Vegan Summer Grilling Tips
All my friends are grilling out this summer—what can I grill that's vegan?
— I want to grill
Dear I want to grill,
Don’t worry! You’ll find tons of amazing vegan foods you can prepare on the grill! There are incredible faux meats, including burgers and sausages that cook up perfectly on the grill or you can pick out your favorite vegetables and fruit and give them the grill treatment.
Let’s start with the easy, one-for-one meat replacements. Field Roast and Tofurky make great vegan grilling sausages. Field Roast is wheat-based; Smoked Apple Sage sausage is my favorite, but they also have other flavors. Tofurky is soy-based and offer texture and taste close to the real thing. They have a variety of options from which to choose.
Vegan burgers are also lots of fun to grill. Beyond Meat has a new burger that’s realistic and tastes like a hamburger, but is soy and gluten-free. They are sold in packs of two and are a little pricey, but worth trying. You can prepare these like you would ground beef and add the type of seasonings you prefer. There are tons of frozen veggie burgers to choose from, including the ever- present Boca Burger or Gardein patties, or try options from Amy’s, Hillary’s, Tofurky, Dr. Praeger’s, Sunshine and more. My favorite at the moment is the Field Roast Hand-Formed Burger—it’s delicious, soy-free and has 25g of protein! Find them at natural food stores, but many major grocery chain stores also carry many options.
You also might want to try making your own veggie burgers. You can find a wide variety of recipes on the Internet or cookbooks, recipes with ingredients including beans, textured vegetable protein (TVP), wheat gluten, rice, quinoa, oats and much more. With a little experimentation you can find a go-to recipe that you’ll use for years to come! My tip: freeze your burgers before grilling to prevent them falling apart.
Don’t forget the vegetables. They’re delicious on the grill. Corn on the cob is a classic. Portabella mushrooms marinated with care can impress even the pickiest meat eater. Grill up zucchini, asparagus, potatoes and sweet potatoes, eggplant or cauliflower—the char adds so much flavor! Shish kabobs work great, too, with peppers, onions, cherry tomatoes, Brussel sprouts, tofu, or nearly anything else you can put on a skewer.
Finish off your meal with some delicious grilled fruit. Some of my favorites include sliced pineapple and peaches. The grill caramelizes the sugars, which adds a lovely smoky and sweet dimension and delightful texture. Top them with some berry compote or your favorite vegan ice cream to make it an extra special treat!
Since you’ve got the fire going, don’t forget the s’mores! Look for graham crackers from Nabisco brand or Keebler brand Original. For chocolate, you can track down a vegan brand or read the ingredients on dark chocolate bars; they often don’t have any milk in them. Vegan marshmallows can be more challenging to find, but we’re lucky in the Milwaukee area where you can pick up Dandies at Whole Foods or other natural food stores. Trader Joe’s also has their store- brand vegan marshmallows. Your friends won’t know the difference!
Remember—grilling, tailgating and campfires are lots of fun when you’re vegan!