Marinated vegetable kebobs are one of the most heart healthy things that we do. My secret for the marinade is just Italian dressing. Nothing works better. We marinate mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, egg plants and bell peppers and then char grill them, stacking them on a bed of rice for nice height on the plate.
“Fruit kebobs are a great idea for events. We cut off the bottom of a whole pineapple so it sits flat, and then stick fruit kebobs out of the top.”
—Patrick Young, Executive Chef/Director of Culinary, Nutritional Services, Swan Creek Retirement Village,Toledo, OH
“Spicy Sesame Skewers with Soba Noodle Salad are perfect for some of the upper and middle school kids who are looking for spicy Asian flavors at lunch. I discovered this when we did a beef stir fry and they just tore it up. We listened to their comments and comment cards, too, and came up with this dish.
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“Serving it on Soba (buckwheat) noodles is a fun, healthy alternative to rice. The flavor on the dressing for the noodles comes from red miso paste, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, ginger and Sriracha. The older kids really do like Sriracha. It’s such a well-balanced seasoning that doesn’t add too much heat.
“Chicken thighs hold up very well in the marinade, and the vegetables add a little crunch to the dish.”
—Jason Czyzewski, Flik Independent School Dining Chef for the Park School, Baltimore, MD
“Shrimp Kebobs on a Caesar Salad were recently available at the Culinary Theater, a lunchtime destination for the foodies on campus. It’s basically an alcove with two tables of a la carte items manned by chefs and a POS where we show off what we’re doing, providing a direct connection to chefs, about 850 customers at a time.
“What I like about kebobs is that they can turn a salad into an entree. You can take a kebob and grill it, then pull everything off for a protein salad. And not that you’re wilting the lettuce, but when salad ingredients get warmed up a little bit, the flavors get so much better.
“Rice is definitely good under kebobs, too. It serves a double function: not just a bed or foundation, but you’re also keeping the kebobs nice and warm, not to mention soaking up the juices from a sweet, slightly roasted cherry tomato or a mushroom.”
—David McHugh, executive chef, San Diego State University