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Video:Grilled Vegetable Salad Dinner

with Jon Stewart

Grilling vegetables is a great way to create a super-nutritious, super-delicious entree salad for family or guests. Try this mouth-watering salad that combines a variety of vegetable flavors.See Transcript

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Transcript:Grilled Vegetable Salad Dinner

Hey guys! Jonathon Stewart here for About.com and today it's all about how to make a killer grilled vegetable salad.

Even if you don't dig salads, or if you think you don't like vegetables, give this recipe a shot. I promise, I'll make it worth your while, and at the very worst, eat one of these delicious, nutritious monsters and maybe you'll feel a little better about chowing down that cheeseburger you had for lunch.

Grilled Vegetable Salad Ingredients

Here's everything you'll need for this recipe - check it out:
  • 1/4 cup of virgin coconut oil
  • 1 pound of fresh asparagus
  • 2 zucchinis cut lengthwise into strips
  • 1 medium-sized eggplant also cut lengthwise
  • 3 bell peppers, de-seeded with the tops and bottoms removed and opened into one long piece
  • 2 sliced red onions
  • about 5 ounces of organic mixed greens
  • 1/2 cup of crumbled goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup of real grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • five cloves of minced garlic
  • 2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
  • salt and fresh ground pepper

Coconut Oil 101

Let's talk about the coconut oil first - this stuff is awesome. It's gotten a bad rap in the past because of its saturated fat content - that's the bad kind - but it's also rich in short and medium chain fatty acids, especially lauric acid - which is good. But while the debate rages on over the health benefits of coconut oil, here is one indisputable fact: it's delicious. So, let's live a little.

Coat the Vegetables With Oil

If it's solid, measure your oil into a small bowl and microwave for about fifteen seconds. Once it's in liquid form, take a brush and coat your vegetables, as well as a small amount directly onto your grill.

Prep the Grill

Where you grill is up to you - if you've got an indoor grill or grill pan and it's freezing outside, bring your show indoors and grill on medium high. If you've got an outdoor charcoal grill and some all natural hardwood lump charcoal and it's 75 and sunny all year round, get your outdoor grillin' on and get ready for some smoky vegetable greatness.

Grill the Vegetables

Place your vegetables on the grill and keep an eye on their progress. Though cooking time will vary depending on your heat source, use these as rough guidelines:
  • peppers take the longest (you want the skin to be charred), around 10 minutes
  • zucchini, eggplant, and onions are somewhere in the middle, around 8 minutes, flipping once
  • asparagus is the shortest, about 6 minutes
Remove the veggies as they're done and let them cool just a bit. Peel the charred skins from your peppers, and cut all the vegetables into thin, bite-size, strips.

Grilled Vegetable Salad Substitutions

Another beautiful thing about this salad is that you can substitute pretty much any veggie you want for the ones I'm using. Always use the freshest produce you can find, but know that even shoe leather coated in coconut oil and grilled outdoors isn't bad.

Mix the Vegetable Salad Dressing

In a bowl off to the side, mix together your olive oil, vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper, and your dressing is good to go. Using a simple dressing is key for this salad - it's all about highlighting the natural flavors of the grilled veggies, so don't be tempted to douse your miraculous creation in ranch or French.

Assemble the Grilled Vegetable Salad

For the final presentation, you can group together your veggies, cheese, and seeds on a bed of greens and allow your guests to mix them together, but here's how I rock it: in a large bowl mix together and chop all of your ingredients - vegetables, greens, cheese, seeds... everything - and toss with your dressing.

The beautiful array of colors and textures will have even meat-eaters' mouths watering. If any of this stuff actually makes it out of the kitchen... mmm.

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