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Jenny Craig’s Guide to Grilling Veggies this Summer

By Staci Amend
May 6, 2015

Doesn’t it just FEEL more like summer the first time you fire up the grill? And if that doesn’t already put you in a better mood, here’s another reason to smile: fresh, grilled veggies are almost always a great complement to your Jenny Craig weight loss journey—they’re high in nutrients and fiber, low in calories and fat, and their high water content can help you feel fuller, faster. What’s more, grilling vegetables is something anyone can do! Follow these simple tips for perfectly cooked sides.

No-fuss sides, all summer long
Grilled veggies don’t need much encouragement to be delicious—just some light seasoning and some non-fat cooking spray, and you’re good to go. Grilling brings out most foods’ natural flavors without a lot of fuss, so you don’t have to worry about marinating anything in oil, which can add quite a bit of calories and fat. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fresh herbs; rosemary, oregano, garlic and ginger are all great options. You can also try brushing your veggies with bit of balsamic vinegar while they’re on the grill. Yum!

Slice well, sear and shift
Cook times will vary by individual grill, as they’ve all got their own unique environments. But in general, in order to prevent burning, make sure to slice wisely—dense vegetables like potatoes should be thinner, while high-water-content veggies like zucchini, which cook much faster, should be a bit thicker. If you want yours to have visible char marks, sear them first on both sides over high heat, then move them to a cooler part of the grill to finish cooking. This will prevent veggies that are burned on the outside and raw inside.

Contain smaller veggies
If you’re grilling something tiny, like cherry tomatoes or squash blossoms, consider using a skewer or a grill basket. This will keep them from rolling around or falling into the fire. If you don’t have either of these, it’s easy to make an impromptu “basket” by doubling a piece of aluminum foil and rolling up the edges. Foil can also be helpful if you’re cooking root vegetables; fold the sides into a tent, and they’ll cook much faster.

Try something new every week
With so many great vegetables in season this time of year, now’s a great time to be adventurous with your eating. Asparagus, corn, eggplant, mushrooms, peppers, onions, squash, tomatoes and zucchini are all great options for the grill. You can even slice cauliflower lengthwise to make hearty “cauli-steaks.” Bon appétit!

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