Monday, July 5, 2010

Grilling and Chilling: Veg!

One of my absolute favorite things to throw on a grill is vegetables. Any kind of veg - mushrooms, asparagus, squash, fingerling carrots, corn, eggplant, endive... you name it. If it's a vegetable, it's pretty darn likely I will grill it (although I can't say that I've grilled broccoli with much success - steaming doesn't count). Now don't get me wrong - I enjoy a fat ribeye as much as the next carnivore out there - but a juicy steak is a treat. Vegetables - now those are daily necessities in my book.

People often ask me what I eat "for real." Fare to Remember probably gives the impression sometimes that I cook a lot, eat out a lot, and enjoy a huge variety of food. In truth, not so much. In my day-to-day life, I stick with lean proteins, seasonal fruit, whole grains and loads and loads of veggies. Pretty darn predictable on any given day.

So, for my grilling and chilling weekend, I knew that loading up the grill with my farmer's market haul would be at the top of my list. I like to grill loads of stuff in advance - chicken breasts and heaps of veggies - that I then eat all week long. I keep it simple - just toss everything with some good olive oil, season with kosher salt and cracked pepper, and then grill away.

One of my favorite applications for grilled veggies - aside from just eating them straight up - is throwing them in a bowl together with a grain. Pictured above, and one of my all-time faves, is quinoa (ok ok... quinoa is technically a seed - not a grain. So sue me.). I cook the quinoa in my rice cooker (add liquid, push button, walk away - my kind of kitchen duty!) - and I like to prepare it with chicken or vegetable stock as opposed to plain water. The result of combining quinoa and grilled veggies is no less than one humongous bowl of super food - hearty, straight from Mother Nature, exploding with fiber and packed with protein. It's a vegan dish that fulfills darn near every possible nutritional requirement and then some.

So that's my dinner or lunch (or both) 90 percent of the time. The veggies will change with the season, the grain will change according to mood, but the essence is still the same. Lucky me, I can grill year-round here in the gorgeous, temperate Napa Valley, but I have a feeling that if I lived in the heart of Siberia, I'd still find a way to fire up a grill in the midst of a howling blizzard. Now if I could only figure out how to grill that darn broccoli.... anyone?

No comments:

Post a Comment