Finally!!  We had a gorgeous Spring weekend in MN.  Why do we live here again?  Oh yeah, for the promise of weather like this.  My family spent the majority of the weekend outside –going to the park, cleaning up the backyard (we had one fantastic ice rink to take down courtesy of my ambitious husband!), riding bikes and eating dinner outside.  I love eating dinner outside in the springtime!  It’s so easy with kids – you don’t have to clean up nearly as much!  And in the spring, you don’t have the bugs to contend with.

When a lot of people think of grilling out, they think of burgers, steaks or other not-so-healthy foods.  I thought that once too.  Since focusing on a plant-based diet, I’ve come up with a lot of delicious alternatives to keep using the grill.  I made a couple good, simple meals this weekend, and I can’t wait to get more creative as the warm weather continues!

I just bought one of these pans as last year we had vegetables falling through the grates.  Large vegetables like Portabella mushroom caps work fine on the grill, but anything sliced is too small.  You can always grill veggies in larger chunks and cut after they are cooked, but I prefer prepping ahead of time for ease with the kids.  It worked great!

grill pan

I did rub coconut oil on it before putting the sliced vegetables on to prevent sticking.  I chose coconut oil instead of olive oil because of the high cooking temperature.  Olive oil can break down at high temperatures, which changes it from oil that is heart-healthy to oil that is not-so-good for you.  If using olive oil for cooking at high temps (over 375), go for virgin instead of extra virgin.

Saturday night. . . Grilled Portabella mushrooms, sliced red pepper and tomato.  Served with a kale and avocado salad, edamame and tortillas.  My kids even loved the vegetables.  I think cooking on the grill added some extra excitement.  We also threw the tortillas on the grill for a minute to warm them.

And after much begging, I made a post-dinner run to the co-op for marshmallows and graham crackers and we had the first s’mores of the season . . . Saturday night doesn’t get much better than my family around the campfire.

Sunday night. . . Grilled orange ginger tofu, sliced orange bell pepper and button mushrooms .  Served with a green salad, pineapple and strawberries.

What are your favorite foods to grill?