Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Let's all Veg Out Part 1

Before I go any further... do you all know what today is?

I bet you do!

Today is release day for Avery Aames' debut mystery, THE LONG QUICHE GOODBYE! It's also the day Avery announces the winner of her "You Be the Sleuth" contest. Check out the results on Avery's website here.

Today is also the release day for ...

Riley Adams first Memphis Barbecue mystery DELICIOUS AND SUSPICIOUS!

Please join me in congratulating my blog sisters on this exciting day. I encourage everyone reading this blog to rush out and pick up both these books. Not only are they filled with suspense, fun, and excitement, there's a lot of great foodie information in both as well. Don't miss them!

This week and next week I'll be talking about veggies on the grill. This week is one of my go-to side dishes that's always a hit in my house and can be prepared outside or inside. For next week, I'll try something new (but still very veggie) and report on the family's verdict -- which side dish wins top honors in the Hyzy house!

As I've mentioned before, my youngest daughter is vegetarian. That's been good news for all of us because we've been cutting down on the amount of meat we consume here. Not completely, of course, but a bit. It's been a real challenge for me to come up with new and different items to serve that can be used as main dishes. And although we haven't had 100% success, we're certainly having fun!

Today's super easy dish is a side, for sure. Next week's could stand in as a main dish. But I'm getting ahead of myself...

We use the following as a side when having dinner here. While my husband and other daughters may have a chicken or beef entree, our youngest enjoys a veggie burger or tofu-based dish. But, what we've come to love most of all is that these veggie leftovers make *phenomenal* additions to sandwiches. We all love our panini maker (thanks for the suggestion, Krista) and we use these veggies with provolone cheese (or sometimes pepper jack) on great breads. Who needs meat at that point? These sandwiches are incredible.

So, if you're looking for a side dish that keeps on giving, try...

Grilled vegetables - indirect heat

1 or 2 green bell peppers
1 or 2 red bell peppers
pint (or so) of mushrooms - I used baby bellas
1 purple onion
1 head garlic

I don't know why I prefer the green peppers cut into 1/2 inch chunks, and the red peppers cut into strips, but I do. Cut up the peppers however you like into good-sized pieces. This is not the time to chop. Remove mushroom stems and discard. Depending on the size of the mushroom caps, cut them in half or quarters. Cut the purple onion in half, then half again. Keep at it until the pieces are about 1/2 inch each (give or take). Separate garlic into whole cloves, smash and peel. I sometimes throw the whole cloves in if I'm feeling lazy, but I usually chop them up a bit to share the garlic wealth.

Place all veggies in a grill-safe pan, add a glug or two of olive oil and toss to coat. I don't salt or pepper these until they're finished.

Set your grill to indirect heat and place the pan in the center. These don't cook up super fast -- you'll have to keep checking and re-tossing as they roast. But eventually the peppers soften, the mushrooms lose their liquid and the onions become translucent. That's when they're ready. Bring them in, place in a serving dish... and there they are.

These veggies can also be roasted indoors in a 350 oven. We make these year-round because we enjoy them so much!

Next week - Time to veg out with direct heat!!



  1. Hi, Julie! This looks like veggie lover's paradise. How's the minimizing distractions going so you can get more writing done?

  2. Sounds yummy. I may need to invest in a grill, or at least a portable one.

    Congrats Avery and Riley on your book release today!

  3. Yum! Once in awhile I do this, then shovel the veggies into hot pita breads and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and call it dinner. Grilled veggies are our friends.

  4. Julie, I love grilled veggies. When I'm grilling, I throw everything I can on the grill. But I've never thought of using grilled vegetables in sandwiches. What a great idea. Garlic, red pepper, mushroom panini? I'm drooling at thought!

    ~ Krista

  5. Sending sweet, chocolate-dipped congratulations to Avery and Riley on the release of their books today. Woot! And, Julie, we are so on the same page with grilling veggies. Marc and I grilled carrots a few days ago and asparagus last night(coating both with olive oil before grilling, of course, lol).

    I love your combo of veggies and can't wait to try -- tasty and colorful. Should be a really nice presentation on the plate.

    Cheers and
    congrats again to Avery and Riley!
    ~ Cleo
    Coffeehouse Mystery.com
    Cleo Coyle on Twitter

  6. Thanks, Julie, for the congrats for Riley and me! All of our blog mates are the best!!!!! Love the veggies. Great way to enjoy.


  7. Dru - grills are so nice this time of year! And I'm so excited about Avery's and Riley's books. Can't wait to get my hands on them!

    Cleo - tasty and colorful - you're absolutely right. Gosh, I just love the flavor of veggies from a grill. Good thing I made a lot ... we're zipping through them at warp speed.


  8. Wow - the comments are weirding out on me today. I just saw Dru's and Cleo's earlier, but it seems this has been a busy place, despite me checking in here pretty often!

    Shel - oh, the holiday wreaked havoc with my writing schedule. Too many people home all day!! But I do love family time. Back to the grind today.

    Laineshots - That sounds like a fabulous idea! Mmm! What a great dinner!

    Krista - it's *delicious* - and I would never have thought of it. Having a vegetarian daughter is making us become more creative every day. And I'm loving it!

    Avery - Woo-hoo!! I remember when you posted that your release date was a short 12 weeks away. Do you remember that? Boy, does time fly! Enjoy every moment! We're cheering here for you and Riley. New books are always cause for celebration!

  9. Sounds delicious! My efforts at grilling vegies have mostly failed, but I do love to roast them. This sounds like a wonderful mix.

    And your daughter will dig my contributions to MLK this month (all vegie!!).

  10. Mmm.... Wendy! Can't wait for your post! We really do love our veggies in this house!


  11. This sounds so perfect! I'm going to veg out! (And this is from the barbeque girl.) :)

    Thanks Julie!