Its January, that means the gym is full of new energized "gotta lose weight" gym rats. The streets are full of new runners wearing the latest gear and sparkly new shoes. Everyone is getting ready for bikini season. Exercise is awesome (I do it every day, sometimes two times a day), but what you do in the kitchen is just as important. Therefore, this blog is dedicated to getting bikini ready by getting panini ready!
You know that George Foreman grill or panini maker growing dust in your cupboard? Bring it back into your kitchen! I have been on a HUGE grilling kick of vegetables lately. Not only do they speed up the cooking process, this has turned into a great husband friendly alternative to salad and filling my plate with delicious roasted vegetables is now a staple dinner once or twice a week. This post is more of an inspiration for your indoor grill than a recipe. There are so many things you can do with it and you don't need to use a BBQ. I find the BBQ burns my vegetables and this gives me complete control in the comfort of my cozy, warm kitchen
THE "GRILL"I was lucky to receive my Krups panini grill from my sister-in-law a couple of years ago. We have also owned a george foreman as well as an actual indoor grill (when I lived in an apartment and couldn't have a BBQ). All of these would work!. We have made endless sandwiches and panini's on this thing. My husband uses it all of the time to toast his sandwiches, not being a lover of sandwiches I found that I wasn't utilizing such a great kitchen appliance. That is until we threw on some vegetables......
If you remember my recipe for Cabbage Steaks, they are fantastic and such a great way to cook cabbage. Problem is that the BBQ is usually full of other meat and they tend to burn quicker than they cook. Therefore, the solution is the indoor grill. Trick with cabbage is to cut slices where you still get the "core" intact to keep the cabbage steak in tact. Also, you should try to get your slices as even as possible or you will get uneven grill marks. I flip halfway through as the bottom pieces get more heat than the top pieces. I also prefer green cabbage to red cabbage as I find red cabbage more bitter.
This has been a huge success! Remember to slice your eggplant whatever way you desire but to sprinkle a little salt beforehand to let it sweat. Use a paper towel to remove the moisture after 10-15 minutes. This gets ride of the bitter taste. I like to score the tops with a knife and grill face down. You can then add a sauce at the very end and it soaks into the score marks.
What more can I say about zucchini? It is a misunderstood vegetable that is more than just a ratatouille ingredient! The only thing to be cautious about is that zucchini cools very quickly so this is an item you need to grill and serve right away.
Avoid the oil and stop deep frying your tofu! Using the grill allows you to get a nice firm tofu steak without having to go out for sushi and order the agadashi tofu.....I have done slices and squares, both work great in the grill!
I love shake and bake chicken (or coated chicken with anything). When the chicken is almost done in the oven and you have your grill out anyways from doing the other vegetables, grill the chicken for the last 5 minutes and get some great crispy grill marks that you can't get by broiling in the oven!
Larger family, use your oven!
I have had a few comments recently that since I am only ever cooking for two people everything is easier. I agree! But I do host dinner parties quite a bit and as you can see from this picture, if you are cooking for more than one person that grill on the panini maker and then keep warm in the oven! It can be done, no more excuses!
Meal Inspirations!So how do we put it all together? Here are some meal inspirations from the GRILL post!
Meal 1 is grilled cabbage, zucchini and chicken. A little balsamic glaze is added to the top and some goat cheese on the zucchini.
Meal 3 is oyster mushrooms, cabbage, eggplant, goat cheese and balsamic glaze. Noticing a trend here?