Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Charmoula is Moroccan-inspired and a delicious way to change up your summer grilling routine! Served over an easy cauliflower "couscous," you'll love this super-satisfying veggie-packed meal!
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Did you know? A clinical study showed Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra-virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, see MAZOLA.com. Last year, I shared this beautiful Seared Salmon with Baby Kale Quinotto and Warm Roasted Cherry Tomato Salad with you that used Mazola Corn Oil. I've got another great recipe for you that uses Mazola Corn Oil with these delicious Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Charmoula!
I grew up on meals my mother cooked with Mazola Corn Oil. She trusted it because, living on a farm as we did, it came from something familiar–corn.
About Mazola Corn Oil:
Mazola Corn Oil is an all-purpose, cholesterol-free cooking oil with a neutral taste that lets the flavor of your food stand out. Because of the neutral taste, it works perfectly in a variety of uses including baking, grilling, sautéing, stir-frying or mixing up in a marinade or salad dressing.
Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels is important to heart health and Mazola Corn Oil is a smart heart-healthy* choice for your family. (*See MAZOLA.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health.)
Corn oil has more cholesterol-blocking plant sterols than other cooking oils--4x more than extra virgin olive oil and 1.5x more than canola oil. Plant sterols are important because they can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in your digestive system. With cholesterol-blocking plant sterols, Mazola Corn Oil is a heart-healthy choice for salad dressing, marinades and more!
Mazola Corn Oil has a smoke point of 450º, which is higher than most cooking oils, so it works well in a variety of cooking applications. The smoke point of an oil is important to pay attention to as a home cook. Because I cook for clients in private homes, the smoke point of an oil is something I have to be aware of. If the smoke point of an oil is exceeded, the flavor and nutritional value are affected. In addition, oil that begins to smoke is very dangerous and can ignite.
All these qualities make Mazola Corn Oil perfect in marinades, so you can get the most out of grilling season! Find out more about Mazola Corn Oil and get some great recipes at MAZOLA.com.
Now, let's make these Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Charmoula! I've also included a quick and easy cauliflower "couscous" side dish because very few Moroccan meals are complete without a side of couscous! Couscous is a traditional Moroccan pasta side dish made with semolina flour. Using cauliflower instead makes it much better for you!
Healthy swaps to lighten Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Charmoula:
To lighten this traditional Moroccan-inspired dish, and to make it as good for you as possible, I made the following swaps:
- Mazola Corn Oil in the charmoula instead of extra virgin olive oil, which is typically used in Moroccan and North African cooking.
- Vegetables in place of meat or other animal protein to make this dish completely vegan.
- Cauliflower "couscous" in place of starchy traditional semolina couscous.
By making simple swaps, such as those listed above, and Mazola Corn Oil in place of butter when cooking, you can eat better and easily reduce saturated fats and cholesterol in your meals!
What is Charmoula (also spelled Chermoula)?
Cooks in North Africa use this herbaceous sauce to marinate fish and to dress cooked vegetables. The ingredients vary by the cook and by the region, but it typically contains cilantro, flat-leafed parsley, lemon, garlic, cumin, paprika and either fresh or dried chiles.
How to make Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Charmoula:
- Mix up the charmoula first so the flavors have time to marry. Refrigerate while prepping the vegetables.
- Prep the fresh vegetables. My favorite vegetables to grill are eggplant, zucchini, yellow squash, bell peppers and onion.
- Start with the eggplant. Cut into 1-inch cubes then place in a colander in the sink or on a plate and generously salt it. The eggplant takes a bit longer to cook than the other vegetables, so this will start to soften it up. Salting the eggplant also removes some of the bitterness. Peeling the eggplant is optional. I prefer to keep it because the skin has antioxidants.
- When the eggplant has drained for 30-45 minutes, pat it dry with paper towels or a clean kitchen towel (much of the salt will wipe off).
- Cut the remaining vegetables into large, grilling sized chunks.
- Combine the cut vegetables except the onion in a bowl. Leave the onion out at this point because stirring can cause it to fall apart. Brush with charmoula later.
- Add ½ cup of the charmoula to the vegetables and stir.
- Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes or in the refrigerator up to 4 hours.
- While the vegetables are marinating, grate a head of cauliflower so it resembles couscous. You can do this with a vegetable/cheese grater or in a food processor. I prefer to hand-grate, as it's easy to over-process it in a food processor.
- Add ¼ cup of the charmoula, stir well and refrigerate until ready to serve.
- PRO TIP: >>>When you're ready to grill the vegetables, get them all sorted and lined up on a sheet pan BEFORE threading on skewers. I can't tell you how many times I used to just start threading what I was grilling onto skewers and ended up with oddly proportioned skewers. This way, you don't have to rearrange anything and put more than one hole into what you're grilling.
- When you've determined the arrangement of the vegetables, thread them onto skewers. Be careful to not poke yourself with the sharp end of the skewer!
- Grill for 10-12 minutes over medium heat. Rotate the kabobs three times so they cook evenly. The vegetables should be nicely charred and the eggplant tender.
- Serve with the cauliflower "couscous" for a wonderful, summery veggie-packed meal made better for you with Mazola Corn Oil!
Find out more about Mazola Corn Oil and get some great recipes at: MAZOLA.com
Grilled Vegetable Kabobs with Charmoula and Cauliflower Couscous
- 1 ½ cups finely chopped cilantro - approximately 2 bunches
- ½ cup finely chopped flat-leaf parsley - approximately 1 bunch
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 cloves garlic - minced
- ½ cup Mazola Corn Oil plus 2 tablespoons
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne - or to taste
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper - to taste
- 1 medium eggplant - cut into 1-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 2 medium zucchini - cut into 1-inch thick slices
- 2 medium yellow squash - cut into 1-inch thick slices
- 1 large red bell pepper - cut into 1 ½ to 2-inch chunks
- 1 large orange bell pepper - cut into 1 ½ to 2-inch chunks
- 1 large red onion - cut into 1 ½ to 2-inch chunks
- 1 large head cauliflower - finely grated
- Lemon wedges and parsley sprigs - for garnish
- Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir to combine. Refrigerate until needed. (Will yield approximately 1 ½ cups.)
- Place cubed eggplant in a colander. Sprinkle salt over eggplant, toss to coat and place in the sink or on a plate to drain for approximately 30-45 minutes.
- Blot eggplant dry with paper towels and place in a large bowl along with zucchini, yellow squash and bell peppers.
- Add ¾ cup of the charmoula and toss to coat. Marinate at room temperature 30 minutes or in the refrigerator up to 4 hours.
- Preheat a grill to medium-high.
- Arrange vegetables on a large baking sheet in the order you'd like them on the skewers, adding the onion chunks into the line-up of vegetables. Brush the onion chunks with a small amount of the marinade.
- Thread the vegetables onto skewers.
- Place skewers on the grill. Reduce heat to medium.
- Grill the skewers for 10-12 minutes, rotating three times or until vegetables are nicely charred and eggplant is tender.
- Combine grated cauliflower "couscous" with ¼ cup of the charmoula and stir well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- TO SERVE: Place "couscous" on a large serving platter. Place kabobs over "couscous." Drizzle with remaining charmoula or serve it on the side.
- Garnish with lemon wedges and parsley sprigs.
These are estimated values generated from a nutritional database using unbranded products. Please do your own research with the products you're using if you have a serious health issue or are following a specific diet.
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