Publix GreenWise Market Magazine - August 2007
Grilled to a "V"
|Move over, meat. Vegetarian options are competing for space on the backyard grill.
Juicy hamburgers and thick steaks have long been the mainstay of masters of the backyard BBQ. But today vegetables, meatless burgers, and even fruits are beefing up the options available to those who preside over the grill. Loaded with fiber, vitamins, and minerals, these meatless grilling options are terrifically tasty, too.
Elizabeth Karmel, author of Taming the Flame: Secrets for Hot-and-Quick Grilling and Low-and-Slow BBQ, has firsthand experience watching the "aha" factor kick in for novice vegetable grillers. Instructing a class to take two bunches of asparagus, she asked them to trim both, steaming one bunch over boiling water, then seasoning it with olive oil, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. The second bunch was tossed into a resealable plastic bag with the same seasonings, removed from the bag, and placed on the grill. The hands-down winner of the ensuing taste test was the grilled version.
"The grill's heat caramelizes sugars found in vegetables and fruits, intensifying the taste, even as it roasts and browns the food," Karmel says. Often, she adds, grilling doesn't require adding unnecessary fats and sugars to bring out flavor.
THE MAIN EVENT
Besides tasting great, grilled vegetables are fast and easy to prepare, even as a main dish. Try a creation like eggplant Parmesan. Simply grill ¾-inch-thick slices of eggplant, then add cheese and tomato slices, and close the grill lid for a few minutes to melt the cheese. Serve with a salad or add pasta for a heartier meal.
Portobello mushrooms - the steak of the vegetable world - are rich, succulent alternatives to beef. You can make a killer sandwich by loading mozzarella, tomatoes, and arugula on a toasted roll with grilled portobello slices. Or follow the lead of Karen Adler, coauthor of The BBQ Queens' Big Book of Barbecue, by putting pizza toppings inside a grilled, degilled portobello cap. Add some crumbled feta, chopped tomato, and a little onion, and you'll have a satisfying Mediterranean-style pizza in minutes.
Craving real pizza on a day when it's too hot to turn on the oven? The grill's the thing. For a quick pizza, Adler suggests picking up premade dough at the store and fashioning individual-sized crusts, which are easier to maneuver on the grill. Dab a little olive oil onto both sides of the dough and throw it over the fire, turning it once when the dough begins to bubble and pop. Adler suggests cooking one side well and the other partially before adding ingredients.
"Put goodies on the well-cooked side so they can melt as the second side finishes cooking," she says. "When grilling pizza, get away from the idea of red sauce and pepperoni. As far as ingredients go, less is better on a grilled pizza. A little goat cheese, fresh basil, and sliced tomatoes, and you're good to go."
|VERSATILE TOFU TAKES A TURN|
Once you've conquered veggies on the grill, how about trying tofu? Its beauty is that it acts as a vehicle for other flavors. Add a dash of hot sauce, barbecue sauce, or seasoning, and you have heaven-made BBQ flavor. For an Asian twist, brush tofu with a mixture of soy sauce and sesame oil or teriyaki sauce.
Choose firm tofu for grilling, preferably water-packed tofu sold in a plastic tub or pouch. Draw out some of the moisture by wrapping the tofu in a clean kitchen towel. Put a heavy weight such as an iron skillet on top of the wrapped tofu and let it sit for about 30 minutes to express excess water. Then lightly oil the tofu with vegetable or olive oil, slice it at least ½ inch thick, and grill it over a medium fire, about 5 minutes per side. Grilled tofu is done when it is medium brown in color with a slight crust.
Another grill-friendly option is a roll of packaged polenta. Slice the polenta into sections about ¾ inch thick. Lightly brush each slice with oil - try truffle oil for an exotic flavor - and add salt and pepper. Grill the polenta until it's warmed through, a few minutes on each side. It should look slightly brown and have a few grill marks.
Even if you're a confirmed carnivore, you'll find that a grilled-veggie side dish can make a great addition to any meal. Tour the vegetable section of your neighborhood Publix, picking and choosing whatever catches your eye, and mark it for the grill. Try red, yellow, or green peppers. Or toss together summer squash and onion slices with grape tomatoes and some olive oil, place on the grill in a foil pan, stir once or twice, and in about 5 minutes you'll have a medley of stir-grilled vegetables that can be plated with any main dish.
