Try Grilling Fruits and Vegetables This Summer

Grilled Veggie Photo

In the sizzling heat of summer, most people think of using fruits and vegetables in salads. Although a great way to incorporate produce into your meals, it’s certainly not the only way. Summertime presents a wonderful opportunity for preparing those fruits and veggies in a different way, with the grill!

Grilling produce is easy and doesn’t take long, plus it gives a subtle, smoky flavor that even the pickiest of palates can enjoy. There’s a variety of fruits and vegetables that hold up to grilling, some of which you may have never even thought about. Of course zucchini, bell peppers and mushrooms are fair game, but here’s a list of other produce that you may consider as alternatives:

Watermelon: Cut your watermelon into wedges, sprinkle with salt and place on a very hot grill for about three minutes per side.

Pineapple: Grilling pineapple brings out the fruit’s natural sweetness. Slice the pineapple into rings or wedges and grill about three minutes per side.

Peaches: This is a great low-calorie option. Slice the peach straight down the center, remove the pit and place the halves face down on the hot grill, let them cook for about five minutes.

Romaine Lettuce: Romaine lettuce hearts (the inner leaves of romaine lettuce) are hearty enough to put on the grill and you’ll be oh so glad you did. Slice them length-wise, brush with olive oil and grill until lightly browned, constantly turning to make sure neither side is burned.

Bananas: Banana splits don’t require ice cream when you’ve got a grill. Simply slit the un-peeled banana lengthwise down the middle. Then stuff the pocket with your favorite toppings like chocolate chips, marshmallows or peanut butter. Finally, wrap the banana in tin foil and place it on a hot grill for about 6 to 8 minutes until the toppings are warmed through.

L’Ecole Culinaire-St. Louis is offering a Grilling Techniques-Beginner Class on Saturday August 29 from 10am-2pm to help you get on your way to being a grill master! L’Ecole Culinaire-Kansas City also offers this grilling course on Saturday, August 29 from 12pm-4pm. For more information or to register for either class, visit www.lecole.edu.

Lighter Fair – August 7, 2015

Lighter Fair Farmers Market Image Aug 7

The dog days of summer are upon us and large, heavy meals just won’t do. When the heat becomes unbearable and the last thing you want to do is spend time over a hot stove there are some great ways to put together a healthy, summertime-friendly meal that won’t leave you feeling sluggish.

Simplicity is key when making a nutritious and light meal; the less complicated the ingredients, the better. The Farm-to-Table movement is an ideal way to eat food that is ‘clean’ (unprocessed and unrefined), seasonal and easy on the stomach. The movement focuses on eating locally-produced food that is usually organic.

A great way to find local ingredients in the summer is through a farmers market. A farmers market is an outdoor area where farmers sell their products directly to consumers. The types of items you’ll see there are produce, pastured meat and eggs, artisan cheeses and small-batch items such as kettle corn or baked goods. Going to a farmers market gives you the benefit of having ultra-fresh, locally grown or produced items. Ingredients like these are perfect to put in a cold salad or serve as a crudité–all you have to do is wash, chop, and serve!

If you’re really interested in committing to preparing locally-grown food you can also join a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). Becoming a CSA member allows you to purchase a ‘share’ of produce from a regional farmer, usually from June through to October.
Here is a salad recipe that is perfect as an easy, light meal–most of the ingredients can be found at your local farmers market:
Smoky Ham and Corn Salad

Courtesy of Eating Well

Makes: 4 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

  1. 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  2. 2 tablespoons distilled white vinegar
  3. 1 teaspoon paprika, preferably smoked
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 8 cups trimmed frisée, (about 1 large head) or 8 cups mixed salad greens
  6. 1 medium tomato, diced
  7. 1 cup fresh corn kernels, (from 1 large ear)
  8. 1 cup croutons, preferably whole-grain
  9. 3/4 cup diced ham, (about 4 ounces)

PREPARATION

Whisk sour cream, vinegar, paprika and salt in a large bowl. Add frisée (or salad greens), tomato, corn, croutons and ham; toss to coat.