For those of us shaking off the chill of a long winter season, the first warm(er) days of spring are a most welcome sight. It's not uncommon to drive through any New England town on a Saturday and see a dude in shorts, a hoodie, and a Red Sox cap grilling in 50-degree weather. Months of 20- and 30-dgree weather will do that to a community!
The grill has an obvious association with meat, but with a little effort and creativity it can be utilized to make delicious dishes that will keep you on your Meatless Monday path!
Check out these 10 hot tips for tasty meatless summer grilling that’ll get you fired up for a healthy BBQ season, courtesy of Meatless Monday:
- Many vegetables can be thrown right on the grill with just a light brushing of olive oil (with delicious results)! Fresh corn, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, squash and bell peppers are just some to try.
- Kabobs are a BBQ staple that make the perfect meatless entree. Add tofu cubes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted potatoes or just about any other vegetable that strikes your fancy.
- Grilled fruit is amazing too. For a sweet side dish or dessert, try peach halves, pineapples, plums, melon, kiwi, pears or figs with a touch of honey marinade.
- Swap a hamburger for a portobello mushroom burger or grilled eggplant slices. Put the BBQ’d veggies on a bun and add your favorite toppings, like avocados, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers or an olive spread.
- Try a veggie burger recipe that celebrates hearty ingredients like black beans, lentils, quinoa and chickpeas. You can also find healthy pre-made patties at supermarkets and natural food stores.
- Make a delicious, smoky pizza pie right on the grill — all you need is pizza dough, sauce and your favorite vegetables thinly sliced or pre-grilled.
- Use your favorite marinade recipe to add flavor to extra firm tofu cubes. Grill them up and add them to a salad, serve them with veggies or enjoy them on their own.
- Add grilled vegetables to a filling summer salad. Garnish fresh lettuces with a bit of fruit, feta cheese and olive oil to complete the dish; or think beyond lettuce and concoct a bean or grain salad.
- Consider your sides when planning a meatless BBQ. Pasta salads, raw vegetables and hummus dip are great ways to turn your plant-based dishes into a full meal.
- End the meal on a healthy note with a tray of fresh fruit, a parfait or homemade smoothies.
Dijon Grilled Asparagus & Onions
Spring onions are grilled with asparagus spears for a smoky sweet flavor as well as a stunning presentation. Sliced shallots, white wine vinegar and dijon mustard provide a savory contrast to season these delectable vegetables.
(This recipe comes to us from Kristina of formerchef.com. Serves 8.)
For the dijon vinaigrette:
- 1/2 shallot, thinly sliced
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp dijon mustard
- salt and pepper, to taste
For the grilled asparagus and onions:
- 1 pound asparagus spears, trimmed
- 1 pound spring onions*, halved lengthwise
- 1 tbsp olive oil
*Spring onions are sweet onion bulbs attached to greens found in farmer’s markets and the produce section of grocery stores in Spring and Summer.
To make the Dijon vinaigrette:
Whisk the sliced shallot, vinegar, olive oil and Dijon mustard together in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
To complete the Dijon Grilled Asparagus & Onions:
Preheat a grill to medium-high.
Toss the trimmed asparagus and halved onions in a large bowl with the tablespoon of olive oil, taking care to ensure all ingredients are evenly coated.
Place the asparagus spears and spring onions onto the heated grill, taking care to place the green portion of the spring onions on a cooler part of the grill. Grill, rotating every 2 minutes or so for about 6 minutes, or until the asparagus are tender.
Plate the asparagus and onions on a large platter. Drizzle with the Dijon Vinaigrette and enjoy!