Kabobs 3 Ways
Don’t you love planning the perfect menu, until everyone shows up and announces their latest lifestyle choices? So many diets out there, and they all show up at a summer BBQ.
I admit I consider feeding folks an entertaining challenge. I don’t make a million entrees, but I do try to keep everyone happy. It’s been standard for me to always include vegetarian choices, but now I regularly include Keto and Gluten-Free offerings. I thought I had it all down, until I was faced with the differences between Vegan and Plant-based Diet! It really threw me until I decided to educate myself and take a course on Plant-based Nutrition (thank you, T. Colin Campbell and Cornell). I’m certified now and while I am not a dietician, I know I can provide appropriate Plant-based meals.
You don’t have to take a course, though. My BBQs have at freshly grilled vegetables, a grain salad, a bean salad, and even pasta bowls for those that can indulge. I don’t eat beef but will supply burgers along with Veggie Burgers. There is always a salsa that I make myself, so everyone has a few things they can dig into.
I make Nice Cream (see my recipes HERE) for dessert, and a variety of grilled fruits such as pineapple and peaches with a bowl of cherries.
But this past week was all about kabobs. I made three versions: Veggie, Shrimp and Chicken.
It’s easy to mix and match what appeals to your guests without too much fuss. You can easily swap in your favorite veggies and sauces.
This is strictly vegetable and includes marinated Eggplant, Mushrooms, Bell Pepper, Tomato which you can serve with a Pesto Dipping Sauce.
Clean and stem, whole Mushrooms.
Dice the Eggplant and Bell Peppers to roughly a similar size as your Mushrooms.
I use two Cherry Tomatoes in a row when threading my skewers, so purchase what you need, depending on the length of your skewers.
Add all your washed and cut vegetables to a mixing bowl, before adding:
1 teaspoon dried Oregano
1 teaspoon dried Basil
1 teaspoon Granulated Garlic
1 teaspoon Granulated Onion
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil UNLESS you are preparing a Plant-based meal (then omit the oil and use 3 tablespoons water, so the mixture is moistened, and you can coat the Vegetables)
When the Veggies are coated, and have marinated at least 15 minutes, thread onto skewers and grill. Depending on the size of the dice, cooking time will be approximately 4 minutes per side. Keep an eye on your skewers and adjust your cooking time as needed.
I thread Shrimp with Red Onion and Zucchini that have been marinated in Lemon and Garlic.
Place your ingredients into a bowl, aiming for similar size to your Shrimp:
Washed and deveined large Shrimp (you can use smaller Shrimp, but they might cook too fast and become tough)
Chunks of Red Onion
Chunks of Zucchini
Zest and Juice of 1 Lemon
2 tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 Garlic cloves, grated
1 tablespoon Dried Basil
Toss the items in the bowl until coated. Marinate 5 minutes before placing on skewers. Do not let the food sit in the marinade too long because the acid of the Lemon will start to “cook” the shrimp.
Grill the skewers, depending on size of Shrimp, for 4 minutes each side.
Remove the skewers from your grill, and place on a platter.
Cover loosely with some foil, trapping the heat which will permit the Vegetables to continue “cooking”.
The vegetables will become even more tender. Serve with additional Lemon Wedges.
Flavored with Pineapple and Ginger, the Chicken is cooked with Red Potatoes and Corn on the Cob.
Place the diced Chicken in a bowl and Marinate for 15 minutes with these ingredients:
3 tablespoons of Pineapple Juice
2 Tablespoons of your favorite Oil
Grate a 1/2 inch of fresh Ginger or use 1 teaspoon prepared Ginger Root
Salt and Pepper to taste
After marinating, thread the Chicken on Skewers with:
Large Pineapple Chunks (slightly larger than the Chicken)
Small Potatoes brushed with oil, and Salted (similarly sized to the Chicken or, use diced, scrubbed, skin-on Potato)
Corn on the cob, cut into 2 inch rounds, also brushed with oil and salted
Cook each skewer for 5 minutes per side, minimum. The smaller the size, the shorter the cooking time. The chicken should be firm with clear juices running, when cooked completely. Chicken should have grill marks but does not need to be scorched black. Turn frequently, after each side gets its 5 minutes. Place on your platter and cover with foil loosely to permit carry-over cooking.
If you are unsure if your chicken is thoroughly cooked, you can use a meat thermometer. Stick the probe into the center of a piece of chicken.The perfect internal temperature is 165 degrees for dark meat, 160 degrees for white. 15 minutes cooking time should be more than enough for a medium diced Chicken breast or thigh.