Want to make sure your vegetarian barbecue goes off without a hitch? Read these quick tips and "how tos" for vegetarian and vegan barbecuing!
Preparing your vegetarian grillIf you'll be using pre-made mock meats, such as veggie burgers or veggie dogs, there's a few things you'll need to know. First, when shopping for food for your big barbecue, read the cooking instructions on the package label! Some pre-made items, such as some veggie dog brands, simply are not meant to be grilled, and the cooking instructions will say so. If you try it, you'll end up with a sticky mess rather than a picture-perfect meal!
Second, don't expect your mock meats to behave the same way on the grill as their meat counterparts. Veggie burgers will taste great, but they just don't have the same natural juices and fat that a beef burger has. While this is great for your cholesterol and your waistline, you'll want to prepare your grill to prevent veggie burgers and mock meats from sticking to the grill. Clean your grill as your normally would, being sure to scrape off any bits and pieces. Once your grill is clean and cooled, take a paper towel dipped in oil and rub it throughly across the grates. Alternatively, spray your grill with a non-stick cooking spray. Now you're ready to grill!
Grilling for both vegetarians and non-vegetariansWhen cooking meat along with vegetarian items, you should know that many vegetarians would prefer not to have any meat remnants touch their food. For this reason, its a good idea to throughly clean and scrape your grill after cooking any meat and before placing vegetarian items on the grill. Another alternative is to designate a separate section of the grill for vegetarian items, and make sure that this section is well cleaned before firing up the grill. If possible, many vegetarians would prefer to have their food cooked on a separate grill. Check in with your vegetarian guests before the day of your big barbeque and see which option they would prefer.
See also: Vegetarians coming? Here's what to grill
Quick and EasyTry throwing these naturally flavorful foods on the grill for a no-hassle and no-recipe vegetarian barbecue:
- pineapple rings(sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar)
- portobello mushrooms (brush with oil and serve like a veggie burger with all the condiments)
- sweet potatoes or yams (wrap in foil, or, slice in half, pre-bake, brush with maple syrup for extra sweetness and grill)
- asparagus (soak in water for at least 30 minutes before grilling)
- corn on the cob
- marinated tofu
- apples (slice in half and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar or drizzle with maple syrup)
Entree or side dish?Just because its a barbeque, doesn't mean all the food has to be on the grill! Add grilled veggies to a green salad, or grill some pineapple for a pineapple and banana ice cream split! Another idea is to toss your grilled veggies with pre-cooked pasta for a main dish or serve inside of scooped out French bread with some soy or dairy cheese for a grilled veggie sandwich.
Tofu and SkewersIf you'll be grilling up some tofu, make sure it is extra-firm and well pressed . Tofu, along with smaller veggies such as brussels sprouts and mushrooms, works well on bamboo skewers -- just be sure to turn the skewers frequently so all sides are evenly cooked. You may also want to learn some more about how to grill tofu.
More:Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Recipes
How to Barbecue Tofu
How to Grill Vegetables
General Grilling Tips