Vegetables are vital elements of a healthy diet. They provide important nutrients you need to live.
Here are a few key veggie facts:
- Contain no cholesterol.
- Contain potassium that helps lower blood pressure.
- Are rich in vitamins A, C, and E that keep your eyes and skin healthy, provide essential fatty acids, and help heal cuts and wounds as well as helping iron absorption.
- Contain folic acid that is an essential part in red blood cell formation.
- Have a large amount of fiber that helps reduce cholesterol, reduces heart disease, promotes proper bowel function, and helps to make you feel fuller with less calories.
Since veggies are so important, it’s recommended that both men and women should consume 2 1/2 to 3 cups of them per day. That’s a lot of veggies to add into your meal plan!
And if you’re someone who gets burned out eating the same veggies day after day—or struggles incorporating them into your diet because you dislike the taste— it can be a challenge to get your daily serving.
I suggest trying out a few of the following grilled vegetable recipes to add some tasty new dishes into your routine…
Open-Face Grilled Vegetable Sandwich
3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill grates
4 1/2-inch-thick slices country bread
2 6-inch sprigs fresh rosemary
1 small clove garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 cup part-skim ricotta
4 cups mixed grilled vegetables such as eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes
#1 Grill bread and rosemary, turning often, until rosemary is lightly charred and bread has grill marks, about 1 minute for rosemary and 2 minutes for bread.
#2 Strip leaves from rosemary; set aside 2 tsp. Purée garlic, remaining rosemary, vinegar, and oil in a blender until smooth.
#3 Top bread slices with ricotta and vegetables. Spoon vinaigrette over and sprinkle with reserved rosemary.
1/2-pound medium fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
#1 Thread mushrooms on four metal or soaked wooden skewers. Combine butter, dill, and garlic salt; brush over mushrooms.
#2 Grill over medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes or until tender, basting and turning every 5 minutes.
Grilled Garlic Artichokes
2 large artichokes
1 lemon, quartered
3/4 cup olive oil
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
#1 Fill a large bowl with cold water. Squeeze the juice from one lemon wedge into the water. Trim the tops from the artichokes, then cut in half lengthwise, and place halves into the bowl of lemon water to prevent them from turning brown.
#2 Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile, preheat an outdoor grill for medium-high heat.
#3 Add artichokes to boiling water, and cook for about 15 minutes. Drain. Squeeze the remaining lemon wedges into a medium bowl. Stir in the olive oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper.
#4 Brush the artichokes with a coating of the garlic dip, and place them on the preheated grill. Grill the artichokes for 5 to 10 minutes, basting with dip and turning frequently, until the tips are a little charred. Serve immediately with the remaining dip.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 head romaine lettuce, cut in half lengthwise
1 tablespoon steak seasoning
1 lemon, juiced
#1 Preheat grill for medium heat. Drizzle olive oil over romaine lettuce and season with steak seasoning.
#2 Place lettuce cut side-down on preheated grill. Cook until lettuce is slightly wilted and charred, about 5 minutes. Drizzle with lemon juice to serve.
Pesto-Topped Grilled Summer Squash
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 medium summer squash, (about 1 pound), sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
Canola or olive oil cooking spray
#1 Preheat grill to medium-high.
#2 Combine basil, pine nuts, oil, Parmesan, garlic, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl.
#3 Coat both sides of squash slices with cooking spray. Grill the squash until browned and tender, 2 to 3 minutes per side. Serve topped with the pesto.
Start on the path to a healthier life and incorporate these recipes into your diet. In the meantime, learn more about veggie nutrition here.