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Summer is here! Bring on the pool parties, ice cold lemonades, and lots and lots of grilling! There’s just something about the grill that makes food taste better–not to mention the feeling you get when your grill adds those perfectly-seared lines on your food. Most often when we think about grilling, we think about burgers, steaks and chicken. But what about the vegetarians out there?

Here are the 5 things vegetarians should know about grilling this summer to make sure your bbq goes off without a hitch!

Share the grill: Mixing veggies and meats

When cooking meat along with vegetarian items, you should know that many vegetarians would prefer not to have any meat remnants touch their food. For this reason, it’s a good idea to thoroughly clean and scrape your grill after cooking any meat and before placing vegetarian items on the grill.  A grill brush would definitely come in handy!

Once your grill is clean and cooled, take a paper towel, dip it in oil and rub it thoroughly across the grates. You can also spray your grill with a non-stick cooking spray. Now you’re ready to grill your veggies without having to worry about cross contaminating your veggie and meat items. Your vegetarian friends will love you for it!

Prepare the grill: Not all veggies are the same

Although vegetarians don’t eat meat, it doesn’t mean that they don’t enjoy pre-made mock meats, such as veggie burgers or veggie dogs. There are a few things to keep in mind when grilling these kinds of foods.

  • First, read the cooking instructions on the package label. Some pre-made items like veggie dogs are not meant to be grilled, and the cooking instructions will say so. If you try it, you may end up with a sticky mess rather than a wonderfully grilled veggie dog.
  • Second, don’t expect your mock meats to be able to be grilled the same way as their meat counterparts. Veggie burgers will taste great, but they just don’t have the same natural juices and fat that a beef burger has. While this is great for your waistline, you’ll want to prepare your grill to prevent veggie burgers and mock meats from sticking to the grill. Clean your grill as you normally would, being sure to scrape off any bits and pieces. If you aren’t the best at cleaning your grill, there are even nifty non-stick grilling baskets that help make grilling so much easier.

Quick and easy: Items to throw on the grill

Have your heart set on grilling a vegetarian feast but still unsure of what to grill? Here are some quick and easy ideas to spice up your veggie barbecue menu.

  1. corn5Fruits like pineapple and apples can be sliced and thrown on the grill for a sweet dessert. Sprinkle on some cinnamon and sugar and you have a new twist on these everyday fruits. You can even grill watermelon!
  2. Veggies like portobello mushrooms, sweet potatoes, asparagus and corn on the cob are all great staples in every barbecue. Brush on some oil or butter and sprinkle on some salt and pepper to bring out all the flavors you can.
  3. Veggies diced up and placed into foil packets are great with a little olive oil, salt and pepper too. When they cook together in the foil, all kinds of flavors blend together. Make sure to leave them on until they are soft and slightly charred.

    Grilled Cheese: Yes please!

    Grilled cheese on the grill? Why the heck not?! Grilling cheese on the barbecue is just as great as grilling any other food. There are a few things to keep in mind, however. You’ll want to make sure you are using a grillable cheese. When shopping for your cheese, you’ll notice some stores sell cheeses clearly labeled “grillable cheese”. These cheeses are similar to halloumi cheese, which has a high melting point. Grab your favorite type of bread and grill away!

    Get Creative: Food on a Stick

    With so many options of veggie items to grill now, how can you make up your mind? Well, with bamboo skewers you don’t have to. Skewers are a great way to combine multiple veggie items into one amazing kabob.

    1. Vegetable Kabobs
    2. Tofu on a Stick
    3. Toasty Feta Kabobs

Do you have any favorite veggie barbecue recipes? Share in the comments below!

 

(flickr: wwworks /via cc)

(flickr: maya83 /via cc)

(flickr: Jeremy Keith/via cc)

(flickr: Chris Makarsky/via cc)

 

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