BBQ’s are the star of summer. The smell of the grill, eating outside, a cold beer on a hot day… so so good. But the very definition of a BBQ is meat meat meat. So how do you cater to (or be) a vegetarian at a BBQ? Well it’s actually pretty easy these days.
Veggie burgers (and even veggie brats!) can be found at any major grocer now. They either live in the natural foods section or in the freezer department next to other frozen burgers. There are far better brands than others but most vegetarians are going to be
so touched that you thought to buy them a veggie burger that they will not care what
brand it is.
Other tips would be to avoid bacon in the potato salad (maybe have it to sprinkle on top?). Grill up some vegetable kabobs… you can even buy these pre-prepared at the store. Corn on the cob, fruit salad, and potato chips with dip are all a go! Just remember to read the ingredient list of any pre-prepared food you buy and you’ll avoid hidden ingredients.
BUT… if you really want to impress a vegetarian at your BBQ… this is how you do it:
First, a word about veggie ‘meat’
There are a million different brands these days that copy the flavor, textures and uses for traditionally meat products. Deli slices, bratwurst, burgers, bacon, hot dogs… even ground beef. They’ve got it all! In my everyday diet I tend to avoid these products simply because they are highly processed and full of sodium. But some of them are also super delicious and will allow you to fulfill a summer joy that you may have thought you’d never have again after swearing off meat.
I’ve tried them all and my votes for best of are as follows:
Field Roast – This is pretty new I think but it’s now my favorite. Their flavors are outstanding and they make a large variety of products. So far I’ve had the deli slices, veggie burgers and the bratwurst. I plan on trying the actual ‘roast’ on thanksgiving this year.
Tofurkey – This WAS my favorite before Field Roast came along. Their brats will leave you pretty thirsty (sodium) but their deli slices are really thin and make wonderful sandwiches.
Gardein – This is the most realistic of all the brands. I’ll admit I haven’t had much of this because honestly it kinda freaks me out. If you are craving really realistic chicken strips for your cobb salad… this is your winner.
Second, the salads…
If you’re looking to impress, look no further. These salads are refreshing, healthy, and scream summer BBQ. I would of course add chips and salsa for snacking… but these will everyone’s hearts and minds over.
Watermelon, Blueberry, Feta & Fresh Mint Salad
serves 6 as a side
This salad is so easy it will make you mad. Cube your watermelon, toss in a pint of blueberries, a pre-crumbled container of feta and a handful of chopped fresh mint. GORGEOUS!
Kale Salad w/ Tart Cherries & Parmesan in a Lemon Garlic Dressing
serves 6 as a side
1 head green leaf kale – chopped small
1 red bell pepper – minced
1 green bell pepper – minced
1 cup+ dried tart cherries
1 cup+ grated parmesan
3 green onions – chopped small
1 small bunch cilantro – chopped
1 small bunch mint – chopped
Dressing: 1 or 2 garlic cloves minced and muddled in salt and then combined with the juice of one lemon and olive oil to taste.
Go ahead… take a bow. You’ve blown the mind of your vegetarian friend who wandered into your BBQ. Have fun and happy summer to all!