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Versatile Grilled Vegetables

Over the past few months in my household we’ve decided to take a stab at “clean eating.” By this I mean we’ve tried to substitute natural, less processed foods, over our usual go-to grab and run options. When possible, I buy organic, and find myself looking at labels like I never did before. As with most things nowadays, “there’s an app for that.” Yes, the “Fooducate” app allows you to scan the barcode of a product, and gives it a letter score A to F based on how healthy and unprocessed it is. I found out that my favorite cereal scored an “A”, while my favorite salty snacks – not so much!

Now that spring has sprung, there are a lot more options in the produce department to help with the cause. A household favorite has been grilled veggies. We had gotten bored with the same old side dishes, crunching down raw veggies, and most of all, the Oscar the Grouch colored concoctions produced by putting veggies in the blender.

So recently, we’ve discovered the delicious simplicity of classic grilled vegetables. This basic recipe showcases the flavor of the vegetables, and is incredibly versatile. They last for days in the fridge, and can be incorporated into meals morning, noon and night. Feel free to substitute any combination of produce that you choose. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

Yellow Squash
Zucchini
Eggplant
Red, Green, Yellow, Orange Bell Peppers
Asparagus
Mushrooms (small sized or large portabella)
Juice of 1 large lemon
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper

Instructions

1. Wash vegetables thoroughly, pat dry. Slice squash, zucchini, and eggplant vertically in 1/3″ slices, trim off ends. Slice peppers vertically into large chunks, removing seeds and membranes. Leave asparagus and mushrooms whole. Toss with olive oil (approx. 2 TBSP or to taste), salt and pepper.

2. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill veggies 3-5 minutes each side (asparagus and eggplant will finish first).

3. Remove and let vegetables rest until cool enough to handle.

4. Slice cooled veggies into 1″ strips and chunks.

5. Toss with lemon juice and additional olive oil (optional), salt and pepper to taste.

Now the fun begins! Here are some great menu ideas:

Start the day with an egg white omelet with grilled vegetables.

Whole wheat wrap with grilled veggies, chicken, hummus and a crumble of feta cheese.

Grilled veggies on a bed of brown rice topped with minced cilantro and touch of fresh lime juice.

Top your favorite pasta with a helping of grilled veggies.

Quinoa bowl tossed with grilled veggies, tomatoes, spinach and light balsamic vinaigrette.

Whole wheat pizza topped with grilled veggies.

by: Mandy DeCecco
Mandy is a Drexel University graduate and Philly area native. Mandy coordinates marketing, website and promotions for The Philadelphia Catering Company. She is always looking for creative and fresh ideas for home and catering.
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