Thursday, August 11, 2011

It's a great time to eat your veggies

EggplantImage via Wikipedia

My outdoor, charcoal grill has been gathering dust since I stopped eating meat more than 18 months ago, but I haven't missed a beat by grilling vegetables on an indoor, stove-top grill to go with pasta and seafood meals.

I'm also using a small food processor to puree vegetables, including cucumbers from my garden, into a cold soup.

This afternoon, I grilled a few onions and a nice bunch of Asian greens on the grill with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and some red-pepper flakes, and stored them in the refrigerator for dinner.

They joined grilled Japanese eggplant, small sweet-potato slices, squash, plumb tomato and thin-sliced organic carrot.

My All-Clad grill covers two burners on my stove and its ridges leave nice grill marks on the vegetables. It's also perfect for prawns or shrimp. I use cooking spray and turn both gas flames to "Medium" or "Medium Low."

In the past, I've used the grill to cook thin slices of marinated, free-range  beef from Australia; garlic cloves and onion for Korean barbecue meals at home. 

L├ęgumesImage via Wikipedia
The greens I grilled today have thick stalks and leafy, slightly bitter leaves -- similar to Chinese broccoli. They turned bright green, and I removed them after about 10 minutes.

Grilled eggplant and sliced potatoes turn creamy inside their skins, and the stalks of the greens keep their crunch.

For a cold soup today, I cut up skinned cucumber, two small tomatoes, watermelon and some onion, processed them and poured the liquid into a small bowl.

Recalling a TV cooking segment I had seen at the gym, I added a little extra-virgin olive oil, wine vinegar and salt, stirred it up, and garnished it with more chopped cucumber.

After I had the soup, I plated grilled squash and potato slices and heated them up in the microwave while I prepared a simple egg-white omelet, drinking iced tea flavored with lemon and garden mint.

Tonight, I'll plate more grilled vegetables to accompany leftover whole-wheat pasta in a red sauce filled with salted fish and cabbage. (See A robust pasta sauce without meat, Aug. 3, 2011.)

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