Recipe of the Week: Break out the Grill, for your veggies!

24 06 2013
Cathy Shaw

Cathy Shaw

I hear from many people that they just don’t like vegetables. Unfortunately most of these people have been preparing them the same way for many years, usually boiled in water until they are mushy. They have also been eating the same KIND of vegetables for many years (corn, peas and green beans), with no variety in taste, texture or color. Well, if I did that, I don’t think I would like vegetables either. But truth be told, there is only one vegetable I don’t really like, and I have been trying to prepare it in different ways to spark my interest (I’ll keep you guessing as to which one!). Variety is the spice of life! After discussing different preparation methods with my clients, such as grilling, roasting and sautéing with different seasonings or spices, I see a renewed interest in trying new things. I hear things like, “I have never thought of making it that way!”. Grilling summer vegetables is a great way to bring out their fresh flavors and crisp texture. Some perfect things to grill include squashes, peppers, sweet potatoes, asparagus, tomatoes and Portobello mushrooms. You can marinate them in fat free or reduced fat dressings (such as Italian or Caesar) or use your favorite fresh herbs or spices to season them up. Brush them with a touch of olive or canola oil before grilling. You can skewer them, use a grill basket and even cook them in foil…so many different ways to enjoy the tastes of summer! Try this idea for a meatless meal this week!!

Grilled Eggplant Panini

Prep time: 15 min            Cook time: 10 min            Total time: 25 min


2 Tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise

2 Tbsp olive oil (use sparingly if you want to save some calories)

1 small eggplant sliced into 4 -1 inch thick slices

½ tsp garlic powder or minced garlic

8 slices bread (whole grain or a hearty Italian, <80 calories per slice)

8 slices of deli sliced part skim mozzarella cheese

1/3c or 4 med slices roasted red peppers (packed in water)

4 slices of red onion


Preheat grill to med high.

Combine mayo and basil in a small bowl. Mix garlic and olive oil together in a small bowl. Using 1Tbsp of the oil, lightly brush both sides of eggplant. With remaining 1Tbsp of oil, brush one side of each slice of bread.

Grill the eggplant for 6 minutes, turn with spatula, top with cheese slice, and continue grilling until the cheese is melted and the eggplant is tender, about 4 minutes more. Toast the bread on the grill, 1-2 minutes each side.

To assemble sandwiches, spread the basil mayo on 4 slices of bread. Top with the cheesy eggplant, roasted pepper, onion and the remaining slices of bread. You can even add some fresh spinach to your sandwich if you want to get a little crazy! Cut in half and serve warm J

Nutrition information per sandwich: 341 calories, 37g carbohydrate, 16g fat, 14g protein, 586mg sodium.




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