We live in California, where some people would say it’s always summer. However, there’s a different mood in the air when the kids are out of school, people are thinking about vacations and flip-flops are the shoe of choice.
When summer approaches, I’m all about backyard barbecues. We love having friends and family over for a dip in the pool, some great conversation and delicious food fresh from the grill.
The word “barbecue” conjures up visions of sizzling meats and smoky poultry, but vegetarians don’t have to give up backyard grilling this summer. I’ve gotten some of my favorite barbecue recipes from FoodNetwork.com and Epicurious.com.
The Old Tried and True?
Of course, many vegetarians take one of two roads when having a barbecue: they either serve meat for those who want it or grill tofu and veggie-based hot dogs and burgers. These are both decent options, but neither one makes the most of the incredible bounty of produce that summer brings. Why not go completely vegetarian at your next barbecue and see how much your meat-eating friends enjoy it?
Or Something Fresh and New?
There are plenty of ways to create a delicious vegetarian BBQ menu without relying on vegetarian meat replacements. How about trying some of these?
1. Vegetarian Kabobs…..put out platters of pineapple, melon, apples, grapes, cherry tomatoes, Portobello mushrooms, zucchini and other yummy ingredients, as well as teriyaki, ponzu and other sauces. Allow guests to thread their own water-soaked skewers and add their own custom sauce.
2. South of the Border…Toss some peppers, onions, mushrooms and tomatoes in taco seasoning, roast them in foil on the grill and use them to grill up some amazing quesadillas and burritos. Serve with cumin-spiced grilled corn on the cob and a tropical fruit salad.
3. Viva Italia………..Grill plenty of traditional Italian veggies, make up some pesto and tapenade and serve them all atop crusty bruschetta.
Of course, don’t forget that so many of the traditional BBQ favorites are already vegetarian:
grilled corn on the cob, vegetarain baked beans, pasta salad, potato salad and many other sides will ensure that everyone has plenty of backyard favorites on their plates.