Barbecue veggie rescue!

Veggies on the bbq

Have you taken out your BBQ or imagined what you’ll be doing the next few weeks? Whichever it is, its arrival in your backyard is definitely a sign of sunny days and summer meals that you’ll be sharing with family or friends.

When we think summer, we generally think light and simple, just like preparing a meal should be. The season often represents cooking challenges. With hot days and activities outdoors, we tend to leave the oven off.

Thankfully, barbecuing will simplify your life. You’ll need a piece of tinfoil and a handful of your favourite veggies to make a variety of delicious recipes all summer long. You’ll save lots of time, so you’ll be able to enjoy the pleasures of the table. What could be better than the taste and smell of a good meal cooking on the barbie?

Now, let’s get grilling!

5 reasons to grill in the summer

Cooking outside is fun

What makes barbecuing really fun is that you can prepare all your dishes under the shining sun. Cooking outdoors lets you to socialize with guests or keep an eye on the kids as they splash in the pool. Whether you’re with family or friends, having fun at a barbecue remains a summer tradition. And the bonus? Your house stays clean because you’re not using the kitchen.

It’s got a unique flavour

This kind of summer cooking gives food a unique and delicious grilled flavour that will tantalize your taste buds. Barbecuing highlights the natural flavour of food, but where does this unique taste come from? Food with a lot of protein provokes a chemical reaction when the proteins combine with sugar at high temperatures. This is called the Maillard reaction. As meat is made up of a variety of proteins, several compounds are created that give off this unique flavour. It only takes a bite to bring you back to summer days gone by!

There are a variety of combinations

Cooking on the barbie is ideal for meat, fish, chicken, tofu, veggies and even fruit! Whether steaming en papillote, threaded onto skewers, sitting on the grill or resting on a plank, there are many ways to barbecue your favourite foods. It’s an excellent way to put healthy meals on the menu while being creative!

It’s a healthy way to cook

Unlike pan frying, cooking on the bbq requires only a bit of fat, if any. Put the meat and veggies on the grill and that’s it! Actually, the dishes we prepare are lower in calories and lipids, but just as succulent!

Meals are made quickly

Barbecuing is often synonymous with quick and easy. Cooking in the oven or in a pan takes a lot longer than on the grill. There are also more steps likes preparing, cleaning, cutting and peeling the food. The convenience of barbecuing shouldn’t be ignored because it’s helpful when preparing meals during the week.

Colourful dishes

Although we associate barbecues with the classic hamburger or skewers, there are plenty of foods that you should try on the grill. We don’t always think of vegetables because we ideas on how to cook them sometimes escape us. Quick salads and potatoes often save the day.

Almost all vegetables can be put under the flame of a grill, but since it’s summer, why not use the ones that are in season? Among our favourites are asparagus, corn, eggplant, bell peppers, broccoli and potatoes. It’s also important to remember that vegetables have different cooking times, so plan your grilling accordingly!

There are several original ways to cook good vegetables on the bbq. Stir-fry them in a grilling pan. Put veggies on skewers to create a rainbow of flavours. Buy a bbq wok which is perfect for grilling a mixture of vegetables! And why not a wood plank? It’s a simple way to make yourself an exquisite meal!

Frozen veggies on the bbq: a well-kept secret

If you don’t always remember to incorporate a serving of veggies into your summer meals, you definitely haven’t thought about putting frozen veggies on the grill, so here’s a well-kept bbq secret!

You should know that eating small frozen veggies in the summer is a must. They’ll be the star of your summer dish. Having a high water content makes them perfect for cooking en papillote. The steam created will make them tender and be the perfect complement to your barbecues. As well, they’re ready-to-cook, always on hand and won’t make a mess. In terms of preparation, they’ll save you a lot of time which you can benefit from during the hot summer nights.

5 tips for cooking good frozen vegetables on the bbq

Try them en papillote

Cooking en papillote is the best way to cook frozen vegetables because you can steam a variety of vegetables at the same time. Remember that this method of cooking preserves the taste, shape, texture and precious vitamins. Be creative and try mixing flavours and colours in the same papillote.

