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(Photo courtesy: Vega )

Being a vegan does not mean you can no longer indulge in exciting summer cookouts and savor juicy barbecues. Yet, you must understand first the meaning of veganism before considering different BBQ options for vegans. To begin with, this vegetarian diet does not include food derived from animals like meat, eggs, and dairy products.

Many vegans also stay away from processed foods that come from animals like refined white sugar. Instead vegans eat beans, legumes, grains, fruits, and veggies. Other choices consist of vegan hotdogs and burgers, soy milk, tofu, and meat substitutes. You can still relish mouth-watering summer barbecue delights. Here are some cookout grill chows that you can try during the summer months.

Vegan Fare

You really don’t have to use meat in coming up with a delicious grilled burger. Likewise, remember that meat is not the sole source of healthy protein. Fresh vegetables and sizzling skewers make vegan burgers very tasty.  Combine the flavorsome onion wedges, crispy home-made bread cubes, large pieces of pepper, and mushrooms for succulent charcoal-grilled veggie kebab.

Use more vegetables instead of cheese. Otherwise, opt for the Asian version with salt and pepper tofu barbecue with a powerful tang. Soak skewers made of wood in water before roasting so these will not catch fire. Grilling minus the meat is quite different particularly for people who eat plenty of burgers and steaks. The key is to become more creative. Think of what and how to barbecue as a vegan and hosting a grill get-together for vegans.

Vegan Barbecuing

Choices include fruits, greens, and meat alternatives like veggie hotdogs and burgers. You can get these goods from specialty deli shops, vegan food stores, and online outlets. Be careful when you shop for that big barbecue party. Read the label and recipe or instructions properly on the package. For example, pre-made merchandise like veggie hotdog brands are not suitable for grilling. Follow these guidelines. Or else, you will surely wind up with a mess rather than an enjoyable get-together.

Meat substitutes are not the same as original meat. Veggie burgers taste yummy although these are not as juicy as traditional beef burgers. The good side is these burgers have less cholesterol and fats. Make sure your vegetables and meat alternatives do not stick to the griller. Clean well after the barbecue and remove all the small particles. Rub the grill with paper towel immersed in oil after drying. Or, spray the grill with non-stick cooking spray (lubricant).

For tofu, see to it the bean curd is firm and compressed. It has lower fat compared to meat so grease up your grill more oil to ensure the barbecued tofu does not stick. The best skewers for bean curd, mushrooms and, Brussels sprouts are those made from bamboo. Turn the skewers often while grilling so each side gets cooked evenly.

Suggested Recipes for your Vegan Treat

Here are several vegan barbecue recipes that you may want to try out.

Smoky Grilled Sweet Potatoes with Lime and Cilantro – Slice the potatoes into thin slabs (one-fourth inch thick). Rub the chunks using preferred spices and top with cilantro or colander leaves and lime. You will need two tablespoons of olive oil, two pieces of lime, and vegan BBQ mix.

Grilled Eggplants with Lemon Basic Drizzle – This is a sumptuous but light option perfect as a side dish or lunch and dinner. Season the slices of eggplants with salt. Grill until these become tender. The flavor is made stronger by lemon basil dressing. You have the choice of stuffing the eggplant with fillings such as cashew ricotta dipped in apple cider vinegar and juice from one large lemon.

Garlic Barbecue Mushroom Kebab – Skewered mushrooms are great partners for grilled veggies or veggie burgers. If there are leftovers, serve them as cold cuts in salads, with antipasti peppers, and sandwiches.

Miso Grilled Veggie Barbecue – These vegetable skewers consist of Zucchini (summer squash), Tempeh (soy product from Indonesia), and mushrooms. Sticky miso sauce that turn into caramel enhances the taste further. Serve with grains as main dish.

Enjoy the Vegan BBQ

Outdoor barbecue can be a lot of fun for the whole family while drinking your cool natural fruit juices under the shade of trees in your backyard. At the same time, a vegan diet and lifestyle instead of the usual beef, chicken, or pork can be more nourishing and healthy so don’t hesitate to share your barbecues with friends and next of kin the next time around. It’s something that will certainly be enjoyable and worthwhile.