence of Emeril,” on the Food Network.

  • 1 tablespoon organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup small diced yellow onion
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh organic thyme leaves
  • 1 cup diced organic green bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced organic red bell pepper
  • 1 cup diced zucchini
  • 1 cup diced yellow squash
  • 1 1/2 cups seeded and chopped Roma tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Heat olive oil in a nonstick 12-inch frying pan over medium heat. Add onions and garlic cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until they are lightly caramelized. Then add the eggplant and thyme and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until eggplant is partially cooked. Stir in the green and red peppers, zucchini and squash and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil and parsley and cook for 5 more minutes. Finally, add salt and pepper to taste and stir well. Serves 4 to 6.

Blogger’s note: The recipe recommended 1/4 cup olive oil and I only used about 1 tablespoon.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ratatouille-recipe0.html