Ahhh, grilling season. You’ve taken the cover off the grill, cleaned up the grates, seasoned the meat and sent invites to your friends. But then…. a VEGETARIAN rsvps, and suddenly you’re panicking, trying to figure out whether it’s easier to just throw your grill into a ravine and pretend this was never happening than to make MeatFest 2014 amenable to a plant eater.
Look, most vegetarians are totally reasonable people who don’t expect you to reverse engineer your entire menu or else they’ll pull a Lisa Simpson at your barbeque.
So what, then, can be done to make a place for everyone at the picnic table? As a member of the No Meat Tribe myself, I offer a few general rules of thumb:
Don’t bother with Processed Industrifood Fake Meats. Just, no. Does that weirdly textured, grayish huck look appealing to you? Yeah, it doesn’t to me either.
Do get double duty from your vegetarian grilled dishes. No one likes cooking a different main dish for every person at a meal (see also: dinner with my 7-year-old and my carnivore husband). So try out grilled recipes that can be a main for the veg head and a side to someone’s burger (like my grilled stuffed Portobello mushrooms), or that can be easily adapted as a main for both (like the grilled tofu tacos from Love & Lemons, where you could easily swap some grilled meats in place of the tofu).
When all else fails, go off-grill for a vegetarian entrée. I, personally, am not picky about my food being prepared on a meated-up grill. But if your guests are—or if you’re just running out of room next to the burgers and dawgs—just head into the kitchen to make something like vegetarian chili or a beans & rice combo that everyone can enjoy.
See? Nothing to panic about here; just a week’s worth of recipes that should help you achieve unity around the grill:
- Grilled eggplant parmesan sandwich from Delish (here) – in smaller sizes, these would be a good side or appetizer for everyone.
- Grilled beet & hummus pitas from Naturally Ella (here) – add some grilled meat into one batch to feed the carnivores
- Grilled tofu tacos with avocado cream from Love & Lemons (here)
- Grilled stuffed portobello mushrooms from Eating the Week (here)
- Black bean and butternut squash chili from Epicurious (here)
- Tandoori grilled broccoli cauliflower kebabs from Veggie Belly (here) – make some skewers with chicken or other meat, and you’ve satisfied everyone!
- Grilled corn salad with black beans & rice from Eating Well (here)