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Help: Graduation BBQ for Meat eaters vs. Veg. Heads

Can anyone help me come up with some ideas for my daughters graduation party? She wants BBQ. We are foodies, will gladly smoke our own brisket, make pulled pork. But the problems is.. we are also hosting the party with a graduating Vegetarian. Her family and most of the guest are NON foodies. Am I doomed to search for interesting pasta salads that I hope teenagers like?I don't think they even like portabella mushroom burgers. I wasn't planning on Bocca burgers, but I might just be reduced to them if I can't figure out any ideas. Anyone got any ideas? Thanks.

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  1. If they're non-foodie vegs then I'd suggest having boca/garden/morningstar/tofurky on hand. I think you could put together some veggie and fruit kabobs that would please both crowds. Also, I thought ofa build your own fajita or taco bar so you guys could grill the meat you want while leaving options for the non-meat eaters (portabellas are great here). Quinoa, couscous, orzo and tortelini are good options for room-temp salads. Good luck.

    1. You might want to just pick up a box of frozen Gardenburgers or something similar. I'm sure the vegetarians are used to eating them and would be glad you made the "effort" to provide veggie food. Or you could try grilling some veggies. Get a variety, and the girl will have to be satsified. Pick up a portabella, zucchini, red bell pepper, maybe an ear of corn. Grilled asparagus, whole garlic cloves, and onion slices are delicious too.

      I don't eat meat and when I go to my family's for BBQs, I am completely satisfied with having an array of grilled veggies. My mom has been doing this for me the last few years and it's not like the meat eaters don't enjoy the veggies too. I personally don't really like "fake meat" products; would rather eat "real" vegetables. I just pile them onto a bun with some fresh mozzarella or whatever's around and eat it without condiments. Another thing I love is piling corn, beans, rice, avocado, grilled bell peppers, zucchini, etc. into a corn tortilla and topping it with my mom's fresh salsa. Believe me, the appreciation is there when I have a "main" course I'm able to eat. Nothing's worse than being stuck eating chips and french fries for dinner at a BBQ...

      Either way, it's very thoughtful of you to consider her needs. I'm Greek and the rest of my family gatherings don't usually include anything I can eat. Dinner rolls and water, anyone?

      Good luck.

      2 Replies
      1. re: nothingswrong

        Why does being Greek make it any different for you than any other meat centric ethnicity? I was under the impression that Mediterranean cuisine used a lot of vegetables, pasta and rice?

        1. re: John E.

          yes, they do eat a lot of those things. but at least in my family it's unheard of not to "like" meat or eat it. they always think there's something wrong with me for not wanting to dig into a roasted lamb or pig. luckily, like you said--there are tons of grains and vegetables used in greek cooking so i have good options for a satisfying meal. but i think it's a cultural thing. there's always ground beef or lamb hidden in pasta dishes (pastitsi) and seafood everywhere.

      2. In addition to grilled veggies and starches (i.e. potatoes, yams, etc.), why not throw some pizza on the grill. Who doesn't like vegetarian pizza, or even focaccia?

        1 Reply
        1. re: ipsedixit

          That's a great call, you're exactly right, especially with teenagers. I use it as an entree for vegetarians at a lot of my gatherings.

        2. how much trouble are you willing to go to...

          if so inclined, you could easily make Black Bean Burgers or Chickpea Cutlets or Quinoa Patties or Lentil Burgers...

          you could also do a crockpot of Chili

          agree with grilled veggies and/or kebabs -- feel free to coat some tofu with blackening seasoning and add them to the skewers in cubes

          1. i'd go with kebabs. for the meat eaters, you could have barbeque chicken, onions, and pineapple, and for the vegetarians, you could have tofu, onions, pineapple, and bell peppers.