The last couple weeks have been an absolute whirlwind for me, half the time I don’t know the date or time, it has been moving/renovation week for us and life as a homeowner has been both gratifying and terrifying all at the same time. With a house in reno mode, full of unpacked boxes and an unorganized kitchen, madness has ensued and I have been utilizing my BBQ more than ever for quick and nourishing meals on the go. I wanted to inspire you with my favorite beautiful fresh produce that transform into a trio of easy grilled skewered vegetables that compliment any protein of choice. A delectable grilled trio of Maple Rosemary Garden Carrots, Paprika Honey Dijon Brussel Sprouts and Baba Ganoush Inspired Grilled Eggplant.
These are truly three of my all time favorite side dishes that utilize some of my favorite produce and grill up wonderfully in no time at all for those meals in a hurry. They aren’t your typical go to skewer veggies, I realize that, but I’m all about exploring food and its cooking versatility. So I have tried to grill almost everything… and these turned out to be very impressive I must say :). It’s garden carrot season, I’ve been getting local carrots bunch after bunch as they are so darn yummy, marinated in fresh rosemary from my lovely herb box, good ol’ Canadian Maple Syrup, then caramelized and grilled to perfection… so simple but my goodness you are going to love them grilled! They melt in your mouth with hints of woodsy rosemary and then the sweet maple, mmmm. These Maple Rosemary Grilled Carrots pair so well with a juicy grilled chicken breast! Here is how to make them!
Maple Rosemary Grilled Garden Carrots:
1 bunch of small fresh carrots (approx 10 small carrots)
1.5 tbsp fresh diced rosemary
1 tbsp maple syrup
Light drizzle of your favorite oil (I used olive oil)
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Wash carrots well & trim off ends, add carrots to a microwave safe bowl with an inch of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 3 minutes or until just softening. Drain water (careful it’s hot!) and add rosemary, maple syrup, salt and pepper and toss well until carrots are coated. Thread carrots onto a skewer and grill on low heat for 5 minutes, then flip, grill another 5 minutes. You’ve got yourself some gorgeous grilled carrots, enjoy! You will have left over marinade, don’t throw it out, I like to drizzle the remainder on my grilled carrots when they are done!
Next up are these mini green cabbage like veggies, brussel sprouts, most people say they despise these cute lil’ things, well that’s because you’ve probably had them over boiled and served bland, yeah? I beg you, give this recipe a crack, you will change your mind about brussel sprouts I swear and then cry during the winter when you can’t grill them up like this, although I do make this same recipe in the oven when I have withdrawals in the winter! These Paprika Honey Dijon Brussel Sprouts are AMAZING! They get a crispy outer layer from the grill and the Paprika Honey Dijon marinade caramelizes beautifully, if I haven’t convinced you with my words yet, just try them already! Here is how.
Paprika Honey Dijon Brussel Sprouts:
1/2 pound brussel sprouts (approx 10)
2 tbsp of your favorite Dijon mustard
1 tbsp honey (I use local Drizzle Spring Honey, so good!)
1/2 tsp smoked paprika (regular paprika will do, but I love the smokiness smoked paprika gives)
1/2 tsp salt
Ground black pepper to taste
Mix dijon, Drizzle honey, paprika, salt and pepper to create a marinade. Wash brussel sprouts well & trim off the hard end, add them to a microwave safe bowl with an inch of water and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave for 2-3 minutes or until just softening. Drain water (careful it’s hot!) and add your marinade to them, add salt and pepper and toss well until sprouts are evenly coated. Thread brussel sprouts onto a skewer and grill on low heat for 5 minutes, then flip, grill another 5 minutes. I love these with a side of grilled chicken or even a poached egg!
Last, but definitely not least, aubergine… eggplant… whatever you want to call the stunning purple bulb is up next! Eggplant is another vegetable I get asked a lot about, how to cook & season it, so here is one of my favorite ways of making them. I get so delighted when I come across Indian Eggplant, the small little individual bulbs that are so perfect for two bite sized sides, just cut them in half and smother in my take on a Baba Ganoush marinade. The garlic tahini marinade with a kick of chile powder, when grilled, makes a crispy and delicious outer crust with a creamy middle. These Baba Ganoush Inspired Grilled Eggplants are going to be a frequent on your dinner menu after you try them.
Baba Ganoush Grilled Eggplant:
6 Indian Eggplants (If you can’t find Indian Eggplant, normal eggplant cut into chunks will do!)
2 tbsp tahini
1 clove garlic – crushed
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp lemon zest
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp chili powder
Black ground pepper to taste
Mix tahini, crushed garlic, lemon juice, lemon zest and chili powder to create a marinade. Wash eggplant well & trim off top, then cut in half. Thread eggplant onto a skewer, salt & pepper them, then smother them in the tahini marinade. Grill on low heat for 5-6 minutes, then flip, grill another 5 minutes. I love these with a side of grilled fish!
There you have it, a trio of vegetable for you to skewer up and grill up! Give one, or all of these a try during these busy summer months! Let me know your favorite side and what you paired it with, tag me on Instagram @apinchofnurse or Facebook. Enjoy this hot weekend to come everyone and if you’re hitting the Stampede grounds have a blast, fill up on carny eats and I’ll be here for ya when you need a lighter meal to detox :)! XOXO