It would seem that nowadays there are a lot of options for
vegetarians. Meatless alternatives seem to abound everywhere,
from the neighborhood deli, to the sushi shop, to the hamburger
joint. The hamburger joint? Yes, you heard correctly. With
the introduction of several brands of meatless “burgers,”
vegetarians can brave the very den of carnivorous pleasure.
Once viewed as an eccentric oddity, vegetarians have moved
from the fringe to the mainstream. However, the truth is,
all too often the meatless menu option isn’t vegetarian at
all…it’s just a menu item, minus the meat. Unfortunately,
a white hoagie bun topped with iceberg lettuce, pickles, onions,
mayonnaise, and mustard is about as unappealing to the vegetarian
as it is to the carnivore counterpart.
what about the vegetarian at the barbecue?
its increased popularity, it’s highly likely you have friends
or family members who’ve adopted this lifestyle. Don’t let
this cause you angst the next time you invite them over for
barbecue. With the tips below, you can be assured they’ll
be licking their fingers and singing your praise as enthusiastically
as your steak-loving comrades.
first rule of thumb when barbecuing for vegetarians is that
veggies are not just a sideshow anymore. Don’t doom your vegetarian
guests to pick and choose among the sides to make their meals.
Potato salad, relish plates, and devilled eggs? Consider.
You offer steak, chicken, and fish to your meat-loving friends,
but the vegetarian in attendance is offered only corn on the
cob? Lame! If you want to really impress your vegetarian guests,
you want to offer at least one meat-free main dish. While
there are a few meat substitutions out there I advise you
to think outside the box. A quick search on the internet will
reveal literally hundreds of recipes for preparing veggies
on the grill. A short-list of the easiest to prepare, and
most popular vegetables would include potatoes, corn, tomatoes,
and zucchini. If you’re willing to put in a little more effort,
you can prepare a bowl of pasta to serve with the grilled
veggies. Don’t blame me if your meat-loving friends fill up
on this entrée and you have to make more!
second tip to hosting a vegetarian-friendly barbecue is presentation.
While a pile of juicy steaks thrown on a platter straight
from the grill may look tempting, a pound of potatoes doesn’t
quite have the same appeal. Take a few minutes to peruse a
few vegetarian cookbooks, or preview the photographs of the
recipes you check out on line. You may be surprised how tempting
a plate of Stuffed Tomatoes looks with a sprig of fresh herbs
and a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar, grated cheese, or drizzled
oil. Let your creative juices flow freely, and watch how mouth-watering
the vegetarian alternative suddenly becomes.
article wouldn’t be complete without a word on quality. Time
after time I’ve found this to be the big difference between
a veggie-lover and a veggie-hater. Usually the veggie-hater
has never been exposed to good quality vegetables. If you
want your vegetarian entrée to come out tasting like a champ,
it’s worth the effort to find the freshest produce available.
Barbecue season also happens to be the best season for vegetables—so
check out your local farmer’s market or neighborhood vegetable
stand. Of course, the best place to get vegetables is straight
out of the garden, and there are great recipes that even use
the veggies you may otherwise throw away. (For example, the
green tomatoes that get knocked off the vine grill up firm
and tangy!) Trust me, everyone will love a vegetable that
has been ripened by the sun, and picked in season.
you have it! Take these tips with you to the grocery store
and the vegetable stand, and I have no doubt your barbecue
will be a big hit—for everyone!
Emma Snow is contributing author and publisher to http://www.bbq-shop.net
an on nline resource that provides you with information, articles
of interest related to barbecues.