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Fast, Creative, Vegetarian BBQ ideas?

  • t

To christen my new weber kettle gold, I'm throwing a bbq this weekend. I have too many recipes to choose from for my meat eaters, but some of my friends are vegetarian.

Generally, I'll throw some corn and maybe a portabello mushroom quickly tossed in soysauce, garlic and balsamic on there, but I wanted some more inspired ideas.

The recipes need to be quick since I won't have to much time to prep. I saw a great grilled shitake with ginger and scallion recipe on epicurious.

Are there any other easy ideas?

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  1. I love the portabello idea for "burgers." For a different idea, marinate some extra firm tofu (pressed dry in paper towels) in soy, garlic, ginger, red pepper flakes, chopped cilantro and basil, lime juice and cracked pepper. Remove from marinade, pat dry, salt and grill until marked and hot. It can be eaten like a steak, with a fork and knife, or like a burger, on a bun with fixins.
    A plate of grilled veggies and a variety of cheeses (goat cheese, sliced fresh mozzarella, etc.) would also be nice for a veggie sandwich and would please meat eaters as well.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Aaron

      off the top of my head, since i havent done it since last summer, i make a marinade with lime juice, maple syrup, a splash of soy sauce.... tossed this with zucchini, asparagus, thinly sliced sweet potatoes...

      ive also done a lemon juice, lemon zest, parsley, sugar - in food processor, drizzle in evoo... also good on asparagus and other veggies.

      grilled fruit is good for everyone - pineapple slices, or any stone fruit simply cut in half and pitted.

      also, depending on how stict they are in their vegetarianism, they may not want their veggies grilled directly on the grill - they make veggie trays for this purpose, or a sheet of aluminum foil will do the trick, though the veggies wont taste quite as good!

      1. re: naomi

        I'm wondering, when I hear vegetarian, I always think there's a possibility that they don't eat dairy. All these recipes seem heavy on the cheese. So then what?

    2. Marinate some zuchini sliced lengthwsie, bell pepper quarters, eggplant slice lengthwiase in some vinagrette/italian dressing overnight. Then grill unitl done and make sandwiches with some fresh mozzarella and maybe some pesto spread. Serve on crusty sourdough.

      Grilled brie makes an interesting appetizer too.

      Also grill the corn directly in their husks after you soak them for about an hour. this results in nice charring which works well with sweet corn. Instead of butter give each guest a lime slice with which to dip in chilli powder and then rub all over the charred corn.

      1. How about a salad of grilled vegetables tossed with crumbled feta or goat cheese? You could add an extra splash of olive oil and/or vinegar to make it seem more salad-y.

        My favorite grilled veggie is balsamic-marinated zucchini. I made this once for the vegetarians in the family, and the carnivores gobbled it up.

        Slice lots of small zucchini lengthwise in relatively thick strips, and sprinkle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. (I usually layer them in a large dish.) Let sit for a while - 15 minutes to 1 hour or so. Then grill over moderately low heat. They're done when they get some brown color, although I like them kinda charred. Note that the zucchini strips shrink when they cook, so one person can easily eat 2 or 3 zucchini.


        1. I love grilling quesadillas for vegetarians -- bobby flay has a bunch of recipes i bet you can google. All sorts of combinations work -- feta/roasted red pepper/sliced olives, pesto/mozzarella/parm, sliced tomato/cheddar -- sometimes i put a bowls of toppings out & let people make their own. grill, flip, grill till the cheese is melted. couldn't be easier. Then slice them all up like a pizza, serve with salsas & pass the plate around. makes for great communal snacking.

          1 Reply
          1. re: hoodie

            that is brilliant

          2. I like yams, parboiled then sliced & marinated in a 50/50 mixture of soy sauce & sherry, then grilled. You could do the prep a day ahead.

            1. Grilled flatbreads and/or pizzas are tasty and fun.

              Baste sliced veggies like eggplant, onion and zucchini with pesto and grill. You can sandwich cheese slices in between if your guests eat dairy.

