Grilled Pineapple for Dinner and Dessert

Pineapple is one of those fabulous fruits that takes my taste buds on a tropical vacation! I can eat pineapple plain, no problem, but lately I’ve been grilling it to get that hint of smoky summer flavor and adding to sandwiches and desserts.
By: Janel Ovrut Funk
Related To:

Pineapple is one of those fabulous fruits that takes my taste buds on a tropical vacation! I can eat pineapple plain, no problem, but lately I’ve been grilling it to get that hint of smoky summer flavor.

Grilling pineapple, or any fresh fruit, is pretty simple. All you have to do is cut your pineapple (or peaches or even watermelon) in thin rounds or strips and grill on either side for about 5 minutes -- or until they have those neat grill marks. Living in a Boston apartment, I don’t have the luxury of an outdoor grill, so I improvise with my stove top grill pan and still get great results.

Double the Pineapple Pleasure

Grilled pineapple makes a great dessert, but don't count it out for your main course, too (plus, you get two servings of fruit!). Recently, I was grilling up some tempeh for a simple sandwich and decided to top it with pineapple pieces for a Hawaiian-style, tangy dinner.

Wait, What's Tempeh?

Never heard of tempeh? It's a must-know for vegetarians or the veg-curious. Often used as a meat-replacement, tempeh is a cultured cake of soybeans and/or grains -- it's been a staple in Indonesia for more than 2,000 years. Tempeh is traditionally made by cooking and de-hulling soybeans, inoculating them with a culturing agent, and then incubating the soybeans overnight until they form a solid cake.

Sounds creepy, right? Just think of it in the same way that other fermented foods are processed -- like cheese or yogurt. Tempeh is a great source of vegetarian protein. A serving of the tempeh I picked up at Whole Foods gave me 11 grams of protein. Look for it in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, near the tofu.

But Back to Making My Sandwich

To make my tropical sammy, I cut my tempeh into four slices and baked them in the toaster oven for about 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Once the pieces were cooked through and started to toast, I spread on some BBQ sauce and cooked for another 10 minutes. Meanwhile, I layered a slice of soy mozzarella and two grilled pineapple rounds on a whole-wheat English muffin. Then, I added in one slice of baked tempeh and chowed down.

The grilled pineapple and BBQ sauce combo works wonders on veggie burgers or grilled tofu, too. Or, for the flexitarians, add the pineapple with a sweet and sour marinade on salmon. It's a nice flavor change from the usual lettuce and tomato and a great way to add fruit into your entrée.

And Don't Forget Dessert

When you buy a whole fresh pineapple, it can feel like you have more than you know what to do with. To use up more of it, I grilled more pineapple rings and topped them off with a small scoop of vanilla ice cream while they were still warm. The combo of sweet and tangy flavors, along with hot pineapple melting the cool ice cream, made for a fun, flavorful dessert. Plus, I didn’t feel like I was on pineapple overload because they were served in such different ways.

Janel Ovrut, MS RD LDN, loves experimenting with vegetarian and vegan cooking. Read her food blog, Dine Dish Delish, and follow her on Twitter @DietitianJanel.

Keep Reading

Next Up

The Veggie Table: Vegetarian and Vegan Resolutions

Whether your New Year's resolutions was to adopt a vegetarian diet or you just want to eat more plant-based foods, here are four ways to help you eat more vegetables.

The Veggie Table: Vegetarian Lunch Ideas

As a vegetarian or vegan, you may think your lunch option is limited to plain peanut butter and jelly, but here are three ideas to change your mind.

Food News: McDonald's Opening Vegetarian-Only Locations

McDonald's is opening two vegetarian-only locations in India. Would you eat vegetarian fast food from this chain?

Eat Green: Create a Lower-Carbon Diet

The biggest contributors to global warming and climate change are travel needs and electricity demands -- but food production and transport is responsible for one-third of global greenhouse emissions! Help out by choosing better foods.

Vegging Out with Karen Page, Author of The Vegetarian Flavor Bible

Read The Vegetarian Flavor Bible for great healthy eating recipes. More tips like these at Food Network.

Spotlight Recipes: Vegetarian Pasta Dishes

Good old pasta dishes can easily be turned into a vegetarian dish. Problem is, pile in tons of cheese and large portions of pasta and watch the calories and heart-clogging saturated fat go through the roof (yes, even vegetarian recipes can be unhealthy!). There are ways to lighten up your lasagna and macaroni and cheese but here are a variety of vegetarian pasta dishes that are delicious and figure-friendly.

The Veggie Table: Favorite Vegetarian Cookbooks

Registered dietitian Janel Ovrut shares her picks for top vegetarian cookbooks.

Taste Test: Veggie Burgers

For a quick meatless meal, veggie burgers are a convenient choice. Since there are only a handful of popular brands out there we turned to our Facebook Fans to tell us their preferred flavors—then we tasted and ranked them. See how they stacked up.

Vegetarian Diet Basics

There are different types of vegetarians, the strictest being a vegan. Find out about the other types, the basic food groups and combinations that will ensure a well-balanced diet.

15 Great Vegetarian Pastas

These recipes are all sans meat, poultry and fish but brimming with flavor from veggies, beans, herbs and nuts.

Food Network Apps

In the Kitchen

Get over 70,000 FN recipes on all your mobile devices.

Facebook Messenger

Ask our bot for recipes, meal ideas and daily food trivia.

Amazon Echo

Just say "Alexa, enable Food Network skill" to get started.