Marinated Grilled Vegetables

Did she say pizza wih a side of fries?!

Let me set the scene: Family of 4 goes out to lunch on a Sunday. Mom and Dad are happy to get the kids away from all the distractions at home…the computer, the video games, friends coming over to play more computer and video games. They’re also happy to be away from their own stuff to do…the yard work, the laundry, watching the kids and their friends playing even more computer and video games. Kids are happy to get to choose what they want to eat from fun menu at local restaurant in town.

Family orders their meal. Daughter says, “kid’s pizza with a side of fries, please.” Mom, a.k.a. Nutrition Nazi, raises an eyebrow in daughter’s direction. Daughter smiles. When ordering is done she says, “Let’s play a game.” Family plays I Spy and Catch Phrase (found somewhere in mom’s ginormous purse). Son and Daughter tease each other without fighting too much.

Food comes. Family eats and talks to each other. Mom and Dad take a deep breath and relax a little. Teenage son is even smiling! The pizza and fries are devoured. Family feels more connected. Nutrition Nazi even has a few fries…OK, more than a few. And boy, were they good.

Soon after, Nutrition Nazi thinks she better not ruin her image. So she gets her family to eat lots of veggies by making this recipe for them.

Marinated Grilled Vegetables

2 or 3 bell peppers (green or colored), cut in chunks
2 medium zucchini, sliced about ¼-inch thick, lengthwise
1 medium red onion, sliced about ¼-inch thick
2 portobello mushroom caps, cut in 1-inch slices
6 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
1 Tablespoon soy sauce (or lite soy sauce)
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup chopped fresh basil (optional)

To slice bell pepper, cut off top and bottom and clean out seeds.

Slice off inner veins of pepper so they will lay flatter on the grill.

These are the vegetables I use in this recipe, but use whatever ones your family prefers. If using tomatoes, which taste great grilled, they only need to cook for about 5 minutes.

With the mushrooms, don’t run them under water to wash or they’ll get mushy. Just wipe off the tops with a damp cloth. I also like to slice off the dark underside of them before marinating — my family eats more of them this way.

Prepare vegetables. Whisk together olive oil, vinegar, soy sauce, garlic and basil (if desired) in a large, shallow pan. Rub vegetables in marinade gently, covering both sides of each piece and let marinate at room temperature for about 1 hour. Place vegetables on hot grill for about 15 minutes, brushing with marinade and turning several times. Serves 6.

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