Grillin’ Like A (Vegetarian) Boss – Nutrilicious

It’s that time of year! Barbecue Season!

Here is a copy of a blog post about barbecuing that I wrote for Eco Parent:

Barbecue season is upon us!  Can you be vegetarian and still enjoy all the joys that barbecuing in the great outdoors bring? Absolutely!

Most of us are fairly comfortable preparing vegetarian meals like tofu stir fries and pasta with beans but summertime barbequing can feel like a bit of a mystery. Though we traditionally think about the barbecue for burgers, steaks, chicken and fish, there are lots of options for those who choose a vegetarian or plant-based diet.  Sure, you can always buy prepared veggie burgers or hot dogs. There are plenty of options out there, some of them pretty darn tasty that even meat lovers won’t turn their noses up at. Unfortunately, many of them can be highly processed, full of unfamiliar ingredients, and are usually loaded with salt. However, if you find a reasonable brand, keeping a package of frozen veggie dogs on hand for those last-minute barbeque invitations, or those nights when you don’t feel like cooking from scratch, can be a great way to solve an otherwise stressful situation.

The summer barbecue isn’t just for meat anymore! In fact, there are loads of options for vegetarians, or even just those who’d like to eat meat less often.

Tofu on the grill!

Beyond just grilled vegetables, a super-quick, easy-to-prepare option is barbecue tofu or tempeh. All you need is some good quality prepared barbecue sauce and organic tofu. Simply cut the tofu into ½ inch thick blocks and marinate in the sauce for a few hours. The same can be done with tempeh!  If you want to switch things up a bit, substitute the barbeque sauce for a favourite marinade!

But don’t stop there! You can really grill more than just veggies and tofu! You can use the grill as you would the oven or stove.

Creative BBQ: veggie style!

Here are a few options for fun, vegetarian-friendly grilling:

. Make veggie kebabs with cubes of tofu or halloumi cheese

. Grill veggies to make vegetarian quesadillas and then cook prepared quesadilla on the grill

. Prepare homemade pizza and cook on the grill

. Buy a vegetable basket or use a wok to make a stir fry on the barbeque

. Grill portabello mushrooms and use them as a stand-in for burgers

. Grill sandwiches – try using flatbreads, panini or even pita

. Make homemade veggie burgers using chickpeas, black beans or quinoa

. Cut cooked polenta into thick slabs and grill

When hitting up friends’ barbeques this summer:

Sometimes it’s best to bring your own vegetarian option. A great way to do this is to offer to bring something to the barbeque! Then everyone gets the pleasure of a little extra veggie goodness!

If you are concerned with cooking your vegetarian option on a meat-covered grill when visiting friends’ houses, simply ask to have your meal grilled first. That way, you can feel more comfortable and it’ll help alleviate any stress your host might have.

Summer is a great opportunity to expand your veggie-loving barbecue skills. So get out there, turn that grill on, and start experimenting!

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