FD Healthy: Summer Veggie Skewers Over Quinoa

By: Ann Ziata and Anna Kenyon

It’s summertime, which means grilling season is in full swing. But with the heat blazing and the days full of adventure, it can be hard to keep our grilling game creative and healthy. Look no further for your next grilling go-to…this is a recipe you have to try. Take a break from burgers and dogs with these easy, delicious veggie skewers from FD Chef Ann “Gem” Ziata!

The mushrooms and squash add a meaty texture while quinoa provides heaps of protein to keep your energy levels steady for the activities of the coming day. Try out the recipe below and stay tuned for a video tutorial coming soon in an exciting new FD Chef Video Series in partnership with Chef Ann Ziata, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), and Catch It In Time productions.


Grilled vegetable kebabs over quinoa
Serves 4-6

Marinate these delicious kebabs, prep some quinoa, and then fire up the grill! When it’s all said and done you’ll have a beautiful mound of quinoa topped with a festive summer veggie splash. It’s that easy!

Ingredients: Kebabs 

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup natural soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • Dash hot sauce
  • 4 large portobello mushrooms, stemmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, then into ½-inch slices
  • 1 yellow squash, cut in half lengthwise, then into ½-inch slices
  • 12 cherry tomatoes
  • Twelve (8-inch) skewers for kabobs, soaked in water for 20 minutes

Ingredients: Quinoa 

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed 
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Preparation: Kebabs

  1. Whisk olive oil, soy sauce, orange juice, mustard, garlic, black pepper, and hot sauce in a large bowl. 
  2. Add portobello mushrooms, zucchini, yellow squash, and cherry tomatoes. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to evenly cover vegetables.
  3. Preheat grill.
  4. Skewer vegetables onto pre-soaked wooden skewers in this order: mushroom, zucchini, mushroom, yellow squash, cherry tomato.
  5. Grill skewers for a few minutes on each side until grill marks form and vegetables are tender. 

Preparation: Quinoa

  1. In a small pot, combine quinoa, water, and salt. Cover and heat over high flame until it starts to simmer. Lower heat and cook until all water is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat . Let pot sit, covered for a few minutes.
  3. Fluff with fork and serve.

Bon Appetite!

Anna “Gem” Ziata is a longtime, beloved FD Chef and an instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education in NYC. Want some more recipe ideas from our culinary mastermind, Gem? Check out her youtube channel and instagram page!

To grab a copy of First Descents’ cookbook, Out Cooking It, which features recipes from all of our amazing chefs, head to the online FD Store.

Please note that First Descents does not conduct nutritional research studies, nor does FD encourage readers to ensue any dramatic dietary or nutritional shifts without first consulting a doctor or certified nutritionist.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Finding the Sunshine

Previous Post

Like A Boss

Next Post