All Agog Over Healthier Kebobs

May 07 00:00 2003 Print This Article

Its the opening of the grilling season and in most peoples minds that means slabs of red meat. But health-conscious outdoor chefs can lighten their menus by grilling fruits and vegetables as well as or instead of burgers and chops.

A skewer of hot, juicy, flavorful grilled vegetables or a fresh fruit kebob will be welcome at any backyard barbecue.

For a vegetable grill, use two-inch cubes of unpeeled eggplant; -inch carrot slices; small, thin-skinned potatoes (two inches in diameter); one-inch zucchini slices; whole, large mushrooms; red or green bell peppers, seeded and cut into one-inch squares, and onion, cut in wedges. Before grilling, parboil some of the vegetables in boiling water until just tender-crisp: three minutes for eggplant, six minutes for carrots and 20 minutes for potatoes.

Marinate the vegetables for at least two hours in a combination of canola oil and white wine vinegar (approximately three parts oil to one part vinegar), minced garlic, Dijon mustard, dry basil, oregano, marjoram, rosemary and pepper or other herbs of your choice.

Drain and reserve the marinade. Thread the vegetables on sturdy metal skewers and place on a grill lightly sprayed with cooking oil, four to six inches above hot coals. Cook, turning often and basting with the reserved marinade for 10 to 15 minutes or until tender.

Or try a medley of mushrooms using white button, oyster, shiitake, porcini or whatever else is in the market marinated in a mixture of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, minced garlic, chives, parsley, salt and pepper. Thread mushrooms on skewers and grill, turning often, until the mushrooms are cooked through eight to 12 minutes depending on size. The ingredients in the marinades can be adjusted to suit individual tastes.

A good finish for an outdoor meal is a grilled fresh fruit kebob served with a strawberry-flavored low-fat dip.

You wont even miss the red meat.


Grilled Fruit with Strawberry Dip

Makes 8 servings.

  • 8 oz. part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 (16-oz.) package frozen strawberries, sweetened
  • 2 Tbsp. plain non-fat yogurt
  • 1/4 tsp. dried, ground ginger
  • 8 strawberries, halved
  • 4 peaches, halved or quartered
  • 8 chunks pineapple
  • 4 plums, nectarines, or papayas, halved
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp. granulated sugar
  1. In a blender, pure cheese, strawberries, yogurt and ginger together until smooth. Refrigerate for 2 hours before grilling fruit.
  2. When ready to grill fruit, thread pieces of prepared fruit onto 8 skewers. Mix together vinegar and sugar. Grill fruit until lightly browned, turning frequently and brushing with vinegar mixture during grilling.
  3. Serve grilled fruit with sauce on side.

Per serving:
156 calories,
3 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat),
32 g. carbohydrate,
4 g. protein,
3 g. dietary fiber,
42 mg. sodium


Source: AICR

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