It's official. Summer is drenching us with sunny warmth, longer days, and lots of reasons to avoid being boxed in by walls and roofs. It also means it's grilling season—and vegan grilling is a worthwhile pursuit.
Anyone can plop a piece of meat onto a grill. But vegan grilling takes finesse. Call it skill. Are you thinking: "What's so difficult about plopping a veggie burger on the grill?" Nothing. But why limit yourself to a burger? Besides, let's face it. Veggie burgers aren't really best suited for grills. They stick. They crumble. They rarely sizzle. It's a rather boring affair. At best it feeds you, but little else is remarkable about a veggie burger on the grill.
Want to take your vegan grilling up a notch? Give these ideas a try:
1. Kebabs: Everyone loves a kebab. And you can go any route—from a skewer full of seasonal veggies (think zucchini, chunks of corn, tomatoes, peppers and mushrooms), or chunks of marinated tofu or seitan, to this yummy recipe for strawberry kebabs.
2. The Artichoke: Steamed artichokes are quite delicious. But on the grill? It's a whole new world. This grilled artichoke recipe is easy and one of the most fun for summertime vegan grilling.
3. Eggplant: A juicy, marinated eggplant loves a good grilling. It can take on most any flavor exceptionally well. Marinate Italian style, Asian, even slathered in barbecue sauce. Make it into a sandwich. A taco. Smash it up and turn it into a dip.
4. Portobellos: Most any mushroom will grill up deliciously, but if you want that "meaty" experience, go for a whole Portobello cap. Marinate them as well for a few hours and you'll have a juicy, sizzling "burger" that doesn't stick or crumble. Yummy.
5. Endive: When we think grilling, we most often think hearty main courses, forgetting that salads and appetizers can be grilled, too. Endive, the bitter Belgian lettuce, loves the grill. Slather it in olive oil and grill just about a minute or two on each side. Serve with a spicy mustard dressing, cherry tomatoes and sliced avocado…delish!
6. Pizza: Vegan pizza is no fad. In fact, it's a booming enterprise. You can get in on the action with your own vegan grilled pizza. Seriously. Just do it. At least once.
7. Grilled KALE? Behold the holy grail... Er, Kale. Kale heads will eat just about anything if there's kale in it. And this recipe combines the best of vegan grilling with kale. It's not vegan, but just omit the ricotta and etch another notch in your kale bucket list.
Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger
Image: Aamer Javed