I admit that I love grilled meat. I love grilled vegetables too - as a side dish to BBQ meat! But I did finally learn a few simple barbecue vegetarian recipes after a vegetarian friend started joining us on some of our summer gatherings. Sure, you can do the usual veggie burgers or veggie dogs, but there's much more than that! Here are a few quick and easy (and tasty, too, our friend assures us) vegetarian BBQ treats.
Portobello mushrooms have a 'meaty' texture and can substitute as a burger. Separate the stems from the caps of four large portobello mushrooms. Put the stems aside for something else. You don't really need a recipe for portobello mushrooms - you could just lightly oil them and then throw them on the barbecue - but for some extra flavour, brush them with a yummy sauce first. Mix together 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp melted butter, 2 tsp fresh minced garlic, 2 tsp lemon juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Brush this mixture over the mushroom caps. Grill over medium / medium-hot heat for about 6-8 minutes per side, or until the mushroom is tender. Add a bun and all the fixings, and you have yourself an easy and tasty vegetarian burger!
These are super-delicious and also super-easy. Peel the potatoes then slice them into 3/4" to 1" slices. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, minced garlic, salt & pepper. Use your hands to make sure all the slices are coated. Place the slices on a lightly greased, doubled-up piece of tinfoil (for easier handling, you might want to divide up the slices among several tinfoil packets). Put small pats of butter here and there on top of the slices before sealing up the tinfoil packet(s). Barbecue for about 45-60 minutes over a hot grill, until the sweet potatoes are soft.
While you don't have to skewer your tofu, it makes it easier to handle. Make sure you buy extra firm tofu to start. You will then need to drain the tofu to remove excess moisture and allow more flavour to be absorbed from the marinade (see instructions below). Cut the drained tofu into chunks, about 1/2" to 1". Marinate about 1 pound of tofu (make sure all sides of the tofu have been coated in marinade) in a covered container in the refrigerator for at least an hour to overnight. Create the marinade from a mixture of: 3/4 cup of orange juice concentrate, 3/4 cup of brown sugar, 2 tsp ground ginger, 2 tsp garlic powder, 2 tbsp sesame oil, and 2 tbsp soy sauce.
Thread the marinated tofu chunks onto soaked bamboo skewers. Grill over medium heat for 4-6 minutes per side, depending on the thickness of the tofu. The sugar in the marinade helps to create a crispy outer layer on the tofu. Serve hot!
How to drain tofu: place the tofu on 2 or 3 sheets of folded paper towels. Place another layer of paper towels on top, and gently press so that the water in the tofu is absorbed by the towels. Repeat a couple of times, changing paper towels when wet. Then place the tofu on dry paper towels again and place another layer of towels on top. Put a cutting board on top and add a heavy flat book (but not so heavy that it will crush the tofu!). Leave it there for 15 minutes or so to squeeze out the extra liquid.
Stuffed peppers are very easy to make and are delicious. Cut small peppers in half or larger peppers into quarters or wide strips (big enough so that the strips form a shallow 'bowl'). Scoop out the seeds and discard. Wash, dry, and lightly rub with olive oil. You can fill it with whatever you like (some suggestions below). Drizzle with a bit of oil or melted butter for extra flavour. Grill at medium-high heat for about 15-20 minutes or until the pepper is soft and lightly charred.
Pineapple rings or spears, and sliced apples work great on the grill. If you like, you can first add a little bit of 'marinade' - basically just a squeeze or two of orange or lemon juice. Then sprinkle with a little sugar and cinnamon and grill over medium heat for a few minutes per side. Watch carefully! The sugars in the fruit and on the glaze burn easily. Don't overcook or the fruit will fall apart. Absolutely wonderful as a dessert.
If you're looking specifically for grilled vegetables, check out our BBQ vegetable recipes section. It includes favourites like barbecue corn, potatoes, and asparagus!