- Grilled Zucchini and Tomatoes, from Food Network Magazine's 50 Things to Grill in Foil.
Most grill recipes may focus on meat, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t an assortment of great grilled vegetarian dishes that can be prepared on everyone’s favorite summer cooking appliance. Whether you’re heading to a barbecue or cooking for friends, there are a few things to keep in mind when grilling a mix of meat and non-meat dishes.
Most vegetarians would prefer that their food isn’t touching any meat remnants on the grill. Be sure to thoroughly scrape and clean your grill before cooking any vegetarian foods. You can also keep vegetarian food separate by cooking it on a specific portion of the grill that doesn’t touch meat. Grill baskets are a great way to ensure you don’t lose any small pieces of food between the grates, but it’s also a helpful way to keep foods separate.
Now that you’re ready to get your grill on, here are some of my favorite ways to use the grill each summer (and into fall!), sans meat:
- Slice zucchini, eggplant, and portobella mushrooms into thin strips. Brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper before grilling. Use these as the filling in a healthy panini, or to top a veggie burger.
- Bake potatoes right on the grill. Simply pierce the spuds a few times with a fork, brush with olive oil, wrap in aluminum foil and place the potatoes directly on hot grill coals for 45 minutes to one hour, depending on the size, until the potato is cooked through.
- Grilled veggie foil packets mean everyone can put together their own packet with favorite summer veggie combos. Cut a variety of vegetables – potatoes, onions, and peppers, for example – into evenly-sized pieces. Create pockets using heavy duty foil (about 12” square) and place veggies with a dash of salt and garlic powder inside. Drizzle on a teaspoon of olive oil, and close the foil pocket tightly by folding over the edges. Grill covered for about 15 minutes on each side.
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Cedar and other wood-plank cooking is probably one of the oldest “new” food trends around. It’s a technique that was used by the Northwest Native Americans to roast fish, meats and fowl. Nowadays, adventurous chefs can choose between baking and barbeque planks in variety of woody flavors. Baking planks may be used again and again to impart subtle flavor while maintaining the natural juices in meats and vegetables alike. Barbeque planks also add truly unique flavor, combining the earthiness of the wood plank and the smokiness of the grill.
When choosing planks, pick only untreated cedar, alder, hickory or maple. Using treated wood may actually poison the food as well as the person enjoying it. Also remember that some woods are bolder than others— cedar is more aromatic and adds stronger woodsy flavor while alder is milder and sweeter, with a very subtle flavor. If you are baking with a cedar plank, be sure to keep temperatures at or below 425°. For grilling, soak the plank for one to four hours in water, wine, or apple, citrus or berry juices. You could even use tea. This adds moisture to the wood along with complimentary flavors, which prevents the plank from burning on the grill or in the oven.
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- Ellie Krieger's Grilled Vegetable Salad With Feta and Mint
Fat-drenched side salads are the norm when it comes to cook-outs. But lighten up the dressing and you’ll be able to savor those delicious spring flavors—fresh fruit, veggies, and herbs—in every bite. Here are 26 side dishes that’ll make your mouth water– all for less than 250 calories per serving.
Grilled Veggie Sides
Toss those farmers’ market finds or extra veggies in your CSA box right on the grill. It’s a perfectly simple way to enjoy fresh veggies.
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- Food Network Kitchens' Honey Soy Grilled Salmon With Edamame
If you’ve been grilling the same recipes each season, it’s time to shake things up. We’re giving you plenty of deliciously healthy main dish recipes to choose from—meat, chicken, fish and vegetarian—all for less than 400 calories per serving.
Beef, pork and lamb can all be healthy choices for the grill. Be sure to choose lean cuts of meat, keep portions around 3-4 ounces per serving and limit the amount of fatty ingredients like butter and oil.
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- Are you cooking out today?
Happy Labor Day! It’s time to have one last picnic before summer officially ends. Of course you can still cook out before it gets cold, but it’s the last long holiday weekend where you’ll have an extra day to relax and entertain. To get you ready for your end-of-summer bash, a round-up of our most popular picnic posts:
Summer Picnic Menu
Which is Healthier, a Hot Dog or a Hamburger?
5-Ingredient Broccoli Salad
Top Picnic Salads
Host a Healthier Cookout
Potato Salad, Lightened Up
8 Grilling Safety Tips You Need to Know
Safety Tips: Packing Food for Your Cookout
Labor Day Cookout Menu
How are you celebrating the last weekend of summer?
- Bobby Flay's Grilled Salmon With Olive Vinaigrette
School may be out for summer, but that doesn’t mean you still can’t learn a thing or two. What better way to boost your brain power than by combining two of the most loved aspects of the season – barbecue and the ocean – than to grilling up some fresh fish? With its mind-boosting omega-3s, grilled fish will ensure that you clear your brain of the summer “fog,” and when done right, it will blow those boring hamburgers and hot dogs out of the water. So get ready for Grilling Fish 101.
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- Bobby Flay's Tandoori-Spiced Chicken Breast
As the weather gets hot, the grill starts to call my name! Sure, we all have our tried-and-true recipes we’ve been craving since last summer, but there’s always room for some creativity. One of my favorite grilling preparations is spice-rubbed meats and fish. Spices add tons of flavors without adding fat and calories. Rubs are easy to make yourself and you can prepare them in bulk so you have go-to flavor all season long. Here are a few of my favorites.
4 spice rub recipes for all-summer flavor »
- Sausage-and-Pepper Skewers - Photo by Antonis Achilleos/Food Network Magazine
Throw the best tasting picnic on the block by combining classic favorites with some fresh ideas. You’ll find healthy and delicious recipes with lots of things you can make ahead of time. Set it up buffet-style and let your guests dig in!
See what we’re serving at our picnic »
For most folks, Labor Day weekend is last time for a big BBQ bash. The kids are heading back to school (or are already there) and those half-day Fridays have all run out. Cherish summer’s final days and seasonal flavors with this versatile spread. Our menu features veggie kabobs to start, a spicy grilled chicken (or grilled zucchini for the meat-wary) and a fruit sundae to round things out.
We didn’t forget the drinks, either. Serve Blueberry Lime Margaritas for the adults and Blueberry Lemonade for the kids. If your friends aren’t blueberry fans, mix up a lighter, homemade batch of fresh iced tea instead.
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You’ve grilled chicken, burgers and even veggie kabobs this summer, but haven’t gotten around to fish, right? Well, get in these heart-healthy tuna steaks before the season wraps up. Each 259-calorie piece is packed with omega-3 fats and several energy-boosting B-vitamins. Pair the tuna with fresh greens or a grain salad, and you’ve got a light meal perfect for a hot day.
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