While summer might elicit the most common images of firing up the grill, gathering the family on the patio, and cooking up some seasonal fare, it's fall that might be the most pleasant time to cook out.
This September has offered absolutely wonderful weather and we've enjoyed making the most of these pleasant weekends by taking our big meals outside whenever possible. From having friends over, or firing up a family favorite, grilling in September and October can be a great chance to keep the summer vibes going. It's often more pleasant to cook outside without uncomfortable heat, and of course we've been known to toss around a football while everything cooks.
But in addition to the cooler weather, you can also challenge yourself to try new things on grill. We showed you a few seasonal dishes that use local produce, but you can go a little further by skipping the traditional grilled fare, meat, all together.
There's nothing wrong with occasional lean meat, but skipping fatty hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill can totally change the feel of the experience and cut out one more instance of fat and cholesterol out of your week. Replacing meat with local veggies can make a big difference in your health in the long run, and the grill is a great place to start!
If You Can't Lose The Bun. This one might actually fool some of your least observant diners. A grilled portobello mushroom burger offers a bun, a patty, but none of the fatty beef. While this recipe offers up a mayo-basil spread, you can top this with healthy avacado, slices of grilled sweet potato, onions, even grilled peppers for a ton of flavor with a fraction of the grease of a burger.
Check out the full recipe here.
If You Want A Lot of Veggies. It doesn't get much easier than a veggie skewer. Mix and match your favorite vegetables, or even let guests make their own combinations, before applying a light oil and herb blend for more flavor. You can also add herbs by themselves and then hit the veggies with a light cookie spray for less butter or oil. Tip: You can microwave sweet potatoes, potatoes, or onions before you add them to make sure they cook nice and soft without turning your other veggies into a sloppy mess.
Veggie Skewer recipe right here.
If You Have a Sweet Teeth. Okay, it's not all perfectly healthy, but a good ol' fashion Apple Crisp can't be too bad, right? This actually grills up nicely in tin foil, and you can reduce or replace the sugar with honey or agave, and we've found that you don't need the butter for this one at all. Make sure you pick up local apples; 'tis the season!
Your new favorite grilled Apple Crisp is waiting.
Give these recipes a try, and feel free to share yours with us!