Barbecuing doesn’t always have to mean throwing meat on the grill, caveman-style. You can make a tasty, filling meal by grilling vegetables and combining it with healthy, 100 percent whole grains.

Grilled Vegetable and Brown Rice Recipe

Makes 4 Servings – serving size: ½ cup


  • 1 balsamic dressing recipe (see directions)
  • 1 medium sweet onion divided (see directions)
  • 1 cup grilled cremini mushroom – wash, cut stem flush with bottom see procedure
  • 1 small grilled zucchini – cut into ¼” thick slices (see directions)
  • ½ teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 grilled red pepper (see notes)
  • Zest of fresh lemon
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Ingredients for balsamic dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons high-quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon whole grain mustard
  • 2 teaspoon parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic, minced


Cut onion in half, separate outer most layers of each half onion, cut into thirds and set aside, cut the remaining inner section of each half onion into a small dice and set aside. Toss the outer onion layers, cremini mushrooms, and zucchini in balsamic dressing, remove and set aside. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, add oil and sauté onion until transparent. Turn heat off and set pan aside. Grill/barbecue onion layers, zucchini, and mushrooms until just tender, being careful not to burn them. Cut the onion and zucchini into a small dice and cut the mushrooms into slices. Add all of the grilled vegetables to the large skillet along with the rice, mix thoroughly, and warm. Turn off the heat; add lemon zest, fresh herbs, toss and serve.

When barbecuing this summer, remember these safe grilling tips: If you’re cooking meat, stick with small, lean, and thin pieces. Fatty foods drip fat onto the flames, which creates smoke that may contain harmful carcinogens. Marinate foods with herbs, turn foods frequently, and avoid any burning or charring. Follow these steps and your grilled foods will not only be tasty, but healthier, too.

READ MORE: 7 Grilling Safety Tips for BBQ Season