Wednesday, July 4, 2007

On grilling out veggie style

If you’re like me, you’re making the rounds at various barbecues during this Fourth of July holiday. Although this is a perfect opportunity to have your occasional foray into meat eating if you’re a part-timer or dabbler, veggies have to give it a little more thought.

If you’re a lazy vegan like me, you probably just pop into your grocery and snag a four-pack of veggie burgers or “Not Dogs” to take along so you can grill out along with your meat-eating comrades. Just slap them on the grill and then slather with fixings as usual. (If you don’t want juices from meat-based burgers to “contaminate” yours, wrap them individually in tin foil first or have the host do yours first, before the others.)

If you’re a little more creative, try a tofu-based shish kebab; take it with and have your host grill it for you. (You’ll likely have meat-eating friends salivating over your plate if you do this, too.) Simply prepare a block of tofu for grilling by freezing solid, thawing completely, then rinsing. Squeeze the water out, then cube the tofu into kebab-sized pieces. Skewer with veggies like onion, green pepper, cherry tomatoes, and fresh mushrooms, then sear on the grill. Delish.

If you’re vegetarian and can eat dairy and/or eggs, you don’t have to do anything special to get your fill, unless you want to. There are likely plenty of potato salad and bean-based dishes that pack a protein punch, and vegans, too, can indulge in vegetarian baked beans even if the potato or macaroni salad is off limits.

If you’re the host, you can be a vegetarian’s delight and provide the veggie burgers, hummus, etc., for those who want them. For guests who eat meat, ask them to bring their own (unless you know what to buy) and grill it themselves. (I’ve never trusted my own meat-cooking skills on the grill, since I never do it; better to leave that to experienced folks.) They’ll be happy to do so. And you as the host can rustle up a spread any veggie’d be proud of. You might just surprise a few meat-eating friends, too.


  1. sounds great!! One thing I want to learn how to make are veggie or vegan meatballs....I do love adnd miss spaghetti and meatballs so I want to find a good meatless version of a meatball....

  2. I've never tried to do that, Peg, but I use lentils a lot for a hamburger-type texture. They don't stick together particularly well for burgers/meatballs, etc., but I was just thinking the other day that you might be able to mash them and make them a little "sticky" with some guar gum. I got a pound (2 8-oz packages) from Barry Farms probably a good couple of years ago now and have just used up one package. I use it to thicken everything from stir-fries to ice cream (again, trying to avoid the refined starches like cornstarch) and it's wonderful. I found it on Amazon (through Barry Farms) just now at: