Looking for a healthy alternative to bottled BBQ sauce? Shhh…here’s a great reduced-calorie BBQ sauce…
In a medium saucepan, combine a 14.5 oz. can of no-salt-added tomatoes, 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar, 2 tsp honey, 2 tsp spicy brown mustard, 1 crushed clove of garlic, ½ tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp salt, 1 chopped medium Gala apple. Heat on high for 3-4 min.; reduce heat to medium and simmer for 30 min. Puree until smooth. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 week. Makes 2 cups of sauce. 12 calories!
How do You Like Your Veggies…Well Done or Medium Rare?
Okay, now that you’re approaching Master Chef level with grilling fish and meats, it’s time to start grilling fruits and vegetables! Grilling is an easy and healthy way to prepare a variety of vegetables and fruits. The most popular vegetables for grilling are bell peppers, onions, zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, artichokes, portabella mushrooms and corn on the cob. Popular fruit for grilling include tomatoes, pineapple, peaches, mangoes, melons and pears. Here are a few tips to help the process along:
+ For grilling, cut vegetables and fruits into medium-thick (¾–1”), consistent-sized pieces.
+ Soak them in cold water for 30-45 min. to keep them form drying out on the grill. Corn on the cob is best grilled in the husks.
+ Before placing on the grill, brush vegetables with olive oil and season lightly with salt and pepper.
+ Most vegetables and fruits only need only 4-5 minutes on the grill before they are done so don’t overcook.
+ With smaller fruits and vegetables, use a grilling basket to keep pieces from falling apart or use skewers to control pieces. If you use wooden skewers, soak the skewers in water at least 30 min. before using so they don’t burn on the grill.
Why not try one of these recipes…
Eggplant Sandwiches (serves 4)
1. Toss 1 medium eggplant, sliced ½” thick, with 2 Tbsp each balsamic vinegar and olive oil, ½ tsp salt and ½ tsp pepper. Grill on medium high 5-7 min. or until very tender, turning only once.
2. Layer eggplant, sliced tomatoes, sliced fresh mozzarella, and fresh basil leaves on bottom of 1 split loaf of ciabatta or other Italian bread. Drizzle 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar; put other half on top. Cut into 4 servings. Delicious.
Grilled Watermelon Salad (serves 6)
1 large fresh basil sprig
1/3 cup plus ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for brushing
3 ½” thick slices seedless watermelon, rind removed, each cut into 6 wedges for a total of 18 wedges
¼ cup fresh lime juice
1 Tbsp honey
Kosher salt and pepper
¾ lb. pea sprouts or watercress (tough stems removed); ~12 cups
½ cup (4 oz) queso fresco, crumbled
¼ cup (1 oz) shelled pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
1. Heat basil and 1/3 oil in a small skillet over medium heat until basil begins to bubble. Simmer for 3 min. Remove pan from heat. Let cool for 1 hour. Discard basil; set aside basil oil.
2. Build a medium fire in a charcoal grill, or heat a gas grill to medium. Brush rack with oil; grill watermelon until lightly charred, ~2 min per side. Set aside
3. Whisk remaining ½ cup oil, lime juice and honey in a large bowl to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add pea sprouts and toss to coat.
4. Place 3 pieces of watermelon on each plate. Toss with pea sprout and drizzle basil oil over. Garnish with queso fresco and pepitas.
Tell Us Your Favorite Grilling Recipe and Win a Book!
Email us your favorite recipe for summer grilling by August 1. I’ll review the recipes and select the one I like best. The winner will receive Michael Pollan’s paperback book, “Food Rules.” Health-conscious foodies will enjoy reading Pollan’s distinctive views on good eating.