Grilling? Don’t Forget the Veggies!
We were raised learning that in order to have a healthy body we need to make healthy food choices. Good nutrition fuels your body and can even influence how your mind functions. Did you know that proper nutrition is critical to eye health? It’s true! Orange-colored fruits and vegetables can help protect your vision as well as promote eye health. Carrots are a great example of this. Beta-carotene is a type of vitamin A that gives these foods their orange hue, which also helps the retina function smoothly. Vitamin A deficiency can cause severe dry eyes, which can lead to eye infections and vision loss. Vitamin A can also help you fight pink eye symptoms and other infections by keeping your immune system intact. Other important nutrients for your eyes and vision are the yellow, orange and red pigments in fruits and vegetables that are called carotenoids. Bell peppers are a great example for this. They are a fantastic source for healthy eyes. Carotenoids and Vitamin C are the key nutrients in bell peppers. Vitamin C may reduce your risk of cataracts and macular degeneration later in life.
I love to eat healthy and try to mix in some “good eye foods” as often as I can. Now that the weather is starting to warm up, we tend to grill out a lot. Grilling vegetables is simple and healthy! The first recipe I will be sharing with you is “Glazed Grilled Carrots”. The second recipe is “The Easiest Grilled Peppers Recipe”. I wish I could take credit for these recipes, however, I actually found them on two different websites. The carrot recipe is by Jeff Gordinier and the grilled peppers recipe is by Frances Janisch.
Ok, let’s get started.
Total cooking time for this dish is about 25 minutes.
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary
- ½ clove garlic, cut into paper-thin slices
- 1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for the carrots
- 10 medium carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
- 1 green onion, thinly sliced
- In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, soy sauce, sugar, rosemary, garlic and ginger until combined. Whisk in 2 tablespoons oil so dressing emulsifies; set aside.
- Heat grill to low. Coat carrots with oil and season with salt. Grill carrots, covered, turning as needed to prevent burning, until nicely charred and fork tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
- When carrots come off the grill, toss them immediately in the prepared dressing. Once they're coated, use tongs to transfer the carrots to a serving platter and garnish with green onion. Drizzle a few spoonfuls of the remaining dressing over the top.
Prep time for this dish is about 15 minutes. Total time to cook is around 22 minutes.
- 4 red, orange, and/or yellow peppers
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. coarsely ground black pepper
- ¼ c. fresh parsley leaves
- Prepare outdoor grill for covered direct grilling on medium.
- Cut each pepper lengthwise into quarters; discard stems and seeds. In medium bowl, toss peppers with oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper.
- Place peppers, skin side up, on hot grill rack. Cover grill and cook peppers 4 to 5 minutes or until beginning to soften. Turn peppers over; cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes longer or until slightly charred. As peppers are done, return to same bowl. Add parsley and toss to coat.
It’s as simple as that! Be sure not to overcook the vegetables so you don’t cook out all of the tasty and important nutrients. I promise you will LOVE these side dishes as much as your body and eyes do! Give it a try and let us know how you like them. To check out other eye healthy recipes, click here to follow us on Pinterest.
Dr. Travis Zigler