I have a bit of a problem with obsessively using a new kitchen gadget after discovering how cool and nifty it is. I’m sure some of you remember last winter’s slow cooker obsession? Well, now that it’s hot out, I’m using my new grill non-stop. And who can blame me? Grilled veggies are delicious!
Yesterday I saw someone post on Facebook that she was vegan and therefore didn’t own a grill. It’s sad to think that a particular appliance and method of cooking are so closely associated with meat in people’s minds. Especially when that particular appliance and method of cooking is also closely associated with days like today. It’s time for vegans to take back the grill! Let’s show those meat eaters how it’s done. I’ve decided to show off my grilled 4th of July meals to give you an idea of how much fun grilling veggies (and fruits!) can be.
I’m going to go backwards and show you our pretty simple dinner. We had grilled veggie burgers and all the fixin’s along with grilled asparagus and The Shannons’ Curry Chicken and Potato Salad. (I made the potato salad with purple potatoes, because not only are they pretty, but they have a lot more nutrients than white ones do.) If nothing else, a grilled veggie burger is quite tasty and most omnivores will even give it a try.
For lunch, we had grilled portobello and peach sandwiches with grilled corn on the cob and more of that delicious potato salad. Grilling corn on the cob is super easy – just spread them with olive oil or Earth Balance and sprinkle with some salt and pepper. You can cook them wrapped in foil, or directly on the grill. Add a little sprinkle of cayenne pepper if you like a little extra kick.
The grilled portobello peach sandwich is a thing of beauty. I based it off of a recipe from Green Kitchen Stories that was on Design Sponge a few months back. I left out some of the fixin’s because I knew if my sandwich was too high, I’d never fit it in my mouth, and if I tried, the contents would slip out the back and roll onto my plate. Since it was just Dennis and I, I only made two sandwiches, but you can obviously make more if you’re cooking for more people.
2 large portobello mushrooms, cleaned
2 peaches, sliced in half and pitted
1 onion, sliced
2 rolls (the more rustic and “hearty” the bread, the better), sliced
Guacamole or pesto sauce
Lettuce and tomato (optional)
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon Braggs liquid Aminos or soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
Mix all of the marinade ingredients together. Place the mushrooms in a flat baking dish and pour the marinade over them. If your mushrooms are really large, like the ones I made, you may need to double the marinade recipe. Let the mushrooms sit for 30 minutes to an hour.
Heat the grill, and lightly oil it. Place the mushrooms and onions on the grill and let cook for about 10 minutes, flipping halfway through. The peaches only need 4 or 5 minutes to cook, so place them on the grill when you flip the mushrooms and onions. Flip them halfway through as well. Grill the bread for a minute or two, if you wish.
Assemble the sandwiches by spreading the guacamole or pesto sauce on the roll, then layering the mushroom, onions and peaches on top. Add lettuce and tomato if you like. And then eat it up!
Dennis and I didn’t do anything special for Independence Day. Our plan was to hang out in our backyard with a pitcher of iced tea and a stack of magazines, but it was about 100 degrees with 90% humidity here in NJ, and my Irish/Scottish blood wasn’t made for that type of heat. So instead we laid around the house with a pitcher of iced tea and a stack of magazines, just running outside to cook and eat our meals. Hanging out in the air conditioning has become a 4th of July tradition for us, so why break it now? I hope you enjoyed the holiday and stayed cool wherever you are!