Summer Grilling: Kid-Friendly Vegetables on the BBQ

Most dads love a good barbeque.

If you’re a dad planning a barbeque, or a mom creating a fun day for the dad in your family’s life, I’ve got some ideas for you!

When you think of BBQ, I’m sure most of you are thinking of meat.

But vegetables can be delicious on the grill! In fact, as a Certified Nutrition Consultant working with families (and picky eaters), one of my favorite ways to get kids (and adults) to eat vegetables is grilled.

Vegetables on the Barbeque

Grilling vegetables removes some of the moisture, so vegetables that might otherwise be wet and mushy like zucchini, are drier and crispy. Zucchini spears were one of my family’s favorites growing up. Cut zucchinis like you are making carrot sticks, in other words like thin spears. When you cook them they are like zucchini fries. You can also make “planks” which can be very good too.

Vegetable skewers are also fun for kids. And they are a great way to prepare vegetables that are smaller and might slip through the grill like button mushrooms. However, personally I like mine flat on the grill for more charring which makes them more caramelized and sweet.

You can even make kale chips on the grill, but place them on the cooler side of the grill and be sure to watch them because they can burn quickly.

Great vegetables to grill include:

  • Zucchini
  • Onion
  • Pepper
  • Asparagus
  • Green onions
  • Portobello Mushrooms
  • Corn
  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Broccoli
  • Eggplant
  • Green beans
  • Summer squash
  • Carrots
  • Beets
  • Fennel
  • Kale
  • Cabbage

To be low salicylate, oxalate, and FODMAPs, choose diet-compliant vegetables and oil.

Marinade for Vegetables

You can make it with anything you like. I don’t usually use a recipe. I simply…

– Start with olive oil (about ½ cup)

– Add balsamic vinegar or lemon juice (couple tablespoons)

– Include some minced garlic and chopped onion.

– Add some salt and herbs such as thyme, basil, oregano, or anything from your garden.

– Consider some mustard (1 teaspoon).

Mix it all together and taste it. Adjust as desired. Then let the marinade sit for a little while so the flavors meld together.

I do not soak/marinate my vegetables in the marinade ahead of time.

Wait until you place your vegetables on the grill, then brush the marinade on vegetables.

On a side note… Personally, I love anchovies. I know. I know. Most of you are cringing right now. But I do love the flavor in caesar dressing, so when I saw a recommendation for anchovy paste in the marinade from Sam the Cooking Guy on YouTube I thought it sounded amazing (apparently it does not impart a fishy flavor) and wanted to share it with you. I haven’t tried it yet but plan to for Father’s Day! So I’ll let you know how it turns out and report back.

Share with us. Comment below and let us know your grilled vegetable favorites.

Gelatin Hearts (RECIPE)

GFCF/ Soy-free/ SCD/GAPS/Low oxalate

Gelatin Hearts are finger gelatin that you can pick up and eat with your fingers.  It is two layers of gelatin with a strawberry heart in the middle.

Read instructions and get ingredients for everything ready.  Start with the White Gelatin.

For gelatin, use a good quality gelatin from pasture-raised cows.  If you are using gelatin packets, please note they are often 2 teaspoons rather than1 tablespoon so you will want to measure the amount.

Delicious with no added sweetener.  Use honey or no sweetener for SCD/GAPS.

White Gelatin Layer– Coconut Gelatin

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 cup coconut milk or cream
  • 2 Tablespoons gelatin (use grass-fed type such as Bernard Jenson’s), plus 1 teaspoon additional if you want them thicker.
  • 1 Tablespoon honey or sweetener of your choice
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Heartwithsticks

Directions

Put 1/2 cold water in a 1-quart bowl

Sprinkle gelatin on water and let it dissolve.

Add 1/2 cup of boiling water – pour slowly, let sit, then stir well.

Add coconut milk, honey and vanilla.

Pour into bottom of flat-bottom pan 9 x 13 inches or two smaller pans (no greasing needed), and place in refrigerator to set.

Cut strawberries while white layer sets.  Wash, destem, and cut strawberries in half.  Cut a small V into the top of the strawberry to accentuate the heart shape if needed.  Once white layer is set, place strawberry on top.  The sticks in the photo are simply a guide for me to keep them lined up (do whatever is easiest for you).

Make Fruit Gelatin next.  See assembly instructions for how to complete the layers.

