Health

A grilled veggie salad to lighten up your summer meals

As summer approaches, I find myself craving foods that are light, fresh, and easy to prepare. On those hot and humid days, I refrain from turning on the oven and instead gravitate toward foods like raw salads or meals that can be prepared on the outdoor grill.

Fresh long weekend salad

Angela Liddon

As summer approaches, I find myself craving foods that are light, fresh, and easy to prepare. On those hot and humid days, I refrain from turning on the oven and instead gravitate toward foods like raw salads or meals that can be prepared on the outdoor grill. I look forward to this time all year long, not only because of the promise of beautiful weather, but because my husband loves to barbeque. I cook most of our meals, so it’s a nice treat to have someone else do the grilling.

In the spirit of salads, I’m hosting a salad-a-day challenge for the month of June on Oh She Glows and I would be honoured if you’d join in. You can read all about it here. So far hundreds have joined in, along with their family, friends, and coworkers. Let’s welcome summer with renewed energy and health!

Grilled Vegetable Salad
This grilled salad is a wonderful addition to any meal, picnic, or spring/summer gathering. It’s filled with flavourful grilled corn, zucchini, and bell peppers, balanced out with protein-packed black beans and optional wheat-berries. The dressing‘s a little bit sweet and a little bit tangy, with a hint of garlic, lime, and dijon. It ties in many of the flavours I love come summer. You can also make this the day before and let the flavours develop overnight in the fridge. Just throw it into a container and you’re good to go!

Yield
About 6 Servings

Ingredients:
3 bell peppers (any colour)
2 zucchinis, sliced in half lengthwise
6 ears of corn, husk removed
1.5-2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15oz can)
1/2 cup raw wheat-berries (optional)

Dressing:
3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 small garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp dijon mustard
Salt/herbamare and pepper, to taste

Directions:
1. Preheat the grill over medium heat. When it’s ready add the corn, rotating every few minutes. After about 10 minutes, add the zucchini and bell peppers. No need to chop the peppers, you can leave them whole. Grill for another 10 minutes, rotating the vegetables frequently, until lightly charred.

2. Meanwhile, cook the wheat-berries on the stove top (if using) using just over a cup of water in a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil and then simmer on medium-low heat for about 20-30 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients and adjust to taste.

3. When vegetables are done on the grill, cool, and then shave the corn from the cob with a knife and chop the peppers and zucchini.

4. Drain and rinse the beans if using canned. Mix the beans, drained wheat-berries, dressing, and vegetables together in a large bowl. Add a generous amount of salt and pepper, to taste. Enjoy immediately or place in the fridge so the flavours can develop for a few hours or more. Salad will keep for a few days in the fridge.

Angela Liddon is the creator of Oh She Glows — an inspiring, healthy vegan recipe website — and one of Chatelaines Women of the Year 2011. Angela’s passion for healthy vegan food is contagious and she’s eager to show others that vegan (and often gluten-free) food can blow your taste buds away.