Meat lover or vegetarian, you'll find the meatless recipes that follow a fresh new way to enjoy nature's summertime bounty with outdoor flair.
Mushroom and Mozzarella Roll
15 MINUTES GRILL:
Mushrooms lead other fruits and vegetables as a source of selenium, an antioxidant mineral being studied for its possible role in preventing arthritis.
3 6- to 8-ounce organic fresh portobello mushrooms
3 tablespoons organic olive oil
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic (6 cloves)
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
¼ teaspoon salt
4 crusty rolls, split and toasted
4 ounces sliced mozzarella cheese
2 medium organic tomatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 cups arugula
ONE Cut off mushroom stems even with caps; discard stems. Lightly rinse mushroom caps. Gently dry with paper towels. With a knife or a teaspoon, gently scrape away the gills (the black portion underneath the caps) from each mushroom.
TWO In a small bowl whisk together oil, vinegar, garlic, pepper, and salt. Brush both sides of mushrooms with oil mixture.
THREE For a charcoal grill, grill mushroom caps, top side down, on the rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 5 minutes. Turn and grill 5 to 7 minutes more or until slightly softened and tender, brushing with the remaining oil mixture. (For a gas grill, preheat gas grill. Reduce heat to medium. Place mushroom caps on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.) Slice mushrooms into ½-inch-thick slices.
FOUR Top the bottom half of each roll evenly with mushroom slices, cheese, tomatoes, and arugula. Cover with tops of rolls. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 392 cal., 18 g total fat (5 g sat. fat), 14 mg chol., 659 mg sodium, 42 g carbo., 4 g dietary fiber, 17 g protein.
|Saffron Pilaf with Grilled Vegetables|
PREP: 30 MINUTES CHILL: 4 TO 24 HOURS COOK: 15 MINUTES GRILL: 8 MINUTES
A yellow sweet pepper has more than twice the vitamin C of a green one. Vitamin C is a water-soluble antioxidant that helps protect cells from damaging free radicals.
1 18-ounce package water-pack firm tofu (not silken), well drained
Several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
1 14-ounce can vegetable broth
¾ cup water
1 cup uncooked jasmine or basmati rice
¹/8 teaspoon thread saffron or dash ground saffron*
2 tablespoons organic olive oil
1 teaspoon bottled minced garlic
1 large yellow summer squash, halved lengthwise
1 large organic zucchini, halved lengthwise
1 organic orange or yellow bell pepper, quartered
Ground black pepper
ONE Cut tofu into 6 slices, about ¾ inch thick. Place tofu in a 13×9×2-inch baking dish. Sprinkle with a few dashes hot sauce, turn slices over, and sprinkle with more hot sauce. Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 24 hours.
TWO In a large saucepan combine the vegetable broth, water, rice, and saffron. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, about 15 minutes or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Cover and keep warm.
THREE In a small bowl combine the oil and garlic. Brush over the yellow squash, zucchini, and bell pepper.
FOUR Grill vegetables and tofu on the lightly greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals, turning once halfway through grilling. Grill tofu for 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly browned; grill vegetables 8 to 10 minutes or until they are crisp-tender.
FIVE Cover the tofu and keep warm. Transfer the vegetables to a clean cutting board; cool slightly. Cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces; stir into cooked rice. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Place tofu slices on serving plates. Top tofu with the pilaf mixture. Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 248 cal., 8 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 0 mg chol., 363 mg sodium, 32 g carbo., 2 g dietary fiber, 10 g protein.
*NOTE: You can substitute ¼ teaspoon ground turmeric for the saffron.
Southwestern Black Bean Cakes with Guacamole
20 MINUTES GRILL:
Black beans contain lots of protein, soluble fiber, and antioxidants.
