I love cookouts, but for years I dreaded them because I was vegetarian, and my choices were usual limited, to say the least. (More often than not, I brought along some veggie burgers, vegan hot dogs and a salad just to make sure that there was something that I and any other fellow veg-heads who might be in attendance could enjoy.)
Luckily, a lot has changed since then.
Even if we aren’t vegetarian, it’s a good idea to have at least a few vegetarian options on offer at a cook-out. While I am no longer vegetarian, I still enjoy vegetarian dishes since most traditional dishes are very meat-heavy.
The recipes below are a perfect addition for any cook-out. I’ve also chosen ones that are gluten-free as well since so many people these days are avoiding gluten. Best of all, they are easy to prepare and will leave even the most die-hard meat fanatic asking for more.
Potato Salad (serves 4)
1 1/2 pounds of small waxy potatoes peeled and cut into cubes
3 stalks celery, chopped
1 medium red onion, chopped
small bunch of chopped dill or 3 teaspoons dried dill
6 Tablespoons vegan mayonnaise
1/2 cup of soft tofu, cubed (optional)
1. Cook the potatoes until they are done. (Ideally, they should be tender, but still firm.)
2. Chill and once cool, add the onion, celery, mayonnaise and soft tofu, if using.
3. Stir well until everything is well-mixed. Add more mayonnaise if desired or finish by adding the dill. Place in the fridge until serving time.
Grilled Marinated Veggies (serves 4)
6 large portobello mushrooms
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 red bell peppers
2 red or white onions, thickly sliced
4-5 fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup of gluten-free teriyaki sauce
1. Cut the veggies into chunks and arrange on skewers.
2. Add a basil leaf or two on each skewer.
3. Mix the teriyaki sauce with the garlic and allow the skewers to marinate for at least 20 minutes or longer.
4. Place on BBQ rake and grill for about 5-8 minutes while turning them from time to time.
Praline Bananas (serves 4-6)
Adapted from a Linda McCartney recipe, this a great dessert to eat alone or served over vegan ice cream.
6 slightly green bananas
1/4 cup of almonds, shelled
1/4 cups of hazelnuts, shelled
1/4 cup of sugar
1. Place the sugar and nuts in a frying pan and under a low heat, gently stir until the sugar melts.
2. Increase the heat until the sugar turns brown. (Be careful not to burn it.)
3. Pour the mixture into a lined baking sheet and let cool. Once brittle, gently crush finely with a spoon or mallet.
4. Make a slit in the skin along the top of each unpeeled banana. Open the slit and add about 1 tbs of the powder to each banana.
5. Wrap each one up in foil. Cook directly on medium to hot coals for 8-10 minutes. Turn each one over at the halfway mark.
6. Serve in the skins either by themselves or with vegan ice cream.
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Editor: Travis May
Image: Pixoto/Martina Webster