Arghhh! VEGETABLES!!! They have been my archenemy for years. I have despised them and once even vowed to rid the planet of their evil presence. (Okay maybe not the planet but I sent my visual death rays at my mom’s garden each time I walked by it.)
I didn’t like vegetables for two very good reasons. First, vegetables and Crohn’s disease don’t mix. Veggies equaled stomachaches so therefore they were bad to me. (In all fairness, everything gives me a stomachache but as a kid I was sure that veggies were the only culprit.)
My other good reason is that I just couldn’t appreciate their flavors. I would try them in sauces, with nuts, baked and roasted but I never found a way to admire these colorful creatures.
So over the years, I have grown up (this may be debatable). I grudgingly tried different varieties of vegetables. And yes, there are some that I really enjoy and some that still force an internal “yuck” face. (I’m a lousy actress so you probably can see a little bit on the outside.)
Over the years, I have made an effort to try new foods including my vibrant foes. I’ve tried to not give them the stink eye when I see them mounded on my plate. There has been a lot of trial and error but I have found some simple ways to enjoy the bounty that comes from the garden.
In all of my experimentations, I have discovered that I love the flavor of grilled vegetables. There is something about the smoky flavor of the grill that fools my mind into thinking I’m about to eat a roasted marshmallow. (I’m not 100% grown up)
Lately, yellow squash has become one of my favorite new foods to eat off of the grill. It is low fuss and always comes out delicious. I like it so much that it has become a regular guest on my weekly menus. With a couple of easy adjustments, it goes with almost anything. (It is the one dish I didn’t feel the need to add bacon!)
So my mortal enemy is slowing moving into my territory and I may have to surrender to its goodness. The white flag is going up…..
Grilled Yellow Squash and Zucchini
2 Yellow Squash (about 3 cups chopped)
2 Zucchini (about 3 cups chopped)
1 large Vidalia onion
1 Tbsp Olive Oil (this is a good recipe for a flavored olive oil from Olive Branch)
The zest from above lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 mint leaves, torn into little bits
Preheat grill to medium high and heat up your grill grate for vegetables. (Veggie grill grates can be found near the grills in the store. They have small holes so that things don’t fall into the fire).
Cut zucchini and squash into equal size chunks. Cut the onion into the same size as the other veggies.
In a large bowl, add the olive oil, garlic and juice from HALF of the lemon. Mix well.
Add veggies and toss to coat. Place on grill grate and close the lid. Allow cooking about 5 minutes and then moving them around a bit with a long spatula.
Repeat until you have some nice char marks and the squash has softened. (It takes about 15 minutes. You may need to do the veggies in batches depending on the size of your grate.)
In another big clean bowl, add the cooked vegetables, lemon zest, the other half of the lemon juice and mint leaves. (I sprinkled in a little sea salt too.) Toss to coat and serve.
I did ANOTHER experiment with this mix last night. I added it to some pesto pasta and grilled chicken. It was really good with the exception that it needed MORE vegetables! I never thought I would say that in my life.
I guess Abraham Lincoln was right. You destroy your enemies when you make them your friends.