As grilling season approaches I realize that my husband gets so excited his heart may just explode. I say it is from the meat heavy dishes and he says it is from the amazing Weber Grill my father got him as a present. Whatever the case is I make him grill me veggie burgers, corn, whatever. And he has started to become an expert. No grill baskets needed. So here is my veg-lovers guide to eating at a barbecue without all the looks (except of envy) and the extra equipment!
1. Invest in fresh veggies. The frozen kind will not be able to hold up to direct fire. Save those for the wintertime when you are feeling lethargic and uninspired.
2. Buy tinfoil/aluminum foil. This is a cheaper but I admit a less ecofriendly option to grill baskets but it is reasonable especially when you have a bunch of people hitting up your home on a hot day. You can just toss out the oil salty foil after and worry about that sink another day. And no cross contamination!
3. Invest in an olive oil mist sprayer. I have the one from Macy’s that I also know Martha Stewart sells. It works and doesn’t slather on too much oil.
4. The only seasoning you need is salt and pepper. That being said take any veggies you want and spray them season them throw them on tinfoil and grill to your hearts desire. I am a big fan of grilling corn, chopped broccoli florets, Portobello mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, and tomatoes. My Aunt came over the other day with pineapple and my husband grilled it right on the grill no foil needed and we topped our burgers with it.
As for a good grillable burger. Which is every vegan’s 10million dollar question… My husband makes my Vegan Boca Burgers on foil on the grill or Dominix Eggplant Burgers. Perfect with a little ketchup and mustard!
A good grillable sausage? I am obsessed with Tofurky’s Beer Brats. I mean obsessed. No foil needed and I will eat them year round. We also do soy hot dogs and all seem to be good so I just get whatever is on sale. The kids don’t notice the difference but on a side note cook them in a hot dog toaster or microwave. The grill sometimes overcooks them fast. You can place on for a second after for the grill markings.
The Hippie Gypsy
One of my fave things as a kid was getting to grill with my dad in the summer. I would swim in our pool all day and then stand next to my dad in my bathing suit and side pony tail as he would grill hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, brats, and steak tips. Fast forward 25 years and I am vegan. Last year I discovered the Tofurky Beer Brats which taste on point despite a slightly herb hued green in them and are grillable which is amazing because most things (my husband has learned) fall apart on the grill if they are stamped “vegan”. So what about things like ribs and steak tips and BBQ chicken? I have not figured out any grillable options yet but I have 2 very yummy bbq sauce smoky flavored options still that you can cook indoors. One is Morningstar Farms BBQ Riblets which remind me of those school lunch riblet sandwiches without the yucky fat hard chunks in them. This Seitan recipe below though is my smoky sweet version of a bbq chicken sandwich or even a pulled pork sandwich that you can make at home in your kitchen and dream of the summer heat filling your backyard. And it only takes a few minutes to prepare after the rolls are done!
Spring has sprung so let’s make those dreams a reality folks!
Smoky, Sweet BBQ Seitan on Pretzel Rolls
Vegan Pretzel Rolls ( I use this recipe by Guy Fieri: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/guy-fieri/pretzel-rolls-recipe/index.html )
Organic Vegan BBQ Sauce
1 tsp Liquid Smoke
1 tbsp Agave Nectar or Honey (if you are a vegan that eats honey like me)
1 package West Soy Seitan Strips or Cubes (Strips work better in a sandwich but you can chop the cubes for a “shredded/pulled pork style”)
Garlic (I use chopped frozen)
Place olive oil and 1 tsp of salt in a frying pan over medium heat. Olive oil should thinly cover the bottom of the pan and you can always add more by the teaspoon if you need it. When it bubbles, add seitan and pepper to taste. Then add garlic to taste. I use at least 1/2tbsp. Heat until there are some brown bits forming on the bottom. Then squeeze in a tbsp of agave and 1 tsp of liquid smoke. Toss until well combined. Add BBQ sauce until well covered. Toss lightly and place on warm rolls. Serve hot. Enjoy!
For a Whole Meal: Add the Farro Salad and finish it off with the Fourth of July Trifle we made last year and it will be perfect for a summer party!
Optional Add Ons: Add sliced tomatoes, lettuce, some pickled jalapeno, and melt on Daiya Havarti cheese.
XOXOX, The Hippie Gypsy