Today on the blog we are thrilled to bring you a fun, lighthearted series in preparation for summer! It’s starting to warm up, the days are longer, the kids are taking swim lessons and we’re gearing up for … summer barbecue season! We don’t know about you all, but our team loves nothing more than relaxing with family and friends during these slower New Orleans days. We are thrilled to partner with Langenstein’s and Touro Infirmary as sponsors to bring you “Girl Vs. Grill,” a collection of online summer recipes that will culminate with two in person events in May. We hope you will take inspiration from these recipes, register for the dietitian led shopping tours on May 14 and join us for an interactive learning (and shopping) experience. As always, there will be swag … this time it will just be centered around creating the perfect summer grilling party!
Girl Vs. Grill: Grilled Vegetable Salad
One of the things that I love about the spring and summer months is the abundance of fresh veggies that can be turned into delicious and healthy meals with little to no effort. Not only can you go to the local grocer or farmer’s market and stock up, but you can go home and throw a whole bunch of those veggies on the grill and make them into a delicious meal with the toss of some oil or dressing!
This recipe is one inspired from one of my favorite “ain’t dere no more” cafes that I used to frequent when I worked and lived deep in the heart of Metairie: Cafe’ Latte. One of their specials they ran, often during Lent, would be a grilled vegetable salad that they served with Aegean dressing. Once their location disappeared and was replaced with an expanding Mexican restaurant, I had to create my own version. This version combines the vegetables that my family enjoys, but it can easily be customized to whatever your preferences are. If you want to add corn, broccoli, or even sugar snap peas, all of those would be amazing in this recipe as well. The options are limitless!
This recipe is one that I created out of my head based on the flavor profiles I picked up from my favorite dish from that cafe. I leave out the dressing when I make it because I feel like it has enough flavor and moisture on its own where it doesn’t need any! However, I find that you can sub out the olive oil and seasonings and toss with your favorite bottled Italian dressing if you want. Tip: Be sure to drain the veggies in a colander before putting them in the grill basket, so your grill doesn’t flare up!
Grilled Veggie Salad
1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cleaned
2-3 red, yellow or orange sweet peppers, cut into strips or rings
1 cup of fresh green beans, “snapped”
2 zucchini, cut into cubes
2 summer squash, cut into cubes
1 pound cremini mushrooms or portobellos, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced (although I leave this out often)
3 TBSP crumbled feta cheese
4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
Creole Seasoning, to taste (We like Slap Ya Mama!)
balsamic vinegar (optional)
Preheat your grill and a grill basket to medium-high. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the veggies, olive oil, and seasoning. Toss the veggies until well coated.
Add the veggies to a grill basket and spread them around the surface of the basket so they can get an even amount of heat. Put the cover on the grill, checking on your veggies ever 5 minutes or so, while also stirring to avoid sticking. Watch them until the edges start to get a little brown on the edges. If you want them to char a little more, feel free to let them sit a little longer, it is all a personal preference.
Once done, add them to a big serving bowl and toss with feta cheese. Serve hot and add a splash of balsamic vinegar, if desired. Serves 4. If you make to make it into a complete meal, add some quinoa for extra protein! I am a big fan of the red pepper flavored quinoa with this recipe.
The result? A delicious, healthy vegetarian dinner (or side dish) than is bursting full of vitamins and antioxidants and bursting with flavor!