Fruit Finger Gelatin

For the juice for this recipe, any type will work, fresh squeeze or bottled. A clear (not cloudy) juice is best in order to see the strawberry heart.  Some good pink juices are homemade watermelon or strawberry juice).  The juice used in the photo is black cherry.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 Tablespoons gelatin (plus one teaspoon if you want them on the firmer side)
  • 2 cups juice

Directions

Hearts on gelatin

Put 1/2 cold water in a 1-quart bowl

Sprinkle  gelatin on water and let it dissolve.

Boil 1/2 cup of water, add 1 cup of fruit juice and heat until just about boiling – pour on top of gelatin slowly, let sit, then stir well.  Add the second 1 cup of fruit juice and stir.

The sweetness of the gelatin depends on the juice.  If your juice is more on the sour side, you may want to add a bit of sweetener of your choice – 1 Tablespoon should do the trick.  If it’s a sweeter juice but it tastes too “watered down,” reduce the amount of boiling water and replace it with more fruit juice (that you heat along with the water).

Assembly

Heart

Pour on fruit gelatin covering about 1/3-1/2 of the strawberry.  Let set in refrigerator 20 minutes.  Note: if you pour it all at once, the strawberries will float and it will not work.

Keep the extra liquid gelatin on the counter so it does not set. After about 20-30 pour remaining gelatin to cover strawberries.

Place gelatin in the refrigerator to complete the gelling process.

When set, slice and serve.

Recipe Adaptations

In most recipes, including this one, you can often swap certain ingredients for similar and possibly even more beneficial or specifically tailored helpful ingredients. For example, if the person you were giving the above treats had a bit of a cough or cold, you could use elderberry syrup or even resveratrol juice, or veggie juice to add in extra antioxidants and immune support.

To reduce the sugar from the juice, you can use less sweet or not sweet juice like cranberry and add stevia.

For the water, you could swap that with coconut water, to give additional electrolytes and some coconut flavor.

You could ADD hydrolyzed collagen powder to the recipe, to get even more peptides which are easy to digest, but you still need to use gelatin to get the jello type of result (or it won’t gel).

Coconut milk is a great ingredient as it’s is rich and creamy and contains good fats and is helpful especially for those with an issue with dairy, but any nut milk could be used.

For the next celebration, show your family, loved ones, and clients how much you care. Share treats that provide beneficial nutrients that boost to our cells as well as aid repair, growth and our immune systems, which is a whole additional gift in itself!  

 

Confetti Brussels Sprouts (Recipe)

(GFCF/SCD/LOD/BED)

From Cooking to Heal: Cookbook with DVD by Julie Matthews

To make Low Oxalate Diet, avoid pecans.

Eliminate the nuts to make nut-free, low salicylate, amine and glutamate, and autoimmune paleo compliant. Also use a compliant oil for low salicylate, amine, and glutamate, such as sunflower or ricebran oil.

Ingredients:

1 – 1½  lb Brussels sprouts
½ onion
Optional: ½ cup pecans or other nuts
Salt

Directions:

Wash Brussels sprouts and cut off bottom and peel off a leaf or two if needed.   Dump sprouts in food processor and pulse briefly into a confetti texture, not too minced.  Dump out finished sprouts and hand chop or repulse remaining sprouts.

Dice onions and sauté in pan for 2-5 minutes and begin to caramelize onions.  Add salt.  Before onions are caramelized, add chopped Brussels sprouts (and optional nuts) to onions.  Cook for 5 minutes or until Brussels sprouts and onion are ready.

* In this particular photograph of the Brussels sprouts in the pan, I also added in Lacinato Kale the last few minutes of cooking, and chopped the Brussels Sprouts in chunks rather than shredded.

Squash Meatballs (Recipe)

SQUASH MEATBALLS (GFCF/SCD/LOD)
From Cooking To Heal (Cookbook with DVD) by Julie Matthews

To make SCD, use nut flour in place of GF breadcrumbs.

For LOD and nut-free, use coconut flour.

These can easily be made egg-free and grain-free (therefore SCD/GAPS, Paleo, AIP, and elimination diet compliant) by eliminating the eggs and bread crumbs.

Ingredients:

2 lbs ground raw meat (beef, turkey, chicken, buffalo), pastured when possible
1 cup cooked and pureed butternut squash
2 eggs
1 cup gluten-free bread crumbs (dry out a few slices of gluten free bread in oven, crumble by hand or in blender)
Salt to taste (approx. 1 teaspoons)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Combine all ingredients.  From into balls and place on parchment paper on baking sheet.
Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cooked thoroughly.

Variation: Puree any vegetables.  Great way to sneak in vegetables.  Over time, you can smash cooked vegetables such as broccoli with a fork instead of pureeing smooth.