A Twist on Baked Beans

It’s grilling season! What’s the one thing you always find at a summertime cookout? Baked beans.

I just tried baked beans for the first time this summer. I know – all these years, you’d think they’d have been one of my favorite foods – so sweet and smoky. But no. I thought they looked weird. Strange color. Mushy. So I never tried them. But when I finally did (since this is the Year of Trying New Foods), whaddya know – I loved ’em. Doggone it.

So last night when I dug through my produce drawers in the fridge to see what had to be used up, imagine my glee when I found a couple corn on the cob! (Corns on the cob? Corn on the cobs? Whatever!) I’ll take any excuse these days to throw veggies on the grill.

What goes great with grilled corn on the cob? A grilled veggie burger or veggie dog, of course! (I went veggie burger, to have an excuse to try out a new jar of pickles I got at the Lockport Farmers’ Market – a spicy dill pickle). And… baked beans!

I was feeling creative as I dug through the pantry, so instead of whipping up traditional baked beans, I went with a new twist on an old favorite: BBQ baked lentils.

These took a little while to prepare, as the lentils take a half hour to cook, and then the baking process takes another hour – but really, I only spent 5 minutes or so actually tending to the prep. The rest of the time was unattended cook time. So, they’re easy! If you plan ahead just a bit to fit them into your schedule, they’re well worth the wait.

Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein (third highest behind soybeans and hemp). When not going with the traditional cookout meal, I could see having these lentils on top of a salad or in a wrap (hmmm that may have to be my lunch today!) They’d even be good mixed with some brown rice and a side of greens for a complete protein and some vitamin C to help with the absorption of all that good iron in the lentils.

Behold: a typical summertime meal!

bbq baked lentils

[recipe-show recipe=bbq-baked-lentils]

Grilled Asparagus

Another Frankfort farmers’ market find this week was boatloads of fresh asparagus! I’ve been on a roasting kick with asparagus, but with the official kick-off of summer last weekend, I decided to get with the season and fire up the grill!

(Of course, that meant first I had to *clean* the grill…)

Grilled asparagus is so easy to make and so delicious that I have a feeling I’m going to be firing up the grill a lot more often this summer! Go figure – I will likely use my grill more as a vegetarian than I ever did as a meat eater. Oh, the irony!

First, marinate the asparagus in a ziplock bag full of yumm (I used garlic-infused olive oil, a dash of balsamic vinegar, some Garlic Gold garlic sea salt nuggets, and a pinch of pepper).

marinate asparagusThen, pop the asparagus on the grill. I’ve read suggestions including the use of a small wooden skewer to make it easier to handle the asparagus and prevent it from falling through the grill grates, but I didn’t have any trouble with mine (and I also didn’t have any skewers handy).

asparagus on the grillI threw a veggie burger on the grill as well. I found some great veggie burger recipes, but this is just your run of the mill out-of-a-box frozen variety. Sometimes, convenience beats nutrition.

grilling asparagusI let the asparagus cook a tiny bit too long, and some of the smaller pieces charred, but overall, it turned out wonderfully delicious!

grilled asparagusI will definitely be making asparagus on the grill again!

[recipe-show recipe=grilled-asparagus]