Everyone enjoys a good spring or summer barbecue, but it often seems like a struggle when it comes to cooking vegan meals on the grill. Thankfully, with a bit of preparation beforehand, some creativity and a few great recipe ideas, throwing a delicious meat-free barbecue party is easier than it may seem at first. So, whether you’re a vegan yourself, hosting some friends who are on a plant-based diet, or you simply want to taste something a little different, here are the best tips and tricks for throwing an incredible vegan barbecue:
1. Choose a wood-fire grill
There’s a wide array of good barbecue options out there (for an updated grills review for 2020 click here), but wood-fire grills are arguably some of the best. Even though they might be harder to clean and maintain than gas barbecues, they are also much less damaging to the environment compared to coals, while still giving you that true grilled, smoky flavor. And once you get the hang of using a wood-fire grill, you’ll never want to do a barbecue a different way – it’s the best of both worlds.
2. Make vegetable kebabs
Simple yet often overlooked, grilled vegetables are an incredibly delicious barbecue option. To flip and remove vegetables from the grill more easily, while making sure they’re cooked through evenly, it would be a great idea to cut them up into cubes and put them on a wooden skewer, making tasty veggie kebabs. This method can work well with a wide variety of foods, from potatoes, eggplants and peppers to mushrooms, asparagus and even healthy avocados. Just don’t forget to brush them generously with olive oil and sprinkle with your favorite spices, to get the most out of the grilled veggie flavor.
3. Embrace vegan meat options
Whether they’re made from eggplants, cauliflower or broccoli, veggie steaks are the most popular meat alternative for the barbecue, and they’re bound to be a hit with all of your guests. While plain grilled tofu might be a bit boring, it can work beautifully combined with a veggie kebab, for some added texture and flavor. As no barbecue is complete without a good burger, you can also include veggie burgers made from marinated tofu, grilled eggplants or mushrooms. Not only are these burgers incredibly juicy and delicious, but they’re also the perfect finger food to munch on while you’re sitting in the hammock and hanging out with your friends in the backyard.
4. Opt for salsas and chutneys
Whether you need a sauce for your vegan burgers or a side dish for your veggie steaks, salsas and chutneys are always great barbecue options. From salsa Cruda, made with diced tomatoes and chilies, to salsa Asada, made with roasted tomatoes, garlic, chilies, lime juice, salt and sugar, these Mexican staples are ideal for adding a bit of spice to your grilled dishes. Indian chutneys are also perfect for enhancing that grilled flavor, from savory options like the green chutney made with chopped coriander, mint, green chilies, cumin and lemon, to sweeter aromas, such as tamarind chutney that is made with tamarind pulp and cooked dates, and flavored with cayenne and ginger. No matter which sauce you opt for, both salsas and chutneys can enhance the flavor of your barbecue beautifully, while adding some color and texture to your dishes.
5. Offer some drinks
While a refreshing glass of water or a delicious freshly squeezed juice is always a great idea, most people would still like to have a pint of beer with their barbecue. It can often seem difficult to find vegan alcoholic options, but there’s actually plenty of choice, as long as you know what to look out for. As beer is made using water, barley malt, yeast and hops, most beers are vegan and are great for backyard barbecues. However, some breweries may use animal products in the process of filtering, which is why it’s important to choose carefully. Wine and liqueurs can be a bit trickier, though, but there are some great vegan options, if you choose to serve them as aperitifs.
Even though a vegetable feast isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when most people thing about a good barbecue, these incredible tips and tasty recipe ideas will help you throw the best vegan barbecue every food lover is bound to enjoy.