July 4th – It’s Time to Grill – Veggies, that is!

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Are you planning to grill at a picnic or in your backyard this weekend – or celebrate July 4th with food?  If so, why not try this fun idea – veggie kabobs!

They’re simple, easy to make, and good for you! All you need to prep are:

  • Your favorite veggies, cut into roughly bite size pieces. You can even try fruit!
  • A marinade 
  • A set of skewers 

No worries if you don’t have a grill – you can easily make them in your oven.

If you use wooden skewers, soak them in cold water for about 20 minutes so they don’t burn.  If you’re using metal skewers, make sure to use a potholder to turn or pick them up – otherwise, you’ll burn yourself.

While they’re soaking, cut up whatever vegetables you have around – remember, the more color in your veggies, the healthier your meal and more micronutrients you’ll consume.  

If you’d like some veggie ideas, first look at what’s at your local farmer’s market.  Suggestions include

  • Red, green and yellow peppers
  • Onion (I’m partial to Vidalia – they’re so good you can eat them raw!)
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Zucchini 
  • Yellow squash
  • Mushrooms
  • Blue or red fingerling potatoes
  • Shallots
  • Eggplant

If you want to try something like carrots, cauliflower or broccoli – any harder vegetable – you’ll most likely need to parboil them first.

Once you’ve cut up your vegetables of choice, soak them in a marinade for 20 or so minutes. Soaking soft vegetables for more than 30 minutes can lead to soggy kabobs, so it’s best to soak for around 20 minutes.

Here are 18 marinade recipes from Taste of Home that you can try – or if you’re on the lazy side like I can be, you can always find bottled marinades at stores that focus on healthier food (Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, etc).  Just make sure to read the ingredients so you’re not buying a jar of salt or one loaded with too much sugar. 

Grilled vegetables on cutting board on dark wooden background

If you don’t have time to soak your veggies, you can also brush on the marinade, though soaking is going to give a deeper flavor.

Now to the grill!  If you don’t have a grill handy, you can also make them in the oven.  Alternate different veggies on the skewers and cook until tender – about 10-15 minutes on the grill or 15-20 minutes in the oven, turning them occasionally.

Do you have children? This is a fun way to involve them in cooking – let them choose the vegetables in the store, help chop the food (if age-appropriate), and help you put them onto the skewer.  Let them get creative with colors and shapes.

And you don’t have to make these just on July 4th – you can serve kabobs any time of the year!  Leave us a comment with any tips or suggestions you have on being creative with kabobs.

Happy 4th! Let’s celebrate and be grateful for all the good things we have. Eat well!

Change Food® works toward a healthier food system for people, animals & the planet.  Learn more about our new program Plant Eat Share – planting food in public spaces. For free.  Support us today!  #changefood

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