2 slices whole wheat bread, torn
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 15-ounce can Publix GreenWise Market organic black beans, rinsed and drained
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
1 to 2 teaspoons adobo sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Publix GreenWise Market organic egg
½ of a medium organic avocado, peeled and seeded
1 tablespoon lime juice
Salt and ground black pepper
4 hamburger buns (optional)
1 small organic plum tomato, chopped (optional)
Plain yogurt (optional)
ONE Place torn bread in a food processor. Cover and process until bread resembles coarse crumbs; transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Place cilantro and garlic in the food processor; cover and process until finely chopped. Add beans, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, and cumin; process with several on/off turns until beans are coarsely chopped and mixture begins to pull away from side. Add mixture to bread crumbs in bowl. Add egg to bean mixture; mix well and shape into four ½-inch-thick patties.
TWO Grill patties on the lightly greased rack of an uncovered grill directly over medium coals for 8 to 10 minutes or until patties are heated through (160°F), turning once.
THREE Meanwhile, for guacamole, mash avocado in a small bowl. Stir in lime juice; season with salt and black pepper. If desired, serve patties in hamburger buns with guacamole, tomato, salsa, and plain yogurt. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 168 cal., 6 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 53 mg chol., 536 mg sodium, 25 g carbo., 8 g dietary fiber, 10 g protein.
NOTE: To help keep the patties from drying on the outside, try brushing with a little olive oil or lightly coating each side with nonstick cooking spray.
|Grilled Eggplant Parmesan|
START TO FINISH: 25 MINUTES
Eggplant contains chlorogenic acid, a phenolic antioxidant that may reduce the risk of some
types of cancers.
8 slices eggplant*, cut ¾ inch thick
Ground black pepper
¼ cup organic olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
²⁄3 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese
²⁄3 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
4 medium organic roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
¼ cup finely shredded basil
3 cups hot, cooked whole grain pasta
ONE Sprinkle eggplant slices lightly with salt and pepper. Combine olive oil and garlic;
reserve 1 tablespoon. Brush remaining oil mixture on both sides of eggplant slices. In a small
bowl toss together Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses; set aside.
TWO For a charcoal grill, grill eggplant slices on the rack of an uncovered grill directly
over medium coals for 5 minutes. Turn eggplant slices and sprinkle with half of the cheese.
Top with tomato slices and remaining cheese. Cover and grill for 2 to 3 minutes more or until
eggplant is tender and cheese has melted. (For a gas grill, preheat grill. Reduce heat to
medium. Place eggplant on grill rack over heat. Cover and grill as above.) Top with shredded
basil before serving.
THREE Toss pasta with reserved oil mixture. Serve eggplant slices over pasta mixture. Makes 4
Nutrition Facts per serving: 397 cal., 21 g total fat (6 g sat. fat), 21 mg chol., 496 mg
sodium, 39 g carbo., 7 g dietary fiber, 17 g protein.
*NOTE: Leave the skin on the eggplant and cut the slices from the center. The skin helps
retain the eggplant's shape, and the center slices are the right size for this dish.
Publix GreenWise Market Veggie Burgers or Vegan Original Soy
Protein Burgers are an easy and tasty grilling alternative. Heat one side on the grill, flip
it, then top with a thick slice of warm Brie and sautéed red onions as the second side cooks.
If you have a little more kitchen time, make your own black bean burgers.
|A Healthy Option|
Grilling vegetables, tofu, or vegetarian burgers is a great way to put your barbecue to work
without the worrisome health concerns that come with grilled meat.
Cooking animal proteins on high heat, whether by grilling or frying, can form carcinogenic
substances called heterocyclic amines (HCAs), explains Karen Collins, R.D., and spokesperson
for the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). But HCA production occurs only with
meat protein, Collins says. "So by cooking these other types of food, you avoid HCAs and you
get more of the antioxidants and phytochemicals that actually help protect us from
Barbecue aficionados should be aware that smoke caused by dripping fats also can be a health
concern. The smoke contains polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are deposited on
the food above as the smoke rises. To prevent excessive dripping and reduce barbecue flare-up
and smoking, apply oils and sauces carefully and sparingly, suggests Collins. Or cover the
grill grate with aluminum foil.
LEARN MORE: For other ideas on how to avoid HCAs and PAHs, see the AICR's The Facts About
Grilling pamphlet at www.aicr.org