The grilling season was always tough on vegetarians and vegans. Basically, the only things you could eat were some grilled frozen veggies or marinated zucchini. Nowadays, more and more people, especially younger ones, are turning to a plant-based diet. According to The Atlantic report, about 25% of people between the ages of 25 and 34 gave up eating meat. This increased demand for non-meat products has resulted in an entire industry of high-quality meat replacements.
So, what are the best alternatives for the popular meat-based dishes you’ll find at a BBQ? Can you be a vegetarian and still enjoy tasty burgers?
Fake Meat for Burgers
Burgers are essentially two pieces of bread, some veggies, and a big piece of meat. How can you replace it so it will suit your vegetarian taste buds? Here are some of the possible choices.
Tofu is made of condensed soy milk that is pressed and made similarly to regular cheese. It’s known for its spongy texture and lack of taste, but it’s not entirely true. Tofu can have a spectacular taste if you know how to make it properly. One of the ways involves freezing and pressing it again. This way, it becomes extra-firm. When it comes to taste, spices and marinades are essential for making an excellent tofu steak. It can absorb a lot of flavors, so don’t hold back on the seasoning.
Cooked jackfruit can be a fantastic alternative for pulled pork burgers. After heating in any way, jackfruit loses its taste, and the only thing left is the texture. With BBQ sauce and enough seasoning, you will hardly see any difference! You can prepare it in a few different ways depending on your current mood – Mexican, Indian, American, etc.
After tofu, it is the best soy-based meat replacement you can find in stores. Tempeh is made with pressed, fermented soybeans, so it has a minced meat shape and texture. You can marinate it or bread it like chicken breast and toss it on the grill. Remember that veggies like this one have a different grilling time and require different temperatures than regular meat, so it is best to have a grill with precise temperature control (you can check this Blaze Kamado review for more information about heat control).
Legumes are inexpensive meat alternatives that are healthy, filling, and they come in so many different types! They are also the easiest to prepare. You can buy frozen legume-based hamburger meat that is ready to grill. Some brands have mastered the art of flavoring, so they taste almost the same as real beef. The only thing you have to remember is that most of them are already very salty, so go easy if you are going to add salty cheeses and sauces.
Veggie Hot Dogs
You can create delicious veggie hot dogs by using various pre-made veggie sausages or roasted vegetables. The most popular vegetables are carrots grilled with cumin and seasoned cabbage on top.
The most important thing when doing carrot dogs is roasting them low and slow. This way, they will become tender, and the taste of spices will come out. Carrots are healthy and low-calorie, so they are the best for people keeping their diet.
It is common to use plant-based sausages made mostly from soy or peas. There is a large selection of brands and types in every supermarket and vegetarian stores. You can choose from well-spiced to a delicate tasting.
You don’t need expensive beef to enjoy a great steak from time to time. Various kinds of vegetables can be roasted to make a juicy dish. The most favored by vegan gourmet cooks are listed below.
Top Chef Richard Carstens loves to treat mushrooms like steak meat. He makes them with smoked paprika and garlic cream. The excellent taste comes from adding teriyaki glaze and roasting them medium-rare.
Cauliflower steaks are cheap, healthy, and quick to make. They are best brushed gently with seasoned olive oil and grilled on the BBQ until tender. If you haven’t tried them yet, you are in for a real treat!
When the leaves outside start to fall but the weather is still warm and sunny, the best fitting BBQ dish is a butternut steak. They are easy to prepare, and when you apply the classic steakhouse butter-basting technique, they just melt in your mouth. You can add garlic and oregano for a stronger taste, but they are also excellent without it!
The Bottom Line
Vegans and vegetarians are no longer excluded from group meals and fun activities because they chose a different life path. We hope that this information will help you make your friends and family positively surprised with new tastes.
These delightful dishes will make excellent dinner for both adults and kids. They are fast, easy to make, and cheaper than regular meat-based courses. You can try adding various sauces and side dishes like greek tzatziki sauce (great addition to cauliflower steaks).
Have fun with ingredients and spices; that’s how modern cuisine is made – with some effort and unique ideas!