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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Grilled Vegetables and Quinoa {w/ food}

When the temperature rises, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven and transform my house into a sauna.

Luckily, summer is the perfect time to grill outdoors. I picked up a small eggplant and sweet potato at my local market the other day. You could also easily use a variety of other vegetables including zucchini, portobello mushrooms, or summer squash.

I buy my quinoa at Costco so there is always plenty on hand.

Maybe you've seen or heard about quinoa but don't know what it is. Quinoa  (pronounced keen-wah) is a seed originally from South America. It is packed with nutrients like amino acids, calcium, and iron. It can be substituted for rice or cous cous and because of its high protein content is great for vegetarians, or anyone enjoying a vegetarian meal.

I started by slicing the eggplant and sweet potato into about 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices. The eggplant will cook pretty fast on the grill so if it is sliced any thinner it will get too soft. The sweet potato will take longer so I put it on first, but if you'd like them to cook at the same time just cut the potato thinner.

This was my first time using the BBQ by myself. For some reason I've always bought into the social norms and let my husband use the grill. It was a little daunting. But I've learned that using an outdoor grill (BBQ) is nothing to be afraid of (especially if its a gas grill).

I first brushed each piece with a bit of olive oil and sprinkled with Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper.

I put the sweet potatoes on first since I knew they would take longer. I let them cook about 5-7 minutes on each side over a medium high flame. Then I added the eggplant, about 3-5 minutes per side. While it was grilling I minced some fresh garlic and prepared the quinoa.

I used chicken stock to cook my quinoa, but you could easily substitute vegetable stock, or water, to make this a true vegetarian dish.

I tossed the grilled vegetables with the minced garlic. The flavor of garlic changes as it is cooked. Anyone who has ever tried to eat a whole raw garlic clove can tell you that uncooked it is unbearably strong, with a unique spiciness to it. Compared to the sweet flavors of roasted garlic they seem like entirely different food items. I tossed the minced, raw garlic with the freshly grilled vegetables and let the heat slightly cook the garlic to release some of its sweetness to complement the sweet potato.

I placed it atop the quinoa and sprinkled with a bit of parmesan cheese.

What you end up with is a delightful dinner. Packed with natural protein this is a perfect alternative for anyone looking to have a Meatless Monday or just enjoy grilled vegetables and quinoa.


  1. I love veggies and garlic. I love garlic with anything for that matter. I was relieved when I came to the paragraph that explained what quonia is LOL. I thought I might be the only person who didn't know! Looks delicious!

    1. I forgot to say that I cook the quinoa with equal amount of liquid. One cup quinoa and one cup stock Ina small port over medium heat for about 15 minutes. You can add more stock if you want but I like it to be slightly firm.

  2. Yum!! There is nothing like grilled veggies in the summer! I might have to try eggplant here soon. It's a little imtimidating when I see it in the store but maybe I will try it here soon :)

  3. Love grilling veggies. So easy and so delicious.


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