I love challenges. This summer I’m training to do my first half marathon. I’ve had a lot of setbacks but am still working towards that goal.I may have to move it back a little but I am determined to complete a half marathon by the end of the year. Period.
I recently was issued a less stressful challenge to come up with three grilled side dishes and share them with approximately 40 people. When I teach, I like to make simple, great looking meals that are easy to replicate at home. i love these types of challenges because I get the opportunity to be creative and come up with new foods and get feedback from a larger group of people and the picky eaters at home enjoy the break from Mom’s “experiments.”
This time, I wasn’t given a whole lot of time to prepare and try the recipes a few times before sharing them with everyone. So I went with some recipes I knew would be simple but taste and look great!
My husband, the master barbequer in the family was kind enough to help me out the night before. He loved the potatoes and kept eating them right off the grill. So did a lot of people that night too. I can’t decide what was everyone’s most favorite of the night. Everything seemed to get devoured and compliments were pretty widespread on what the favorites were. So, I’ve determined that you must try all three of them!
Grilled Potatoes with Smoked Paprika from Cookin Canuck
Grilled Pineapple with Lime and Coconut by Burnt Apple
Grilled Marinated Vegetables (Recipe Follows)
Balsamic Marinated Vegetables
3 cups mixed, 1/4 inch sliced vegetables: zucchini, bell pepper, squash, asparagus are some of the most popular. YOu can also add some sweet by using cut up pineapple, peaches, or mango.
1 large ziploc bag
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves of garlic, minced
dash or two of black pepper
Using a slicer, cut vegetables into 1/4 inch slices. (I cheated, I used the food processor slicer). If using asparagus, cut each stem into several chunks. Cut up fruit into chunks (if using).
In a separate bowl, add the balsamic vinegar, oil, garlic and pepper. Stir until combined. Add the vegetables and continue stirring until coated. If using fruit, DO NOT add it to the marinade. Transfer the vegetables and marinade mixture to a ziploc bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes to one hour, flipping the bag over once or twice to allow the marinade to evenly distribute.
Heat the grill to medium high. Remove vegetables and fruit from the refrigerator and place directly on grill, in a grilling pan, or we even put the vegetables in an old lightly greased cookie sheet and cooked them on the grill. Flip the vegetables to the other side after several minutes. When vegetables and fruits are tender, remove from grill and place on a serving plate. Toss to combine. (Both vegetables and fruit at this point can be combined).
Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.