Healthy Girl Grilling

It’s summertime, y’all! I don’t know where you live, but here in Boston I’ve seen enough rain to last me a lifetime. I finally got the chance to do some grilling last weekend (or, rather, to be a marinade-making 50’s housewife while my boyfriend manned the grill.) Below are a few of our successes: Shrimp Kabobs with Red Pepper and Pineapple; Asian-inspired Eggplant, Juicy ‘Bella Burgers, Mustardy ‘Gus, and Magnum Grilled Cheese.

Shrimp Kabobs with Red Pepper and Pineapple

file under: Seafood; Dairy-free; Gluten-free

for each person, use: 1/3 lb. raw shrimp, 1/2 red pepper, 1 1/2 cups chopped pineapple
olive oil, salt and pepper

1. Wash, peel and de-vein shrimp. On skewers, alternate shrimp, pepper and pineapple pieces.

2. Using a brush, dab shrimp and pepper pieces with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt & pepper.

3. Grill kabobs until shrimp are bright pink.

Asian-Inspired Eggplant
file under: Vegetables; Dairy-free; Vegetarian; Vegan

1 large eggplant
4 teaspoons soy sauce
4 teaspoons rice vinegar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 cloves pressed garlic
1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, minced

Mix marinade ingredients. Brush over eggplant pieces. Allow to sit for 30 minutes

To grill, wrap eggplant pieces in foil and cook until soft.

Juicy ‘Bella Burgers

file under: Vegetables; Vegetarian; Vegan; Dairy-free; Gluten-free

This sauce is my boyfriend Noah’s burger marinade. It makes meat and mushrooms incredibly juicy. Noah refuses to violate his creative process by measuring specific quantities of any ingredient. I finally convinced him to use a vague “part” scale, so good luck recreating the recipe…just trust your intuition! Serve these bad boys alone or on a bun with your favourite burger fixins.

4 Portabella caps
4 parts A-1 sauce
2 parts Balsamic vinegar
2 parts Dijon mustard
1 part Olive Oil
“Abuncha sprinkles” Thyme
“Ditto” Rosemary and Black pepper

Brush mushrooms generously on both sides with marinade. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. To grill, wrap in foil to maintain moisture and cook until soft.

Mustardy ‘Gus

file under: Vegetables; Vegetarian; Vegan; Dairy-free; Gluten-free

2 large bunches asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup dijon mustard

Lay asparagus pieces in a baking dish, layering if need be. Mix marinade and pour over asparagus. Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Grill, unwrapped, until asparagus in nicely charred.

Magnum Grilled Cheese
file under: Vegetarian

I made this sandwich for my vegetarian friend Sam. For the ultimate veg delight, construct the sandwich using generous portions of the ingredients listed below and place it directly on the grill. You can also toast the bread for an indoor treat on a rainy day, or if you don’t have time to get the grill going.

For each sandwich: 2 slices whole wheat bread; 2 slices sharp white cheddar; 3 thick slices ripe tomato; 1/3 avocado; 5 spears Mustardy ‘Gus.

Clubbin Sammy

Though I was a vegetarian for 11 years, I’ve crossed back over to the dark side, and I really enjoy nothing more than a meat-tastic indulgence like this one. Club sandwiches generally have three slices of bread, but that’s for the birds, really. Two slices work just fine. Toasting them is key, so you get that nice crunchy bite.

This healthified version of the classic club is all about lean(er) protein and healthy fats-ham & turkey, avocado, and turkey bacon for that essential bacony touch. Reduced-fat cheese adds calcium without too much extra fat; the veggies provide vitamins A, C, and E, and add to the fiber content of the whole grain bread.
Now, if there’s one thing you should know about me, it’s that I. HATE. MAYONNAISE. Ugh-even typing that word makes me want to gag. If it’s hiding, like in deviled eggs or spinach-artichoke dip, fine, I can play along and pretend it’s not there, but if it’s on my sandwich, I lose my appetite. It’s just the thought of that substance jiggling slowly, as only mayonnaise can do…alright, enough, I can’t take it anymore. Needless to say, I’ve omitted mayo from my twist on this classic recipe, but you can do whatever you like in your own home. I’m not here to judge.
2 slices whole grain bread
2 slices ham
2 slices turkey
2 strips turkey bacon
1 slice reduced-fat sharp cheese, like cheddar or swiss
1/3 avocado, sliced thinly
1/2 a roma tomato, sliced thinly
dark salad greens
2 tsp. of your favourite spread (I recommend dijon, garlic, or honey mustard-anything but the M-word)
Toast the bread while you fry up some turkey bacon. Wash the greens and slice the avo and tomato. Layer everything on your mustardy toast, and add some hot sauce if you’re into that kind of thing.
yay for photography by seth c. drury!

Greek Goddess Wrap

This has been my lunch of choice lately. It makes a delicious meal without being too heavy. I like to use whole wheat lavash because it’s the easiest to roll, but you can use a regular tortilla if you don’t want to buy an extra item. 
I learned how to roll the perfect wrap when I worked in a little Manhattan vegetarian cafe. The trick is to line up all the ingredients on one end, fold the sides in, and roll from the filled end.  Omit the feta to make this sandwich vegan, or add some grilled chicken for a protein boost. Try serving it with a little greek vinaigrette for dipping!
1 whole wheat lavash
2 Tbsp hummus
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 mini cucumber, or 1/2 medium cucumber
1 cup dark leafy greens, washed & dried
1 roma tomato, or 4 grape tomatoes, sliced
1 medium carrot, peeled & shaved
5 olives (kalamata or california,) sliced
Spread hummus evenly over the lavash. Add the ingredients in rows, starting from one end (keeping the other end emptyish will help prevent spillage when you roll.) Fold in the sides and roll, keeping the roll tight. Cut in half on the diagonal.