Friday, May 27, 2011
Grilled Lentil & Veggie Packets
Summer is fast approaching along with all the fun-filled festivities. As Michiganders we get real excited about this time of year....sunshine, beach time, friends, gardens, farmers markets, parties, and "grilling out." Grilling out seems to be a quintessential Michigan summer activity. Now if your a vegetarian this can present some challenges. You want to be involved in the festivities and yet you question do you really want to eat another veggie burger??? There are plenty of knock off meat type alternatives that can be purchased these days...veggie dogs, veggie brats, veggie burgers, fake chicken patties...you name it, there is most likely an alternative to it. But have you looked at the ingredient list on some of those 'fake' products? Whoa! Most brands of these alternatives products are loaded with artificial flavorings, fillers, soy isolates, msg, and all kinds of other things you would normally not consider eating, but they are marketed and presented as a health food. Not so! Check out the ingredient list and you might be surprised what these "health" foods contain! I am a pretty dedicated vegetarian but in these cases I would argue the actual meat might be better for you than all these alternatives.
A couple years ago my husband was longing for a "man-grill." This "man-grill" was his birthday present that year. It's really quite big and a bit over done for our small house, but he loves it and every spring gets real excited to start grilling again. Now mind you, we cook all vegetarian at home. So we have this rather large grill sitting out on our deck for some serious veg grilling. We've been teased by more than one set of friends about our ridiculously large grill, to cook veggies on. Well this has inspired me to learn some vegetarian friendly grilling recipes. We've gotten quite creative over the last couple years and actually I'm finding some really fun and yummy grill recipes for our little veg family.
One of my favorites are these Grilled Lentil Packets. I adapted this from a recipe I found in a Vegetarian Times magazine last year. I also tend to play and create and try new combinations every time I make this recipe. It's so good and my girls love it as well. Not to mention my husband gets to use his big, fancy "man-grill."
Grilled Lentil Packets
2 cups sweet potato, finely diced
1 red pepper, diced
1 cup green beans, sliced thin
1-1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (any leftover grain you have in the fridge would work nice here)
1 cup garbanzo beans (I tossed in a few pinto beans as well)
1/4 cup raisins
2 TBS Sesame oil
1 1/2 cups cooked lentils
1 cup vegetable broth
1 TBS Mrs. Braggs or Tamari
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tsp curry
Combine sweet potato, red pepper, green beans, beans, quinoa, lentils, and raisins in bowl. Toss with sesame oil to coat.
Combine sauce ingredients in small bowl.
You will need 6-8 pieces of foil about 16 inches long, depending on how big or small you want to make your packets. I like to make a few small packets for my girls to have their own.
Place veggie mixture in middle of foil.
Fold edges of foil up to create a bowl like shape so that sauce won't spill out. Top veggie mixture with a scoop of lentils and a scoop of sauce. You will want to divide lentils and sauce evenly between your packets, again depending on how many packets you are creating. Fold foil around your mixture to create a little packet that is sealed and ready to go onto the grill.
Cook with seam side up for about 20-25 minutes. Open packets carefully. Transfer to plates and enjoy a healthy, homemade vegetarian grilled dinner.