Now that you are going to grow or buy a bunch of fresh vegetables to process in your home freeze dryer, you’ll likely have extra that you’re going to want to eat fresh.  Despite wanting to eat in a more healthy way, a lot of folks get stuck when it comes to how to prepare veggies in interesting, tasty ways.

True confession time: Some of us around here don’t like to eat vegetables. Most of our kids don’t like to eat vegetables, or at least they’ve gone through that phase. Really the problem is that most people don’t have any idea what to do with vegetables – or they’ve suffered through a lifetime of overcooked broccoli, mushy carrots and stinky Brussels sprouts.

But in recent years vegetables have been enjoying a renaissance as Alice Waters recipes enter the mainstream and people pay more attention to their health. Bottom line: You can prepare veggies in a way that will blow your mind. Creating vegetable masterpieces only takes a few ingredients and is easy for anyone. (We’re inspired by the recipes in The Gardener & The Grill – if you like the recipes in this post, you’ll love this book!)

1.     To get started, we recommend that you get a grill pan that works with your barbeque (about $20 at your local big box store).

2.     Next, make a trip to your farmer’s market or sign up for a CSA box. That’s right, there’s no grocery list here. Just bring home whatever is colorful and ripe. You can use these sauces to marinate or brush on during or just after grilling. The best part is you can use the same sauce on fish and chicken along side your new vegetable friends!

3.     Check your pantry or make a run to the market for the staples in the five easy dipping sauces below.

4.     Grill vegetables on a hot grill pan until some edges are charred.

5.     Dip, spread or drizzle these sauces and enjoy!

Italian Parmesan Grilling Paste

½ cup Parmesan cheese

¼ cup olive oil

¼ cup red wine vinegar

2 TBSP dried basil

2 TBSP dried oregano

4 garlic cloves

Combine all ingredients and brush on grilled vegetables.

Lemon-Garlic Aioli Vegetable Dipping Sauce

1 cup mayonnaise

2 TBSP lemon zest

2 TBSP lemon juice

1 TSP white pepper

Sprinkle sea salt

Combine all ingredients with a whisk and use as a dipping sauce for grilled vegetables.

Blue Cheese Dipping Sauce

2 cups sour cream

8 oz Maytag blue cheese

2/3 cup mayonnaise

3 TBSP cider vinegar

1 TSP red pepper

Onion salt, celery salt and Worcestershire sauce to taste

Combine all ingredients and let rest in the fridge overnight. Use as a dipping sauce for grilled vegetables.

Sun-dried Goat Cheese Butter

3 TBSP sun dried tomatoes

4 oz. goat cheese

Process in blender or food processor until smooth. Spread on grilled vegetables.

Ginger Vinaigrette

3 TBSP vegetable stock

3 TBSP lime juice

3 TBSP grated fresh ginger

2 TBSP chopped shallots

1 TBSP honey

1 TBSP soy sauce

1 garlic clove, minced

2 TBSP olive oil

Combine all ingredients and use as a dip for grilled vegetables.