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How To "Beef up" Your Vegetarian BBQ

Author: Chef George Krumov

 

When it comes to vegetarian BBQ, frozen veggie burgers and meatless sausages are not a good option. However, you don't have to feel like a fish out of the water, whenever your meat-eating buddies start packing their food for an outdoors barbeque. With a little planning it is quite possible to make your meat-eating buddies jealous about your food. The art of being vegetarian is not to just make do with whatever but flesh, it is about making the best of what Mother Nature has to offer. So, here are some ideas of what products you can use in order to keep your grounds, and avoid being teased by the steak-and-sausage crowd.

1. Portobello mushrooms - portobello mushrooms are the vegetarian counterpart of steaks. You cannot say you don't like mushrooms until you have tried one of those grilled. I like to brush a large potrobello mushroom with olive oil, season it with sea salt and grill it. If it is a large and thick mushroom, I sprinkle it with a little bit of water, so the heat can penetrate faster and deeper, before it burns on the outside.

2. Haloumi cheese - haloumi cheese is a hard Mediterranean cheese, that is particularly suitable for grilling. It can be found in many specialty stores. It is good on top of salads, or in panini sandwiches.

3. Asparagus - another vegetable that is great on the barbeque. You can use grilled asparagus in wraps, or with dips. Try it with blue cheese dip.

4. Zucchini - slice the zucchini lengthwise, remove the seeds, brush them with oil and grill the on the bbq for a couple of minutes. They are great in pita pockets.

5. Pita, Flatbreads, Grilled Vegetarian Pizza - those breads offer a lot of vegetarian possibilities for the bbq.

6. Veggie Kabobs - for veggie kabobs you can use a wide variety of fresh vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, zucchini, onions, bell peppers, button mushrooms, paddy pan squashes, and even bocconcini cheese balls.

7. Grilled potatoes and sweet potatoes - You can wrap potatoes in aluminum foil and bake them over the barbeque, then cut them to wedges and grill them.

8. Eggplant - eggplants can be grilled sliced, or whole. You can mash them and make nice dips, such as this one, here.

9. Grilled Fruits (Peaches, Pineapple, Figs, Apples) - grilled fruits are really fantastic. Before grilling you can dip them in some liquor, to add some more flavor and create some impressive flairs on the barbie.

And don't forget to pack some extra food, because your non-vegetarian friends are sure to be throwing some lustful looks towards your part of the barbeque. Cheers.

Chef George Krumov
About the author: George Krumov is a Red Seal certified chef with many years of culinary experience working around the world in Europe, the Middle East, the cruise line industry and North America. In the last decade he has headed the kitchens of several restaurants in Canada, and ran his own restaurant.

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