There is nothing more “summer” to me than heading outside and firing up the grill. I just LOVE being outside in shorts and flip-flops cooking a meal while the kids play in the yard. I grill almost every day in the summer and most of the spring and fall as well. In truth, I’ve been known to man the grill in the snow as well. It may be an addiction and I know what you’re probably thinking “how can all of that meat be healthy?” Well….who said anything about meat?
I do grill my fair share of burgers and chicken, but I also grill a TON of vegetables! All summer I go straight from the garden to the grill and there’s NOTHING better than the taste of fresh vegetables hot off the grill. Here are two of my favorite healthy recipes -- they can be used as sides or are delicious on their own for a light dinner!
Heirloom Tomatoes on Grilled Sourdough – This recipe is so simple and the vibrant colors of the tomatoes make the dish really pop on your plate. Chop a clove or two of garlic and place in a small bowl with olive oil, brush onto a fresh loaf of bread sliced in half the long way. Place the bread face down on the grill until it’s toasted, then flip it and add a little more garlic and retire it to the top shelf to let the garlic roast a little. It’s a little more forgiving up there away from the flames, so you don’t have to worry about it burning too quickly.
Once the bread is toasted to your liking, add slices of your favorite tomatoes, sliced thin and overlapped to cover the bread. I like using different colored heirlooms to make it really stand out, but a good Brandywine tomato is hard to beat. Give the tomatoes a hit of sea salt, drizzle a little of the garlic oil and you’re ready to slice and serve. It’s that easy!
Grilled Beet Salad with Goat Cheese - I’ll be honest, this is brand new for me. I used to hate beets! I tried them once when I was a kid and stayed away from them for a long while after that. But after planting them in my garden, I started to enjoy the fresh, earthy taste they have and now I have been eating them almost every day. Here is one of my favorite recipes for fresh beets.
Grab two or three beets, take off the skin with a vegetable peeler and slice them no more than 1/4 inch thick. I hit them with a little olive oil and sea salt, either tossed in a bowl or with a brush once they’re on the grill. Put them on the grill for about ten minutes on each side. Grill until you can easily poke them with a fork. You can eat them just like this and we often do. Something magical happens to them on the grill and I can’t get enough! For the salad, just let them cool down, dice them (or just cut them into cubes) and toss with lettuce, a little goat cheese and some olive oil. I don’t use much goat cheese as I want the beets to be the star, but you can add as much or as little cheese as you’d like. Hit it with a little sea salt to taste and serve! After having them off the grill, you’ll never look at beets the same way again.
*Matthew McClelland is a paid spokesperson for Balance Bar
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