Summer is the time of year when outdoor grilling is at it’s peak. Most people probably grill some type of meat, poultry or seafood, but don’t stop there. Grilling vegetables is a great way to change the way you usually cook them. Today, I am going to focus on two of my favorites, grilled portabella mushrooms and grilled zucchini and squash.
Portabella mushrooms are often used as a substitute for meat because of their meaty flavor. They are packed with vitamins and minerals such as selenium, potassium, niacin, and copper. Mushrooms are loaded with Vitamin B which helps turn food into fuel which the body burns to produce energy. It also helps the body metabolize fats and protein.
Another great vitamin that the portabella is loaded with is vitamin D. Most people don’t get enough vitamin D which is essential. Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable that actually produces vitamin D when in the sunlight. When exposed to high levels of ultraviolet B just before going to market it converts more of the plant sterol ergosterol into what is called the sunshine vitamin. Mushrooms also boost your immune system and are loaded with antioxidants that help fight free radicals in our bodies. The high levels of selenium help lower the risk of bladder cancer.
When we grill portabellas, we usually remove the stem. Then we like to rub it with some olive oil and add fresh, chopped herbs to the inside part. If you prefer, you can use your favorite barbeque sauce just like you would with hamburgers or steaks. Sometimes I serve them on buns with sliced tomatoes, condiments, etc. You can also just eat them as you would a steak with steak sauce. They are tasty when sliced and added to pasta and marinara sauce.
While your grill is on and you are cooking your mushrooms, why not slice some zucchini and squash and grill it right along side it? If you grow your own zucchini and squash you know that if you forget to pick it, it can grow really big before you know it. That is perfect for the grill. Just slice them lengthwise and rub some olive oil on them with a little salt and pepper and place on the grill. It is that simple.
Zucchini and other summer squash are over 95% water so they are low in calories, about 14 calories for a 3-1/2 ounce serving. However, they are loaded with potassium, carotenes, which help protect the skin from the damaging effects of the sun, and vitamin C. They also contain anticancer properties similar to those found in radishes, pumpkins and leeks.
Zucchini is a versitile vegetable that can be eaten raw, baked in muffins or breads, grilled or roasted. Below is a link for ten recipes for eating zucchini. Check out the link below and happy grilling!