Time to Grill…Veggies, That Is!

Summer’s coming, and that means more grill time! This veggie combo grill basket is a treat. We started with just six items, and ended up with 10-12 cups of chopped veggies. We grilled half of the veggies, put the rest into a container in the freezer. If you cook half the veggies and freeze half, do not season the ones you will freeze until you thaw them.

Grill time; 25-30 minutes on a gas grill. Grill basket: about 13” square (33 cm), and well-used!

Sue’s well-used grill basket.

Chop all the veggies and place them into a large bowl, add salt & pepper to taste, and Italian seasoning blend, Herbes de Provence or your favorite spices. Drizzle all veggies with a couple tablespoons of olive oil and mix well. Spray grill basket with cooking spray, and add veggies. Stir occasionally while grilling.

A gorgeous array of grill-worthy veggies.

You can start with:

-Red and green bell pepper
-Mushrooms, an 8-oz. box, prewashed and halved or quartered
-Onion; white, yellow, or sweet; chopped
-Zucchini squash, chopped
-Cherry tomatoes or grape tomatoes, 1-pint box. Use them whole.

Or you can add:

-Turnips, rutabaga, yams, yellow summer squash, eggplant, Japanese eggplant, or sweet corn cut into two-inch slices

If you use yams or another very dense veggie, just cut them into smaller pieces so they’ll cook evenly. Be careful when you bite into the grilled cherry tomatoes; they can keep a lot of heat inside and you’ll risk a burn.

Grilled and ready to serve!

Serve over brown or white rice, and top with tamari or hoisin sauce. You could offer naan bread on the side, or just a cold beer!

grapefruit soda

We’re extremely fond of a certain imported Italian grapefruit soda from a well-known natural foods chain. Inspired by the abundance of excellent citrus in stores right now, we wondered if we could make our own homemade grapefruit soda and duplicate the flavor of the imported soda. Well, the results were REALLY GOOD.

First, halve a grapefruit and squeeze the juice from the fruit. (We averaged about 3/4 cup of juice from each grapefruit, but these seemed to be very juicy, and I suspect that most grapefruits may yield a bit less.) Pour 3/4 cup to 1 cup juice per glass. Add sparkling mineral water and a squirt of agave nectar if you like a bit of sweetness. Stir and add ice. Sip and enjoy.

homemade grapefruit soda

homemade grapefruit soda

homemade vanilla extract

I recently experienced sticker shock at the grocery store while shopping for vanilla extract, which prompted me to instead purchase vanilla beans and vodka. Time to make homemade vanilla extract!

First, I checked Barnivore to find a vegan-friendly vodka and settled on a pint of Skyy. Then I found two empty jars with lids. You can use one large jar, but I’m going to divide my batch and give my kitchen cohort Sue a jar of homemade vanilla extract so that she can bake something yummy for me.


Slice four or five vanilla beans down the middle and split each one, place them in the jar(s), and cover with vodka. Seal tightly and let sit for at least 5 weeks. The longer they stew, the stronger your extract will be. Here’s the final product.