Vegetarians often feel unwelcome at a BBQ party. While everyone is chowing down on thick juicy steaks and yummy ribs, they are left sitting on the sidelines hoping for something to eat. Quite often they have to politely decline all of the food that comes off the grill. If they’re lucky, there might be a section on the serving table with a few raw vegetables. Barbecue has traditionally been all about meat, but it’s time to move into the modern age. More people have more diverse preferences and eating requirements than ever, and it’s unfortunate vegetarians can’t get in on the barbecue action. With a few simple additions you can make your routine a lot healthier while still enjoying vibrant flavors and true authentic BBQ taste.
Raw Veggies – Raw vegetables have made regular appearances at barbecue meals, usually in the form of carrots and celery sticks. For an all-vegetarian menu, you can spice things up to a whole new level. There’s really nothing better than a full array of fresh raw vegetables with a health-conscious salad dressing on the side. And don’t forget about the traditional garden salad as something that goes with any type of meal. There’s a lot of freedom to use at any type of vegetables you like, and it’s the perfect way to start off your barbecue dinner.
Grilled Vegetables – it’s not just about throwing a bunch of asparagus onto a grill. There are wonderfully creative things you can do such as tofu wrapped in eggplant to and top with natural herbs and spices. You can also keep it extremely simple and take advantage of the fact that grilled vegetables have a deep bold flavor. Some of them change textures and tastes completely after a few minutes on the grill. So don’t be afraid to experiment because you might just find a whole new dynamic to your favorite veggies. One excellent option is to combine several at the same time with BBQ kebabs.
Flavors – in the world of meat, flavor is usually taken care of with marinades or sauces. And when cooked on a grill, we tend to create its own flavor as well. Vegetables have a tendency to be more bland, which is why you need to get creative with flavors. Luckily, there is a wide range of dried herbs, spices, and aromatic elements that can elevate a normal vegetable into something spectacular.
Dessert – a lot of people are too full at the end of the barbecue to stuff themselves with dessert. It’s one of the only times that people actually say no to cheesecake afterwards. So why not go with something light from the world of fruit? Fruit takes on wonderful flavor when grilled gently as natural sugars caramelize. For example, grilled pineapple topped with coconut and a touch of mint would make a wonderfully simple and delicious dessert. Other fruits that work well include peaches, apricots, bananas, and apples.
Cooking Techniques – in order to create a vegetarian masterpiece, it’s important to brush up on your barbecue skills. It’s really not all that different than cooking regularly, but you’ll need to have a gentle touch. Vegetables don’t take as long to cook and you really have to keep an eye on things. A few seconds might mean the difference between a perfectly cooked vegetable and something that’s totally burnt. You don’t have a lot of leeway so make sure that you’re as organized as possible. Time things out and don’t overload the grill. Also make sure to check on basic things like ensuring your barbecue is clean, that you have enough fuel, and to preheat your grill before cooking.