Tag Archives: grilled vegetables

Grilled Salsa. Yum.

3 Sep

I stopped at a farm stand to take advantage of the (boohoo!) ending peach season.  Luckily they still had some yummy peaches left, but they had to be eaten quickly.  They were ripe and ready!  There were more peaches than we could eat, and I was not able to can the peaches and put them up.  I had to get creative. Time to dig thru the pantry and the fridge for more inspiration.

Ah yes, onions.  Sweet summer Vidalia onions were in a basket in my pantry.  And chicken was in the fridge ready to grill.  What could be better. Luckily, there was also leftover pesto pasta in the fridge too.  So here we go.

I fired up the grill.  But the chicken would go on second.  What to grill first?  Why, the peaches and the onions, of course!  I sliced the 2 onions about 1/4 inch thick.  I sliced the peaches in half and removed the pit.  Next, I laid them on a cutting board and sprayed them with a bit of vegetable oil.

 

Sliced onions and peaches getting ready to grill.

Sliced onions and peaches getting ready to grill.

Onto the grill they went.  The heat was good and high to get a quick char and that desired carmelization that only the grill can provide.  I wanted those sugars in the peaches to get to work!  And they did not disappoint!

The onion slices and peaches went onto that hot grill.

The onion slices and peaches went onto that hot grill.  The beginning of some great grill marks!

The scent that wafted from the grill was absolutely mouth watering!  It certainly produced one of those culinary “moanable moments”.  When that happens, your eyes close, your head falls back a bit, and a deep breath in is amazingly delightful.  Those sizzled on the grill for about 3 minutes per side, then they came off the heat.

The peaches and onions grilled up beautifully!

The peaches and onions grilled up beautifully!

Next, I let the onions and peaches sit.  While the peaches and onions were cooling, I grilled the chicken.  I went light on the seasoning because I wanted the flavor of the salsa to stand out.

When they were cool to the touch, I coarsely chopped the onions.  They were soft and sweetly  fragrant.  On to the peaches.  The fuzzy outside jacket of the peaches slipped right off.  I chopped up that sweet peachy flesh and mixed the two together in a bowl.  I added about a 1/2 of a chopped jalapeño (I should have grilled that too…Rats!).  I also stirred in a little bit of cilantro, lime juice, olive oil, and just a dash of vinegar.  A little salt and pepper completed the fresh salsa.  The resulting salsa was fantastic! It was not my “prettiest” salsa ever, but it was really tasty!

This was fantastic piled on top of grilled chicken.  It was a healthy low fat option packed with nutrients and flavor!

This was fantastic piled on top of grilled chicken. It was a healthy low fat option packed with nutrients and flavor!

Dinner consisted of a crisp salad, leftover pesto pasta, and flavor packed grilled chicken slathered in peach onion salsa.  It was a hit.  So delicious and a fun way to use fresh ripe reaches.  Cleanup was a breeze because I grilled most of dinner.  Gotta love that!

I am certainly going to try some more grilled salsa recipes.  Tomatoes are at the end of the season, but there is surely enough time to get creative  and grill those up next!  Grilled tomatoes with perhaps some creamy diced avocados.  Maybe roasted garlic too.  Oh yeah, can’t wait for that one!

 

Sexy Vegetables

30 Sep

Oh yeah!  I said it.  You too can rev up your vegetables and make them appealing to any one!  Vegetables are fantastic, and eating seasonally can be very budget friendly. Many vegetables are available year round but since we are entering fall, let’s talk fall vegetables.

Seasonal fall vegetables are sweet and hearty.  It is economically easy to eat in season with fresh produce, so with a budget in mind, let’s get going.  Vegetables in season, or coming into season quickly, include:

  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Broccoli (available year round, but sweetest and in season in the fall)
  • Brussel sprouts
  • Carrots
  • Cauliflower (again, available year round but naturally a fall harvest)
  • Celery
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Onions
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Turnips
  • Zucchini (hotly debated-summer or fall veggie-but it’s available until late fall!)

Most of these vegetables can be easily diced up and mixed in multiple combinations.  Toss them on a grilling sheet or put them in a tin foil pouch, but get them on the grill!  Here is what you do…and men, listen closely.  Why?  Because men who can cook are sexy!

Here we go guys.  Dice up 2-4 different vegetables in a nice 1 inch square dice.  Grab  your grilling sheet or make a tin foil pouch.  Fire up the grill to a solid 400 degrees.  Mix the vegetables up in a bowl.   Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil on them, some salt, some pepper, some fresh garlic, and if you are feeling naughty, some red pepper flakes.  The red pepper is sure to jazz up the works!

Toss the vegetable mixture onto your baking sheet or tuck them into a tin foil pouch.  If using a pouch, seal it up tight.  Put them on the grill, pour your best girl a drink, and sit back.  Grilled fall vegetables take about 30-40 minutes to cook.

A tray and a foil pouch of veggies on the grill. Still plenty of room for some chicken or salmon on the grill!

About 20 minutes into the vegetables cooking process,  toss your favorite protein on the grill too.  Salmon or a nice piece of well seasoned chicken will do.  Let that cook for about 20 minutes, and everything should be ready to come off the grill.

Grab some crusty bread, sweet delicious butter, take the food off the grill and voila!  A wonderful, flavorful dinner!  And you, my friend, are a huge hero!  Why is grilling so delicious?

Grilling, first and foremost, allows the Maillard reaction to occur.  Yup, go ahead and say that to your date and your sexy quotient just skyrocketed!  The Maillard reaction refers to the browning of food.  It is a chemical reaction usually requiring heat.  The amino acids in the food react with the reducing sugar, of which vegetables contain.  This produces fantastic odors and flavors.  It will also brown the food and give your vegetables delightful colors.

Second, grilling carmelizes the sugar in the food.  That adds to the browning, and also makes the food a little sweeter.  More savory.  And as far as clean up goes?  It is so easy when grilling.  Yes..this grilling thing just gets better and better.  So enjoy a fabulous meal.  Grill, enjoy a great meal, have minimal cleanup, and become king of your grill!