Double the tinfoil

This little tip will save the cooking juices to obtain tender and moist vegetables. Also leave a little opening for the steam to escape. Which side of the tinfoil does the food go on? Shiny or mat, apparently it doesn’t matter.

Add a little oil and aroma

When coming in contact with heat, vegetables dry out unless you add a little oil. Before putting them on the bbq, toss them in a marinade, vinaigrette, olive oil or butter so they don’t stick to the paper. Sprinkle your favourite aromatic herbs on top so that they’ll take on the flavours.

Adjust cooking time according to your veggies

Cooking time may vary depending on the vegetable and its size. Some veggies, like those rich in starch, will take longer to cook, whereas others (bell peppers, tomatoes, beans, etc.) need only a few minutes. If you keep your vegetables on high heat too long, they’ll blacken on the outside, but remain raw on the inside. A little advice: make things easier by grouping veggies by size and cooking time. Move them to the cooler side of the bbq as needed.

Guide for cooking frozen vegetables on the bbq

Avoid certain veggies

There are a few veggie combinations that don’t do as well on the bbq. Peas and sweet corn in particularly are a little too small for the grill and will burn quickly. Try them on a foil pan instead! If you’re just starting out in the art of grilling, we suggest you begin with our vegetables for the grill mix. Then you can try new combinations from the ones suggested below. You’ll see that there is no limit to your veggie choices.

6 winning combinations for a complete meal

One good way to incorporate vegetables to your dish is to serve one of our delicious combinations with your favourite grills. We suggest choosing different mixes as often as possible because variety is the key for wanting more. 🙂

For a balanced meal, it’s important to eat from the four food groups. For a successful dinner, serve a portion from each protein, vegetables, grains and dairy products.

With salmon 

Salmon with asparagus and green beansWith chicken

Chicken with bean and carrot mix and broccoli
With shrimp

Shrimp with thai-style vegetable mixWith red meat

Red meat with vegetables for the grillWith sausage 

Sausage with italian-style vegetable mixWith skewers

Skewers with californian-style vegetable3 cooking methods tested for you and the bbq

Approved by a head chef, this video suggests three cooking methods for good frozen vegetables on the grill. Equipping yourself with bbq tools and a few ingredients will get you ready for summer barbecuing!

Method 1: cooking en papillote

Take advantage of the frozen large vegetable mixes because they’ll cook more evenly.

What you will need :

  • Barbecue
  • Aluminium foil
  • ½ bag of your choice frozen vegetables
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) olive oil or butter
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • your choice of seasoning

Steps:

  1. Put the vegetables on a rectangular piece of tinfoil.
  2. Add oil or butter, salt, pepper and seasoning, if using.
  3. Cover with a second piece of tinfoil. Seal tightly.
  4. Cook on the bbq preheated to medium-high or in the oven preheated to 450oF (230oC) for 15 to 20 minutes depending on the size of the vegetables chosen.

Method 2: grilling on a bbq wok

This is an excellent technique for sautéing vegetables.

What you will need :

  • Barbecue
  • bbq wok
  • ½ bag your choice frozen vegetables
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • your choice of seasoning

Steps:

  1. Preheat the bbq to medium-high and add the perforated wok.
  2. Add vegetables, salt, pepper and seasoning, if using.
  3. Cook and stir a few times for 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the size of the vegetables chosen.

Method 3: cooking with a grill pan on the bbq

This is the ideal method for cooking small vegetables (peas and corn) or small vegetable mixes like Macedonia.

What you will need :

  • Barbecue
  • Aluminium foil pan
  • 15 ml (1 tbsp) butter
  • ½ bag your choice frozen vegetables
  • Salt and ground pepper
  • your choice of seasoning

Steps:

  1. Preheat the barbecue to medium-high and put the cast iron pan or tinfoil plate.
  2. Melt the butter in the pan and sauté the vegetables. Add salt, pepper and seasoning, if using.
  3. Cook while stirring a few times for 10 to 15 minutes.

Making a healthy, balanced meal in the summer is as simple as saying hi! With a dash of creativity and minimum preparation, you’ll really impress your guests and who knows? Maybe your neighbours will want to join you the next time you barbecue!

Put our table of mixes on your fridge to inspire you in the kitchen, then tell us what your favourite bbq veggie is!

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