Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Grilling a Vegequarian Meal

Do you remember my tongue-in-cheek comments a couple of weeks ago about Brian and his love of grilling?

Grilling is perhaps the only thing about cooking that Brian enjoys.

Though I can't identify with that, I have been enjoying the ease of cooking whole meals on the grill lately--in fact, the ease and the flavor of grilled food.

The topic this week is the budgetary value of vegetarian and or vegequarian cooking and eating, and as you can see from the pics above, my meal idea today is grilled vegequarian, or fish with veggies on the barby.

The four pieces of fish on the grill come from one $8.99 pack of Whole Foods Whole Catch fresh-frozen mahi mahi. There are two, 6 oz vacuum-packed fillets to a pack and I cut those fillets in two again creating four, 3 oz portions of fish. This is one way to stretch two pieces of fish further.

Another way to stretch your fish meals (any meal for that matter) is to include lots of veggies and or sides so that your protein item, in this case fish, is not the main 6-10 ounce feature, but a 2-3 ounce portion.

Marinated Fish with Fried Polenta & Grilled Veggies

1) Into a bowl, squeeze the juice from a couple of limes or lemons; add some tamari, soy or Braggs and some olive oil.
2) Chop a smashed clove of garlic and either chop or grate some fresh ginger, add to lemon/lime juice mix and stir well, creating enough marinade to coat several 2-3 oz pieces of fish, i.e. salmon, mahi mahi, tuna, halibut or other firm-fleshed fish that will remain intact once you grill it.
3) Cook 1 cup of polenta in 3-4 cups of water for 30 minutes. Pour cooked polenta onto a dish or into a small baking tray and let it set.

Optional: You can add chopped garlic and ginger to the cooking polenta for additional flavor, or once the polenta is cooked, some chopped fresh herbs like cilantro and or parsley or Thai basil.
4) Prep your choice of veggies for grilling i.e. whole corn cobs, baby bok choy, sliced zucchini, bell peppers, halved tomatoes etc.
6) Light your grill and if corn is one of your veggies, pop cobs on the grill first, leaving the shucks on till the last minute, removing them and silk (as best you can) to brown the kernels (see pic above).
7) If you're cooking delicate veggies like bok choy or tomatoes, you might consider using a layer of foil over the grill bars (pic above) and cooking the veggies on the foil, dobbing them with a bit of butter or a drizzle of olive oil.
8) While veggies are cooking, turn polenta out onto a chopping board and cut into portions. Heat olive oil in a pan and lay polenta portions into pan, gently browning on both sides.
9) Meanwhile, add fish pieces to grill, achieving a nice cross-hatched effect on both sides, cooking for about 10 mins (not much more than that otherwise fish will dry out).

To Serve: Pop a piece of fried polenta onto plate, lay portion of grilled fish on top of polenta. To the side add a selection of your choice of grilled veggies. You might like to serve a salsa over the fish. I made a green salsa to serve with the meal above.

Green Salsa
Chop cilantro, skinned cucumber, red onion or spring onion, put into a bowl and douse with organic rice-wine vinegar. Let sit till flavors infuse. Optional: You could add chopped tomato to this combination or mango or peach or pineapple.

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