There are a lot of jokes about vegetarians at barbecues, but it’s actually easy to grill out for vegetarians. Vegetarians have plenty of options to choose from these days, and other guests may be surprised by how much they enjoy the grilled vegetarian food you provide. Here are my tips for grilling for vegetarians:
Ask Vegetarians What Their Needs Are
In my experience, no two vegetarians are alike, and it’s good to ask questions before you begin. Is your vegetarian guest a vegan, or can you serve eggs and dairy products? Does your vegetarian guest require a separate grilling surface away from the meat? Is it a problem to use the same utensils on meat and vegetarian dishes? By asking ahead of time, you’ll clear up any confusion and make sure your guest is well fed.
Don’t Be Scared of Tofu
Grilled tofu is one of my favorite dishes ever, and it’s easy to make if you follow a few steps. First, make sure to buy firm or extra firm tofu. Drain and gently squeeze all of the water out of the tofu. Cut the tofu up into little slices, and marinate it very well. Tofu requires more time to marinade than meat and responds well to acidic marinates like teriyaki sauce. You can grill the tofu like you grill meat, and unlike meat, you don’t have to worry about whether it’s done in the middle.
Tempeh is Another Good Choice
Grilled tempeh has a really interesting flavor that I love. Simply slice up tempeh into big strips (don’t worry if it has black spots), and marinade it for a good long time – at least a few hours. Unlike tofu, tempeh doesn’t need an acid based marinade. Any marinade you use for chicken or fish will work great with tempeh. Grill the tempeh for about as long as you would a burger. It needs to be cooked through in order to taste good.
Don’t Overcook Veggie Burgers and Veggie Dogs
Veggie burgers and veggie dogs are always a fun vegetarian grilling choice. With so many options out there, it’s easy to treat your guests to their own vegetarian burger and dog. The most important thing you need to know about veggie burgers and veggie dogs is that they basically just need to be heated up. It’s great to get grill marks on them, but you don’t need to grill them for long. Refer to the package directions when grilling veggie burgers and veggie dogs to prevent overcooking. Also, I like to spray just a little bit of olive oil on veggie burgers and veggie dogs before grilling them to make sure they don’t stick to the grill.
Include Lots of Veggies
Veggie kabobs are so easy to grill up for vegetarians, and I always include a ton of them since vegetarian food is less filling. Make sure to make a lot of veggie kabobs because meat eaters will eat them as well. If preparing veggie kabobs seems too time consuming, there are usually pre-made ones at big grocery stores during grilling season. Make sure to brush those kabobs with oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill.