One of the best parts about summer is the backyard barbecues. Typically everyone thinks about very meat-heavy dishes for this type of meal. You know, like hot dogs, hamburgers, sausages, and chicken kabobs… yuck. But just because you’d rather nourish your body with greens and things, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the summer BBQ fun!
There are plenty of vegan options when it comes to grilling. You might at first think only of the legendary barbecue sides such as baked beans, grilled mushrooms and onions, or corn on the cob. Yes, absolutely all of these are delicious ideas for a vegan cookout… but wait, there’s more! To help you get through the summer holiday celebrations for 4th of July, grad parties, memorial and labor day – we’re here to provide you with our favorite vegan barbecue dishes.
What a better way to partake in a summer cookout than to provide a bunch of mixed veggies grilled to perfection on a skewer. Kabobs are a great party dish because they provide an easy way to munch with minimal mess and utensils. Try stacking your kabobs with tricolor bell peppers, red onion, and grape tomatoes. If you’re not new to the game (or if you are but you’re feeling adventurous), steam chunks of tempeh for 5 minutes, soak in your favorite marinade for at least 30 minutes, and add those to the skewers as well for extra protein! Toss the kabobs on the grill and make sure to rotate so each side gets equal heat. They’re done when the veggies and tempeh are starting to char. YUM!
Essentially these are the same as above, but a much sweeter version. Don’t hold back with your creativity on these either. Mix up the fruit to offer a tasty variety! Suggested fruit that taste delicious grilled are peaches, pineapples, plums, and strawberries. We even like grilled kiwis too! Prep your skewers, then drizzle each with agave nectar and a sprinkle of cinnamon. As with any kabobs just grill, rotating, for a couple minutes on each side.
BBQ Smothered Tempeh
Staying far away from the average BBQ grilled chicken, we want you to indulge in a more than average dish! Try grilling smothered tempeh. It’s got a hearty, meaty texture so you can even attempt to fool other party-goers into eating it as well. Though once they see your face after taking a bite, they’ll probably want some too. Make sure you first steam your tempeh for a couple minutes first, otherwise it’ll take longer to cook on the grill. Cut it in half length-wise, then in half width-wise so you end up with 4 thin rectangles. Smother in your favorite BBQ sauce or dry rub, then grill on each side for about 3-5 minutes until lightly charred.
Corn on the Cob
Yes we’re still going to mention this. We really don’t want you to forget about it. because grilled corn is so much better than boiled corn! Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice; then grill away!
Grilled Portobello Cap Burgers
Save a cow, and grill a mushroom instead! These babies are juicy, flavorful, and healthy for your body and our planet. They’re a win-win all around. To prepare: brush each portobello mushroom cap with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Grill for a few minutes on each side, until tender. Load up your burger with all the “normal” toppings like lettuce, tomato, and onion. We do suggest swapping lettuce for spinach though – it compliments the portobello much better.
Grilled Carrot Dogs
We’re huge fans of vegan hot dogs. But not the hot dog you’re probably thinking of… we use big carrots for ours! Sure, it sounds a bit earthy, but trust us when we say it’s the opposite. Booming with flavor, you can’t go wrong with marinating peeled carrots and tossing them on a bun with homemade relish. Before grilling you’ll want to boil your whole, peeled carrots for about 5 minutes, and let them marinate for at least 30. Check out our recipe for Carrots in a Blanket here for a smokey marinade, and a yummy relish topping!
Don’t be that guy that shows up to the party empty-handed. It’s always courteous to bring a dish with you. But if you’re not the grill master and just can’t figure out how to make vegan potato salad, then guacamole is another equally delectable side dish to share! A homemade recipe is always better than store-bought too, so here’s one to get you inspired!
What’s a cookout without dessert? Pointless, that’s what. Including the fruit kabobs we mentioned above, there are numerous vegan dessert options for a backyard party! For instance, you can satisfy your sweet-tooth with peach cobbler. Avoid the dairy with this sweet and savory recipe here.
Let us know which of these dishes were the most popular at your Summer party! and Happy 4th of July, ya’ll :) Remember to drink (and eat) responsibly (vegan)!
Much Love & Many Nomz!
-L & J