7 Awesome Veggies to Grill
By Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN
Move over meat! Make room for vegetables on your grill this weekend, they’re tasty and loaded with healthful nutrients. Not all vegetables go well on the grill, so here is a list of our favorite 7 vegetables (well, 6 vegetables and 1 fruit) that you might not have thought of adding to the grill! Have fun adding it to your menu this weekend and showing off your creative skills behind that burner. Before you fire that grill up, make sure you check out our healthy tips.
Top 7 veggies you will be surprised you can add to the grill:
This might be an obvious one, but many people boil their corn instead of grilling, but I’m here to tell you it’s super easy to make on the grill. Corn is a source of some fiber and energizing b-vitamins like pantothenic acid, B6 and niacin.
- How to grill corn:
- Corn is quite simple to grill. First shuck the corn (remove the leaves and strings) and wrap in aluminum foil. Sometimes butter is spread on the corn before wrapping in tin foil, so this time instead of spreading butter on, drizzle olive oil along with a dash of salt and pepper and your favorite herbs and spices- it’s heart healthier!
Romaine is delicious when raw but guess what?! It’s also delicious when cooked. Romaine is crunchy and the darker the green the more nutrients it contains, like bone-healthy vitamin K and iron.
- How to grill romaine:
- It’s simple. Drizzle a little oil on the grill, then lay the romaine on the grill, cut side down, and drizzle a little more olive oil on top to cook. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the romaine when it’s done cooking (a little softer and slightly browned), before serving.
- Avocado (yes, avocado!)
Okay , we know this is a fruit but we couldn’t let this one slide without mentioning. This may not seem like an obvious one, but we certainly love avocado when it’s cold and also when it’s served on hot items, so why not throw it on the grill too. Avocado is loaded with heart-healthy monounsaturated fat that is also anti-inflammatory.
- How to grill avocado:
- Simply slice avocado, brush it with a little lemon juice and throw it on the grill
- OR swap avocado for cheese on your meat or Portobello burger this weekend and then “melt” until it’s soft
Another fruit technically, but again, they are too good grilled not to mention! Tomatoes cooked on the grill and in the oven are a childhood favorite of mine. Tomatoes are loaded with anti-cancer nutrients like lycopene that become more available for your body to use when cooked.
- How to grill tomatoes:
- Cooking tomatoes on the grill is easy and requires little to no prep work. You want to choose either cherry tomatoes or heirloom tomatoes and leave them whole and pop them right on the grill. Cook until the color becomes redder and the skin gets a little softer. You can also slice tomatoes and cook them on top of another item being grilled, for example a burger or a pizza.
This one may not be as unique, but who doesn’t love peppers on the grill? They’re still soft but have a nice crispy crunch. Peppers are also packed with nutrients like vitamin C and heart-healthy potassium.
- How to grill peppers:
- It’s so simple, either remove the top and seeds then slice and throw them right on the grill, or you can even put them on wooden skewers (with or without meat) and grill them up.
We love kale chips made in the oven, and guess what, they are heavenly on the grill too. Kale is loaded with nutrients like calcium, iron, vitamin C and energizing B-vitamins.
- How to grill kale:
- Simply remove the stems and chop the leaves into squares then marinate in a little olive oil and chopped garlic then lay a sheet of aluminum foil on one side of the grill and cook the kale on each side for about 5-7 minutes or until cooked.
- OR leave the kale leaves whole and brush each side with a touch of olive oil then put the leaves straight on the grill.
- Sweet Potatoes
Sweet potatoes are good no matter how they are prepared. And adding them to the grill will give you a new way besides roasting them! They’re delicious and packed with heart-healthy potassium and beta-carotene, a powerful antioxidant.
- How to grill sweet potatoes:
- Wrap a whole sweet potato in aluminum foil and cook it for 45-60 minutes (or until soft and cooked).
- OR slice the sweet potato and lightly brush the pieces in olive oil then throw them on the grill, or make a basket or pouch out of aluminum foil and wrap the sweet potato pieces up and cook.
Happy vegetable (and fruit) grilling!