Plant-Powered Summer

Nutrition Advice from Your Pawling Hannaford Dietitian.

by Allison Stowell MS, Registered Dietitian

Warmer weather is here! Spring/Summer 2017 is all about plants, and grilling season is ready to be on trend. A typical BBQ menu includes meats and carbohydraterich sides, like pasta salad, potatoes, and savory snacks. Make this the warm-weather season you pass on the usual BBQ fare, and surprise friends and family with a vegetarian dinner that won’t have anyone asking where the meat is.

Best Veggies for the Grill

Portobello Mushrooms: Topping the list of “meaty” and versatile vegetables for the grill are portobello mushrooms. Leave them whole to create a “portobello burger,” slice as a nice side dish, or skewer baby portobellos for a hearty vegetarian kebab. (Or try the recipe below!)

Eggplant: Make more than you need to when grilling versatile eggplant cutlets. You’ll use them in countless dishes including in a wrap, as a pizza topping, stacked with other vegetables in a vegetarian napoleon, and more.

Corn: Add a smoky flavor to your summer salads with grilled corn. Season with herbs or spices like smoked paprika.

Lettuce: Yes! You can grill lettuce. Slice romaine hearts in half, brush with olive oil and grill briefly (cut side down). Use your wedge for a unique salad or top with a little lowfat cheese and serve as a side dish.

Cherry Tomatoes: Warm tomatoes on the grill (in a grill pan) until they blister and soften. Serve along with other grilled veggies for a crostini topping that will be the perfect start to your al fresco meal.

Cauliflower: Slice into thick “steaks,” brush with olive oil, and grill to desired doneness. Serve alongside a flavorful sauce.

Peaches, pineapples, and other fruit: Grill fruit to use in a unique salsa, or top with low-fat ice cream for a perfect warm-weather dessert.

Sweet Potatoes: Grill your sweet potatoes to gently caramelize and turn them into an unexpected sweet treat.

Terrific Toppers for the Perfect “Veggie Boosted” Burger




Grilled Eggplant

Grilled Bell Pepper

Packaged Diced Avocado


Ginger-Marinated Grilled Portobello Mushrooms

Learn about the Hannaford Guiding Stars nutrition program and enjoy this vegetarian recipe or one of the many others at


4 large Portobello mushrooms

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup pineapple juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh

ginger, peeled

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil


Clean mushrooms with a damp cloth and remove their stems. Place in a glass dish, stemless (gill) side up.

To prepare the marinade, in a small bowl whisk together the vinegar, pineapple juice, and ginger. Drizzle the marinade over the mushrooms. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for about one hour, turning mushrooms once.

Prepare a hot fire in a charcoal grill or heat a gas grill or broiler. Away from the heat source, lightly coat the grill rack or broiler pan with cooking spray. Position the cooking rack four to six inches from the heat source.

Grill or broil the mushrooms on medium heat, turning often, until tender, about five minutes on each side. Baste with marinade to keep from drying out. Using tongs, transfer the mushrooms to a serving platter. Garnish with basil and serve immediately.

As your local Hannaford Dietitian, I’m pleased to be sharing my advice and simple tips. Please visit for my in-store schedule of classes, demonstrations, and store tours, or call for more information.