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Fresh grilled vegetables a healthy treat

Healthy choice perfect for tailgating season

Cooking veggies on the grill can be a great way to enjoy their healthful goodness. (click for larger version)
September 18, 2013 - Making a healthy choice for your family can be easier and more enjoyable than many people realize.

Consider this: Nutritionists say you should have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables every day — and what better way to make them thrilling than by grilling, especially during tailgating season?

Whether you're picking them out of your own garden or picking them up on sale at the store, when you have an abundance of fresh vegetables, it can be smart to give them a good grilling. Cooking veggies on the grill adds a hearty flavor and unique taste to peppers, onions, tomatoes, squash, asparagus and more.

To keep them healthful as well as tasty, it's a good idea to brush them first with versatile canola oil. It has a vanishingly mild flavor of its own and a high smoke point that lets the fresh flavors of the season shine through. Plus, canola oil is high in omega-3 and lower in saturated fat than any other cooking oil.

Try it with this quick and easy recipe for a savory dish that can make eating all your vegetables a pleasure:

Fresh Grilled Vegetables

3 to 4 tablespoons canola oil

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic

1⁄2 pound fresh asparagus — 6 to 8 stalks — with tough portion removed and stalks cut into 1-inch pieces

1⁄2 cup fresh mushroom caps, sliced

1 red pepper, sliced with seeds removed

1 pint cherry tomatoes

1 medium onion, sliced into half-inch rings

1 cup summer squash — green or yellow — sliced

1 cup green beans or sugar snap peas

1/4 cup basil leaves, torn loosely — optional

salt — optional — to taste

freshly ground pepper

Preheat grill to medium high. In a large bowl, toss the prepared garlic and vegetables with canola oil and season with salt and pepper as desired. Grill the vegetables, turning occasionally, until charred and tender, about 5 to 7 minutes.

Remove to a serving platter. Sprinkle with basil.

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