When you fire up that grill – Vegetables are delightful

Summer weather is here, and for many, that means firing up the barbecue. But for your next cook-over, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics mentions these barbecue safety suggestions:

  • Buy two sets of grilling tools (one for raw meat and one for cooked meat) and a meat thermometer to make sure food is thoroughly cooked.
  • Grill lean meats to avoid flame flares caused by fat drippings.
  • Don't allow your food to become charred. Some studies suggest charred meat may be linked to cancer.
  • Let your meat marinate for a few hours before cooking to help reduce the chances of charring.

How to Grill Vegetables

Next time you're doing the honors with a grilled entree, arrange vegetables on the grill at the same time. Grilled vegetables are a healthy addition to a meal.

  1. Rinse, trim, and cut up vegetables. If advised (see below), precook vegetables: In a saucepan, bring a small amount of water to boiling. Add vegetables and simmer, covered, for time specified in chart. Drain well. Generously brush vegetables with olive oil, margarine, or butter before grilling to prevent them from sticking to the grill rack. Grill over medium or medium-hot coals.
  2. To grill, place vegetables on a piece of heavy foil or on the grill rack directly over the preheated coals. If putting them directly on the grill rack, lay them perpendicular to the wires of the rack so they won't fall into the grill. Grill, uncovered, for time in chart or till tender, turning occasionally. Watch closely to prevent charring.

Try These Techniques:

Asparagus Snap off and discard tough bases of stems. Precook, then tie asparagus in bundles with strips of cooked green onion tops. Precooking Time:3 to 4 minutes Grilling Time:3 to 5 minutes

Fresh baby carrots Cut off carrot tops. Wash and peel. Precooking Time:3 to 5 minutes Grilling Time:3 to 5 minutes

Eggplant Cut off top and blossom ends. Cut eggplant crosswise into 1-inch-thick slices. Precooking time:Do not precook. Grilling Time:8 minutes

Fennel Snip off feathery leaves. Cut off stems. Precooking Time:Precook whole bulbs for 10 minutes. Cut bulbs into 6 to 8 wedges. Grilling Time:8 minutes

Sweet peppers Remove stem. Quarter peppers. Remove seeds and membranes. Cut peppers into 1-inch-wide strips. Precooking Time:Do not precook. Grilling Time:8 to 10 minutes

Leeks Cut off green tops; trim bulb roots and remove 1 or 2 layers of white skinPrecooking Time:10 minutes or till tender. Halve lengthwise. Grilling Time:5 minutes

New potatoes Halve potatoes. Precooking Time:10 minutes or till almost tenderGrilling Time:10 to 12 minutes

Zucchini Wash; cut off ends. Quarter lengthwise into long strips. Precooking Time:Do not precook. Grilling Time:5 to 6 minutes

 Crookneck squash Rinse, trim, and slice 1 inch thick. Precooking Time:Do not precook. Grilling Time:5 to 6 minutes

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