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Vegetarian options for BBQ

We are hosting a neighborhood get together, with a menu centered around BBQ. I will be doing pulled pork and a brisket. Sides will be traditional BBQ fare: beans, collards, corn on the cob, cole slaw and wonder bread.

What do I offer the vegeterian attendees? I plan on leaving the bacon out of the beans, but I would love some other good ideas that fit with menu as a whole. In other words, I would prefer not to have a random tofu curry for the non-meat eaters, alongside the que.

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  1. skewers of grilled and marinaded veggies are always good, along with cornbread. If you want to move slightly away from a BBQ motif, one of those Bisquick Impossible pies made with cheese, onion and broccolli(or aspargus) is usally a hit with my vegetarian friends - even the non-vegetarians love it. Add some ham or cooked bacon or sausage it's pretty good too for them. And it's easy, re-heats well

    1. Would definately do kabobs of vegies. And of course a fantastic salad. I'm not vegitarian but love to fill up on great vegies. Also, something no one does anymore but big pita pockets, cut in half to have salad in a pocket. Makes a nice sandwich for those not doing the meat.

      1. How about BBQ beans (the usually have bacon, but can be made without). And some sort of rice or pasta salad. A great potato salad and slaw are both things vegetarians can eat.

        1. Grilled veggies are fantastic....bell peppers, onions, zucchini, asparagus, skewered cherry tomatoes, portabella mushrooms, etc etc. I usually cut everything into big strips, brush with olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt and then toss them on the grill.

          They're hugely popular with the carnivores too, so I'd make alot!

          1. Halloumi and vegetable kabobs
            Grilled vegetable panzanella
            BBQed portobellos
            Jalapeno cornbread and white bean dip
            New potato salad

            1. As a different sort of side to my pulled pork a few weeks ago, I made a panzanella salad with corn breads, fresh tomatoes, red onions and grilled green tomatoes. It was great. You could come up with some variation (like, you wouldn't need the green tomatoes, but some raw fresh corn would be awesome in this, or some lima beans). That way it really fits the theme, it's hearty, and carnivores will like it as a side.

              5 Replies
              1. re: katecm

                I've been addicted to panzanella salads lately (with many variations, corn is unbelievable in it) but I keep hearing about corn bread and haven't done it yet. What do you use for the corn bread? Buy one of those corn bread squares, and cut it up into cubes, maybe bake it???

                1. re: lexpatti

                  I made the cornbread mysef, but basically, yeah, that's what I did. I baked it in a larger pan than normal so it would only be about an inch high, then cubed it, sprayed the cubes with Pam, and baked them until they hardened enough. Not croutons, but definitely harder and drier so that they would hold up when tossed with the dressing.

                  1. re: katecm

                    That sounds great. I love the idea of using grilled green tomatoes to continue the sourthern bbq theme. What did you use as a dressing?

                    1. re: Frobisher

                      Just a honey mustard vinaigrette. Whisk together honey and mustard to taste, add some salt and pepper, then drizzle in some vinegar (I usually use cider vinegar or sherry vinegar), then finish with oil.

                    2. re: katecm

                      Thank you, yum yum and yum!!! I love a dressing of fresh lemon juice & olive oil (sometimes adding mustard and honey)

                2. Acuallyy, beans, collards, corn on cob, and cole slaw is a lot of food already.

                  I would make a big pan of baked mac and cheese

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: laliz

                    everyone will glom onto a big pan of baked mac and cheese!

                  2. Tempeh, tempeh, tempeh! A very popular street food in Indonesia (or so I've been told). It'll go well with BBQ sauce.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Richard 16

                      I was going to say bbq tofu is yummy! I think tempeh would be tasty too! :)

                    2. Along with the grill-roasted veggies, brush some crusty italian bread cut into thick slices with EVOO and throw it on the grill. They can make sandwiches out of the grilled veggies.

                      Also, put a whole BUNCH of garlic cloves in foil with olive oil and throw that on the grill too. Makes a great spread for the bread/veggies.

                      This is one of my favorite things to eat PERIOD, not just at a BBQ.

                      You could also make goat cheese or something available. Havarti would be great too, esp. if left at room temp so it will be melty.

                      I heartily second Jung Mann's idea of white bean dip. YUM! White beans, garlic, rosemary, sea salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil. More perfect food never existed.

                      1. Not really BBQ themed, but a nice summer offering: if they eat hard cheeses (i.e., ones that may potentially involve rennet), make foil packets of a big slice of feta or haloumi (or saganaki), a moderately thick slice of tomato, slice of onion, some herbs, wrap them up tight and heat them through until they get all soft and toasty! If you have a grill on, that's even better :) I would put it in sort of indirect heat, but feta can take surprisingly long to heat through). Have crusty bread on hand to eat them with, and make sure the meat eaters haven't scooped up all the packets before the vegetarians get a chance! :)

                        1. That grilled halloumi kebab idea is a winner. I'd also serve grilled portobello stacks: grill a marinated portobello cap gill side down, then flip it over and fill it with goat cheese, roasted red pepper, avocado slice and a slice of tomato. Grill it until hot. With a halloumi kebab, that's fine eatin'!

                          1. I second the kabobs but my other suggestion would be this salad I made today - it was a huge hit... and a complete protein to boot: http://dinnerwithjulie.com/2008/07/03...

                            HTH :)

                            1. A grilled, marinated, portabella cap on a bun with (or without) cheese and burger fixin's (grilled onions, etc.) is a very satisfying alternative.

                              1. Buy a small whole camembert - the kind that comes in a wooden box. Remove the plastic wrapper and put the cheese back in the box. (Will work with any kind of rinded cheese which comes in a box.) Prick all over, rub with garlic and drizzle over some white wine. Put the lid back on the box and put on the BBQ (you can do this when it's really dying down). Grill for around 20 minutes, when the cheese should be molten - easy fondue! Serve with raw veggies and some good bread. Your friends, vegetarian or not, will love you.

                                1 Reply
                                1. Slice polenta (1" thick), spray or brush with a little olive oil. Grill, turn over when starting to brown a little. Spoon something (tomato,mushroom, eggplant, etc.) you would top bruschetta with on the grilled side, sprinkle a little cheese (feta, goat, whatever flavor works) on top. Cover the grill for a few minutes, remove when cheese has started to melt and just starting to brown. This makes a nice appetizer too. Works really well with a lemon/pepper marinated feta.

                                  1. I really like this quinoa salad for summer get togethers - it makes a great side, but can also be a meal on its own:


                                    Even my meat-loving, new-food-fearing east Tennessee coworkers loved this when I brought it to a potluck.