VANCOUVER -- If you're sick of cooking in the kitchen after two months at home, mix it up, get outside and start dining al fresco. It's just about time to fire up the barbecue, but this season, try something new on the grill.

If you're looking for options beyond the usual steak and chicken, try vegetables. Peppers, onions, eggplant and zucchini all turn out well. Even leafy greens like kale and other lettuces turn out surprisingly tasty when grilled; try grilling your romaine before making a Caesar salad. 

Kale can easily be turned into kale chip. Toss the leaves with a little olive oil and salt, and then place on the grill for a few minutes until they get crispy. 

And don't forget fruit. Pineapple, peaches and even bananas grill up great, and can be used in salads and salsas, or as dessert with a little vanilla ice cream. Even avocado tastes delicious after a few minutes on the barbecue. 

If your grill has seen better days, it may be time to upgrade. The Home Depot carries options ranging in price from just over $100 to over $2,000, whether you're looking for a propane or a charcoal grill. 

Charcoal comes with a higher chance you'll burn yourself, but many people prefer the taste and the grills are often less expensive than their gas counterparts. 

If it's been a while since you used your barbecue, make sure to clean it thoroughly and check for spider webs and insect nests – they can cause flare ups. And check for gas leaks too. 

With files from Consumer Reports