Grilled Vegetables (Recipe: Balsamic Grilled Carrots)

Written by Megan of Stetted.

Things are really heating up around here – literally. We’ve had more than a dozen days of 100-degree-plus temperatures, and summer only started on Tuesday. In a way, this makes grilling sound more appealing. After all, what’s a little bit of fire when you’re already baking?

However, the grill doesn’t have to be all about meat. While corn on the cob is undoubtedly the side dish of the season, try exploring the rest of summer’s bounty over the flame. Cherry tomato skewers, planks of summer squash, and thick slices of eggplant will liven up any cookout and provide many more nutrients than that bag of potato chips.

I used to hesitate about grilling vegetables out of concern they would slip into the fire. Foil packets are an easy solution, but I find they don’t impart that particular grill flavor we celebrate.

Luckily, in the past few years specialized grill tools have flooded the market, making it simple to grill pizza, jalapeno poppers, dice-cut vegetables, and more. We have a simple basket that can hold enough vegetables for a dinner party and cleans up in a snap.

[Read more…]

Grilling Greens (Recipe: Grilled Caesar Salad)

It’s grilling week here on Simple Bites! Join us as we bring you simple recipes for the grill that feature seasonal produce.

The first time I recall seeing greens grilled was overr five years ago at swanky brunch in celebration of a baby’s baptism. Coral-colored wedges of radicchio and Belgian endive were wilted and slightly charred on the grill before being tossed with a simple dressing of fresh lemon juice and fine olive oil. A sprinkling of sea salt finished the dish, and it was placed on the table, where its smoky aroma made my stomach twist with hunger.

The salad was warm and sultry; vibrant in flavor – and a totally unique side dish at an event where the buffet tends to play it safe. I’ve been enamored with grilling greens ever since.

There’s something about those slightly caramelized natural sugars that heighten the flavors of grilled greens, and the contrast of charred edges, soft leaves and crunchy cores makes for a salad crammed with delightful textures.

It’s a given – grilled salads are a hot item on my back yard patio table this summer. They’re simple, versatile, and just downright tasty. Yesterday, Romaine hearts and lobster tails shared the grill and later came together for a light and gorgeous Father’s Day supper. Perfection.

So what greens can you grill? Romaine, radicchio, endive, iceberg, kale, chard, green onion, and even spinach, although that last one is a bit more of a challenge. Try and stick with varieties that can be cut into wedges with the core still intact, that way the greens hold together on the grill. [Read more…]

Weekend Links

Weekend Giveaway: Tattler Reusable Canning Lids

This giveaway has ended. Congratulations to Liz who has won the reusable canning lids! Liz, you’ve been notified via email. A big thank you to all who entered!

Today weekend giveaway is for four dozen reusable canning lids from Tattler!

We just talked about getting our act together for the canning season, and getting equipment organized before starting was a key step! I’m including reusable canning lids from Tattler in my essential canning equipment because they are BPA-free and can be used over and over again. Less waste and better for your health? That’s right!

If you’re just hearing about Tattler, why not keep in touch with them on Facebook? They occasionally offer discounts through the Tattler Facebook page, and it’s also a good resource for information about their products.

[Read more…]

Eat Well, Spend Less: Wholesome, Homemade Food for Air Travel

We’ve just returned from a family vacation in the Caribbean where we unplugged, relaxed and enjoyed time with extended family. While the get-away gave us some much needed R&R, the traveling to and from our destination was an adventure!

Our boys, now 5 and 3, did amazingly well on the four flights, all things considered. Mateo napped during the long stretches and they both ran their little legs off between gates during our tight connections. Danny and I battled some nausea on the journey home, but Noah and Mateo sustained good health and had a cheery disposition from take off to touchdown.

While flight delays, lost luggage, and air turbulence cannot be helped (or avoided, it seems) one aspect of air travel that can be controlled is nourishing food. When you bring your own, that is.

On our recent trip to Atlanta for BlogHer Food, I felt particularly gouged by the expensive, yet tasteless, food options available in the airports and on flights. Knowing I would have the kids along on the next trip, I mentally noted to pack my own snacks and lunch.

Being able to eat well in an airport is rare. Being able to spend little is nearly impossible. For this month’s Eat Well, Spend Less post, I’ll tell you how I managed to do both.

[Read more…]