This post was originally written for bilingual publication Lawndale News: http://www.lawndalenews.com/2011/05/spring-is-great-for-grilling-fruits-and-veggies/
After such a long and dreary winter, getting outside feels just right. Grilling is a social event, making the “cook” part of the party when planned correctly, and it’s actually a great way to cook with health in mind since food is not sitting in fat like it would on a stove top. This year, make your grilled meals sing with flavor and color by adding fruits and vegetables! Try slicing veggies ½” thick to toss on the grill if you don’t have kabob sticks, and try grilled slices of fresh pineapple, melon, or mango. The natural sugars caramelize in the heat and without adding anything, the grilled fruit becomes a sweet way to end the meal in a much better way than with higher in fat and calorie desserts.
Need some ideas for the perfect grilled menu? Try these for starters:
Grill chunks of sweet potato and white potato with skins still on. Remove from heat and serve with fresh parsley and cheese, or toss with black beans, reduced fat cheese shreds and salsa for a fast and tasty side dish.
Cube zucchini, bell pepper, onion, and mushroom and alternate on a kabob stick. Alternate with chunks of lean meat like sirloin or chicken breast for a tasty meal idea that cooks up quickly.
Remove skin from fresh pineapple and slice. Lay slices on grill, then add to salads, eat “as is” for a side dish or as dessert.
Grill mango slices then cube and make a grilled mango salsa. Combine with diced tomatoes, onion, bell pepper, cilantro, jalapeno, and a little lime juice if desired.
Grill slices of melon to add to any summer meal.
Mango Chipotle Shrimp Salad
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 5-7 minutes
Amount: 4-6 servings
6-7 (1/4-inch) slices pancetta, diced (about 1/2 pound)
1 cup Jewel® frozen corn, thawed and drained
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 (16 ounce) package Arctic Shores™ frozen 41-50 count large, tail-on cooked shrimp, thawed, tails removed
2 avocados, pitted, peeled and cubed
1 cup roasted mango chipotle sauce
1 (5 ounce) package arugula
In a skillet, over medium-high heat, sauté pancetta until crisp; drain. In a large bowl, combine pancetta, corn, tomatoes, onion, shrimp, avocado and mango chipotle sauce. Toss until well combined; salt and pepper to taste. Divide arugula among 4 salad plates; top with shrimp salad. Serve with Wonton Strips (below).
Cut 10-12 wonton wrappers into 1/2-inch strips. Fill a large skillet about 1/2-inch deep with Jewel® vegetable oil; heat over medium-high heat until a strip of wonton dipped in oil sizzles immediately. Separate wonton strips and in small batches, place in oil. Cook until golden brown (about 1 minute). Remove from oil with slotted spoon and drain on homelife™ paper towels.