Always a challenge, grilling for the vegetarians or vegans among your guests need not be impossible. If you are throwing a barbecue for people who are completely vegetarian, there is no need to panic. There is now an abundance of grilling recipes for vegetarians and if you follow instructions and keep some simple tips in mind, there is no reason to not get it right.
First, if you are using pre-made veggie burgers or hot dogs, remember to read and follow instructions. Some pre-made items are not meant to be grilled. Also, veggie items behave in a completely different manner on the grill than their meat counterparts. Since these products do not have the same natural juices as your typical beef burger, you will need to prepare your grill to prevent them sticking to the grill. Clean the grill, taking care to remove all bits and pieces. Then take a paper towel dipped in oil and rub it across. You could also spray non-stick cooking spray across your grill.
If you are grilling for both vegetarians and non-vegetarians together, take care that both the foods remain separate and do not touch each other. One way to do this is to reserve a separate section of the grill for vegetarians. If possible, you could even keep a separate grill for the vegetarians, especially if this makes them more comfortable.
Keep some items such as pineapple rings, mushrooms, yams, sweet potatoes, asparagus, marinated tofu, apples, and the favorite corn on the cob handy for a no-hassle vegetarian barbecue. These could be side dishes or even the snacky main dishes, depending on the tastes of your guests. If using tofu, take care to see that it is firm and well-pressed, and turn skewers regularly so that the tofu cooks evenly.
If you find it hard to find ideas for several vegetarian grilled foods, you can even do a non-grilled main dish and throw in barbecued side dishes to complete the menu. You could try innovations: throw in some boiled pasta with your grilled vegetables to get a largish main dish, or serve the grilled foods inside scooped out French bread with soy or dairy cheese for a grilled veggie sandwich.
So next time you have vegetarians or vegans for a backyard summer barbecue, do not fret. Let your imagination run and use the fresh summer produce to churn out a spread to savor. Remember that the food is good for everybody’s heart and waistline, whether vegetarian or not!