By Malee Oot May 25, 2014
So, this vegetarian walks into a barbeque…an awkward hush falls over the party but for the distinct sizzle of meat on the grill.
Summer is indisputably the season of the grill—a time to flaunt the balmy outdoor conditions and do as much cooking as possible in the scorching glow of a controlled backyard fire. But, there is one question to stump even the most accomplished backyard chefs—what to grill for vegetarians. Don’t panic, put down the kielbasa, there are a number of delicious ways to create barbeque dishes for vegetarians. Here are a three of my favorite meat-free menu options for a good old fashioned summer barbeque.
Grilled Stuffed Peppers
This recipe serves four people, and is a great way to repurpose leftovers (this recipe uses rice, foods like leftover couscous could also be used, as well as other leftover vegetables, like onions and tomatoes).
1 cup rice
2 cups water
2 large peppers (green, yellow, or red)
2 ears of corn
First, prepare the rice. Boil two cups of water and add the 1 cup of rice, cover and allow to cook for 16-20 minutes. Remove the rice and set aside. Meanwhile, place the peppers (whole) and the corn on the grill. Allow the corn to cook completely, but just allow the peppers to roast without becoming too soft, turn them frequently and remove from the grill and set aside temporarily. Allow the corn to finish grilling and then remove from the grill. Once peppers have cooled enough to handle, cut each pepper in half and remove the insides. Fill each pepper half with 4-5 tablespoons of rice. Then, return to the corn and using a knife, take the corn off the cobs. Distribute the corn evenly on top of the rice in each one of the pepper halves. Top each pepper half with cilantro. Gently return the stuffed pepper halves to the grill for about five minutes and allow the peppers to finish cooking. Remove carefully using tongs and serve immediately.
Grilled Garlic Butter Naan Pizzas with Fresh Tomato, Basil and Fennel
Making naan is actually quite simple—and cooking these pizzas on the grill makes the naan even more authentic. The garlic butter can also be repurposed a number of ways, including as a marinade for preparing other summer vegetables on the grill.
First, to make the garlic butter
10 tablespoons butter
4-5 cloves garlic
2 drops lemon juice
Place the butter in a small mixing bowl and allow it to soften. While the butter is softening, crushed the garlic (use garlic press if you have one) if not, just try to mince the garlic as finely as possible. Combine the garlic with the softened butter and add 1-2 drops lemon juice while mixing. Let the garlic butter sit in the refrigerator to harden.
Then, the naan. Naan is actually quite easy to make at home, and if done on the grill, also makes a versatile appetizer or delicious addition to a meal.
1 ½ cups warm water
¾ tablespoon active dry yeast
3 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
First, add the 1 ½ cups warm water to a small bowl. Add the yeast to the water and allow to dissolve. Then slowly add the flour and 1-2 pinches of salt and mix gently until a dough forms. Allow the dough to sit for 20-30 minutes. Then, transfer the dough into a well-floured surface. Using a bread knife (a serrated knife), cut the ball of dough into quarters. Roll each quarter out on the to form an oblong shape. Heat a skillet with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the naan oblongs over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes a side. Set the naan aside for the final step.
Now, for the pizza topping. This stage will involve using your outdoor grill.
½ large onion (or one small onion)
1 large tomato
1 handful fresh basil leaves
1 handful fresh fennel
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
Rough chop the onion and the tomato. Tear the basil and fennel and set aside in a small bowl. Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a small frying pan and add the onion and a pinch of salt. Allow the onion to cook about 2 minutes then add the tomatoes. Cook another two minutes. Then remove from heat. Return to the garlic butter and naan you made earlier. Fire up your grill. Spread a generous portion of garlic butter on each piece of naan, and lay the pieces out on your grill. Allow the garlic better to melt and then top the naan with the tomato and onion combination. Allow to cook for about 5 minutes, being careful not to burn the naan. Top with the fresh basil and fennel.
Concocting the perfect veggie burger is a great way for chefs of any caliber to get creative. There are a number of options for healthy and tasty ingredients sure to win over even the most hardcore carnivore, but this simple, tried and tested recipe produces an easy to make veggie burger that retains its shape.
1 large sweet potato
½ a large onion
¾ cup breadcrumbs
1 handful fresh cilantro
Peel and dice the sweet potato and add to a small pot of boiling water. Boil the sweet potato until it is soft enough to mash (check the potato pieces occasionally with a fork to assess readiness). While the sweet potato is boiling, dice the onion as finely as possible and set aside. Once the sweet potato has softened, mash the sweet potato and add the diced onion pieces, bread crumbs and cilantro. Mix all the ingredients together gently until well combined. Form into patties and grill (either on a grill or inside using 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and a frying pan).