Simple Summer Grilled Veggies: grill once, eat twice!

One of the best things about summer is spending time in the great outdoors…enjoying the weather, relaxing…and not slaving away in the kitchen! Luckily this meal’s primary effort (and it’s not a great one, “simple” is in the title for a reason!) is concerted on your outdoor grill – giving these veggies the delicious roasted char that only a grill can achieve. To make matters even better, you reap the rewards of your efforts twofold: these simple grilled veggies will serve you two very different, very delicious, and very healthy dinners by way of Grilled Veggie Pitas with Goat Cheese and Pesto Mayo and Herbed Penne with Grilled Veggies.

First, let’s get to the simple veggie recipe:

Simple Grilled Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 8 (4-inch) portobello mushroom caps (about 1 pound)
  • 4 medium red bell peppers, quartered
  • 2 medium Vidalia or other sweet onions, each cut into 4 slices (about 1 1/4 pounds)
  • Cooking spray
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

Preparation

  1. Prepare grill to medium-high heat.
  2. Arrange mushrooms, gill sides up; bell pepper quarters; and onion slices on a baking sheet. Coat vegetables with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with salt and black pepper. Drizzle vinegar over mushrooms. Place vegetables on grill rack; grill 5 minutes on each side or until tender.

And that’s it! That’s the big effort…looks good, right? We’re now going to put this together into our two perfect summer dinners…in a snap!

Grilled Vegetable Pitas with Goat Cheese and Pesto Mayo

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon commercial pesto
  • 2 whole wheat pitas, cut in half
  • 4 leaf lettuce leaves
  • 4 servings Simple Grilled Vegetables
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) crumbled goat cheese

Preparation

  1. Combine mayonnaise and pesto.
  2. Spread 1 tablespoon mayonnaise mixture into each pita half. Stuff each pita half with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 serving Simple Grilled Vegetables, and 2 tablespoons cheese. Serve immediately.
And the next night….

Herbed Penne with Simple Grilled Vegetables

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 4 servings Simple Grilled Vegetables, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 4 cups hot cooked penne (about 8 ounces uncooked tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Preparation

  1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add Simple Grilled Vegetables to pan; cook 4 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, and crushed red pepper. Remove from heat.
  2. Combine pasta, parsley, basil, remaining 1 tablespoon oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon black pepper in a large bowl; toss well. Add Simple Grilled Vegetables; toss well. Sprinkle with cheese.

Diane Morgan, Cooking Light 
AUGUST 2008
To see the recipe on Cooking Light – click here!

Nutritional Information: Veggies

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 65
  • Calories from fat: 4%
  • Fat: 0.3g
  • Saturated fat: 0.1g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 0.0g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.1g
  • Protein: 2.8g
  • Carbohydrate: 13.7g
  • Fiber: 3.3g
  • Cholesterol: 0.0mg
  • Iron: 0.8mg
  • Sodium: 127mg
  • Calcium: 26mg

Nutritional Information: Pitas

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 220
  • Calories from fat: 30%
  • Fat: 7.3g
  • Saturated fat: 2.5g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 1.6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 1.6g
  • Protein: 8.9g
  • Carbohydrate: 33.7g
  • Fiber: 5.8g
  • Cholesterol: 7mg
  • Iron: 2.1mg
  • Sodium: 505mg
  • Calcium: 62mg


Nutritional Information: Penne

Amount per serving

  • Calories: 392
  • Calories from fat: 27%
  • Fat: 11.8g
  • Saturated fat: 3.3g
  • Monounsaturated fat: 6g
  • Polyunsaturated fat: 0.9g
  • Protein: 15g
  • Carbohydrate: 55.5g
  • Fiber: 4.6g
  • Cholesterol: 10mg
  • Iron: 2.1mg
  • Sodium: 710mg
  • Calcium: 205mg
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