What are barbeques without meat, right? But that’s not what your vegetarian friends would think. Don’t leave them out of your barbeque party just because you think there won’t be enough food for them. Or perhaps you are the vegetarian who has lived with the struggle of what to eat at barbeque parties. Say goodbye to that idea, and read on to find out how you can make a vegetarian barbeque work!
Take note well in advance whether you will need to cater to vegetarian diets in your barbeque gathering. If you have vegetarians attending your party, you don’t need to sacrifice your favourite meats if you don’t want to. You can still call for BBQ catering service, but set aside one section of the grill for veggies only. You may wish to request additional veggies from your caterer, or handle the vegetarian section yourself – after all, veggies are simple and fuss-free!
Set a theme
Veggies, like all other foods, are cooked differently in different cultures. Having a theme can inspire you to cook the vegetables in fresh new ways. For example, a Mexican theme would see you having guacamole, grilled corn, and black beans. Deciding on a particular cuisine sets you in a direction when you are lost, and adds a different dimension to the usual barbeque fare.
Protein-lovers often bulk on meats and eggs, but did you know there are also numerous plant-based protein sources that you shouldn’t miss out? Excellent source of proteins include beans and nuts and foods derived from them. For example, tofu, edamame, lentils, and chickpeas are all great protein-rich foods. Use these as meat substitutes in burgers, or to add excitement to salads.
Liven up your tofu
But how do you grill tofu, you might ask. Tofu comes in various types and degrees of firmness. If you have handled tofu before, you would know that silken tofu is extremely soft and fragile. So, choose the firmest kind of tofu for the grill to ensure it doesn’t fall apart on the grill. Slice up the tofu into pieces of manageable size, and marinate them in your favourite sauce. Some sauces that do great include barbeque sauces for meat. To ensure the tofu does not stick on your grill, oil the grill and tofu well before the tofu goes on.
Meats are often well seasoned to mouth-watering degrees, but who says you can’t do that with veggies? Vegetables do benefit from a good marinade once in a while to provide a diversity of flavours. Explore various kinds of seasonings like olive oil and herbs, or sauces meant for meat, or a simple salt and pepper combo, to give your veggies an instant taste elevation.
Be experimental with kebabs
Vegetables can be iffy things to grill, so one way to do it is to put them on skewers to make kebabs. Putting satay sticks through veggies make grilling and serving these greens a much easier affair. Thoughtful combinations of vegetables also enhance the look of the kebab. For example, pairing colourful veggies like capsicums, brinjal, and tomatoes is a foolproof way to make your veggies look so much more inviting.
Make room for mushrooms
Mushrooms are perfect for the grill, for vegetarians or meat-lovers alike. Many types of mushrooms do great on the grill, such as all-time favourite button mushroom and its big brother the portobello, shiitake, king oyster, and enoki. Large capped mushrooms can be grilled straight, while smaller varieties should be skewered to avoid them falling through the grill. Whichever mushrooms you choose to have, their juicy, umami flavours will have you coming back for more.
Meaty menus have long dominated barbeques, but it doesn’t have to stay this way. For your vegetarian eaters or a change for your next barbeque menu, consider these enticing veggie-licious ideas on top of your usual BBQ catering!