Grilled vegetable kebabs
Vegetables are often considered a side dish, but with a little creativity, they can become the featured entree. These five vegetable recipes add interest to your diet and help you meet nutritional guidelines.
For grilled vegetable kebabs, use about 1 1/2 cups of your favorite vegetables. (Be sure to soak wood skewers in water for at least 10 minutes before using.) Brush Italian dressing on the vegetables then thread them on skewers. Grill or broil over medium heat, turning often, until the vegetables are tender, about 5 to 8 minutes.
Portobello mushroom burgers
Instead of meat for a main dish, try a hearty portobello mushroom burger. Marinate large portobello mushrooms in Italian dressing for 15 to 30 minutes. Grill or broil the mushrooms over medium heat until tender, about 5 minutes on each side. Serve alone or on a whole-grain bun with healthy condiments.
Spring greens with butternut squash
For this recipe, start with a winter squash of your choice — butternut (as shown here), acorn, Hubbard, autumn cup or another favorite. Remove the rind from the squash. Cube the squash and brush lightly with olive oil. Roast squash in oven at 350 F for about 30 minutes or until golden brown on edges.
In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup roasted butternut squash, 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar and 1/2 tablespoon olive oil. Put 1 cup of spring greens on a plate and top with the squash mixture, 1/2 tablespoon sunflower seeds and 1 teaspoon honey.
Corn and barley salad
This corn and barley salad is perfect for two to share. In a bowl, add 1 sliced cucumber, 2/3 cup cooked barley, 1 cup cooked corn and 3/4 cup chopped red bell peppers. For the dressing, combine 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon water, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried basil and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Stir the dressing into the barley mixture. Marinate the salad for at least 2 hours before serving.
Vegetable pita pockets
In a small bowl, combine chopped cauliflower and broccoli florets, sliced green onions, and diced tomatoes and cucumbers — about 1 cup total. Cut a whole-wheat pita in half and fill each side with the vegetable mixture and 1 tablespoon crumbled feta cheese. Warm the pita in the microwave for about 40 seconds. Top with 1 1/2 teaspoons low-fat buttermilk or ranch salad dressing.