              Oh, and you can skewer fresh veggie ravioli and grill them! They become all crispy outside and gooey inside.

              Also, make sure there's no overlap on the meat and vegetable sections - you need to grill the veg stuff separately. And use different tongs, too.

              1. just to clarify, i will be careful about where the veggies go on the grill, and i will use separate tongs. (actually, more likely, i'll do the veggie stuff first). however, none of the friends who will be here this weekend are vegan, and everyone of my friends adores cheese (good thing too), so cheese heavy recipes are just fine by us.

                also, i want to thank eveyrone so far for these wonderful recipes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: thejulia

                  We had a similar issue (most veggies don't want little pieces of burn meat stuck to their food). I used the George Foreman for some of the items and it worked out pretty well. I realize that may be blasphemy to some die hard grillers/bbq-ers, but it was still tasty.

                2. n

                  Throw a bunch of asparagus in a ziploc bag or in a glass dish. Add some olive oil and then some coarse salt and pepper and some good parmesan cheese. Roll it all around so it sticks then grill it on the BBQ. Good stuff.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: norcasatella

                    I did this a couple of weeks ago (sans parmesan, which I will try next time) and it was wonderful. My favorite way to eat asparagus.

                  2. No such thing as veggie bbq. Only veggie grilling. Get your terminology straight. BBQ is long slow low smoked meat. What is it with people who can't use the term grilling and BBQ correctly?

                    5 Replies
                    1. re: sasan

                      She's throwing a BBQ. I feel like throwing one at you.

                      1. re: Hellfire

                        No, she is grilling.

                        See the Wikipedia definition.

                        Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbecue

                        1. re: sasan

                          Sure she is grilling. But she is throwing a bbq. You don't have a grill. you have a bbq. Oh yeah, and wiki pedia is filled with false info

                          1. re: again

                            Sasan, I do think your definition is very narrow. Also, Hellfire/Again is/are correct in that wikipedia is really not a definitive source. It's fun to read, and a good starting point. I know that the US, regionally, has really specific ideas about what consitutes barbeque. But you really can't tell a Northern Californian that there is no such thing as vegetarian BBQ. There's a vegetarian equivalent to everything in the meat world. However, I will try to make sure not to offend too many purists in my posts from now on.

                      2. re: sasan

                        wow... while you are technically true, does it matter? Especially in this sense when everyone knows what people are talking about? (and agree with the other poster that nowadays there are two meanings - the bbq "party" and bbq the meat...)

                        The semantic purity of a term is far less important - especially when put in such an abrupt way. And this is coming from a die hard Q guy...

                        - Adam

                      3. b
                        Bride of the Juggler

                        We had a vegetarian BBQ a few weekends ago. The highlights included:
                        -watermelon iced tea (blenderize watermelon and add to iced tea)
                        -chili relleno. Remove tops and seeds from poblano peppers (or regular peppers). Grill till soft. Use tongs to open up peppers and stick in some cheese. Grill until cheese melts. Serve on tortillas.
                        -grilled pineapple with tequila glaze (from epicurious)
                        -chocolate quesidillas (just used squares of chocolate and slivered almonds instead of cheese)

                        Also, when we grill asparagus we line them up and slide skewers through them to make a paddle shape. Then spritz with olive oil and grill.

                        Thank you.

                        1. I really like grilled polenta triangles/squares. People can mix and match w/ grilled veggies like portobellos, zucchini, radicchio, and bell pepper. For an unnecessary but tasty embellishment, add a thin slice of fontina on top to melt.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Carb Lover

                            That's a great and easy idea. Especially b/c I can make the polenta the day before. Thanks Carblover!

                          2. How about grilling falafel? These are the original veggie burgers and can be dressed up just like a burger with different fresh vegetables and sauces. Or you could stick with the classic tahini sauce and pita. They're not hard to make from chickpeas and favas but many places sell mixes which are decent. They are vegan if your guests are concerned about any meat products.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: cheryl

                              Yum yum. That is a definite yes.