Going meatless doesn’t mean you have to cut out the grill! In fact, this Memorial Day Meatless Monday, will be the perfect time to make some grilled veggies and bring out the tempeh which can be paired wonderfully with your grilled veggies, next to a wonderful salad, or eaten on a whole grain bun!
I’ve found using a grilling pan or tray works best for veggies or tempeh on an outdoor grill – gas, charcoal, electric, or portable. These tools are awesome for two reasons: 1) veggies too easily fall through the grates on most grills; and 2) It makes it much easier to flip the veggies for even cooking. If you use a grill basket it flipping becomes a snap.
So go for it! Pick up your favorite veggies today and enjoy!
Preheat the outdoor grill for medium-high heat at least 30 minutes before cooking.
Take a grilling basket or grilling pan and fill it with your favorite sliced vegetables, or make vegetable skewers — mushrooms, onions, peppers, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and summer squash all combine well, but get creative and go with the season.
The beauty here is you don’t have to use oil to grill veggies! Toss with a little water, balsamic vinegar, and one of your favorite mixed herb season blends – like Spike or Mrs. Dash – or reach into your cupboard for favorite dried herbs such as basil, oregano or rosemary.
Take a blender and add your favorite spices and a handful of walnuts to your favorite vinegar. Brush it on the veggies frequently while grilling.
(If you grill any starchy vegetables like potatoes, soak or marinate them first in a water-vinegar mix to add to their water content to minimize the production of acrylamide, which is a cooking-related carcinogen formed when starches are cooked at high temperatures.) Also, it’s best to avoid grilling any type of your favorite food or veggies until they are blackened. So keep an eye on the grill.
Once preheated, place the grilling tray or basket with your veggies onto the grill and monitor closely to prevent your veggies from burning. Grill over medium heat anywhere from 2 to 15 minutes or until crisp-tender, turning occasionally. Some vegetables, such as thinly sliced onions or peppers, take a minute or two to cook, while dense vegetables like potatoes take longer, 10 to 15 minutes depending on the heat.
As my veggies grill up I move them over to a sheet of foil set up on a cooler section of the grill and wrap them up to keep them warm and ready to serve on a platter.
Be sure to watch your veggies carefully. Grilling vegetables over too high a heat for too long will char them on the outside and they’ll stay raw on the inside.
As an alternative to burgers, I love grilled portabella mushrooms marinated for 20 minutes in balsamic vinegar, grilled, and served with or without a toasted whole grain bun with sliced tomato, raw onion and all the trimmings. Try a pesto dressing made from basil, avocado and walnuts.
Grill marinated mushrooms for approximately for 20 to 25 minutes, turning once. Remove from grill to a platter. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over mushrooms, and scatter on fresh sage or oregano. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Another favorite is of mine? Grilled BBQ Tempeh!
Cut the tempeh into ½ inch strips or into triangles – you have the option to cut the tempeh lengthwise to make it thinner, just keep a watch on the cooking time as this will cook faster. Place the tempeh into a baking dish and spread with a favorite seasoned vinegar or Annie’s BBQ sauce. Being careful not to break the tempeh, stir lightly to. Let them marinate for about 15 or 20 minutes.
Preheat the grill to medium-high heat.
Cook the tempeh on grill pans for 4 to 5 minutes each side – turning carefully for even heating.
Whatever you choose get out there and enjoy. Practice makes perfect. Whatever you choose to toss on the grill, you will become a grill master!