While the barbecue seems like the perfect opportunity to throw a few slabs of meat on the fire, for vegetarians and their families and friends barbecues can be a minefield. Here are a few simple ideas in how to navigate it. |
First, if you’re using pre-made mock meats, like veggie burgers or the sausage equivalent, check the cooking instructions on the packaging. Some of these items won’t stand up to being grilled and will fall apart into your grill if you try. (if you skipped this step, don’t panic: cook the veggie stuff on a oven tray over the grill in a little oil.) If you are grilling mock meats, spray your grill or wipe some oil onto it with a paper towel, to prevent the food sticking to it.
Most vegetarians won’t want any meat residue or meat products touching their food, so if you’re cooking for both veggies and carnivores try to keep a separate section of the grill. If you can’t do that, cook the veggie food first.
Besides mock-meat foods, try these flavorsome foods on the grill for a great veggie barbecue experience:
Pineapple rings – great on their own or sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon Portobello Mushrooms – brush with oil, grill and serve like a burger with all the condiments Sweet Potatoes – wrap them in foil and grill or better yet, pre-bake, slice in half and brush with maple syrup and oil before grilling Asparagus – soak it in water for 30 minutes before grilling, or you’ll dry it out before it cooks Corn on the Cob – a classic and a favorite with both veggie and non-veggie guests Apples – slice them in half and sprinkle with cinnamon and brown sugar before grilling
Alternatively, look to other cultures for inspiration. Kebabs are traditionally cooked over a charcoal grill and vegetarian kebabs can be as simple as a few pieces of marinated tofu interspersed with vegetables on a skewer. Now could be a good time to experiment with meat kebabs too: lamb is a great barbecue meat and the foundation of many kebab dishes.
Try flavoring your vegetarian foods before cooking them. Veggie foods are often not as strongly savory as meats, but they can be flavored with spices or marinades to achieve a similar effect. Try tikka spices form India, or Thai lemongrass sauces. Veggie barbecue food can be better than shriveled veggie mock-weiners, and you might improve the experience for the meat-eaters among you too. Surprise yourself!
Remember to take a look at some of my other, past barbecue related articles. They contain plenty of helpful tips and advice and there are many more coming soon! I am also open to suggestions, so hit me up on my profile if there is anything you want to see.
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