Meatless Monday - Memorial Day Grilling

Grilled asparagus.jpg
Whenever I’ve mentioned the words “vegan” and “barbecue” in the same sentence, people tend to ask, “What do vegans grill?” I’ve even been asked by fellow vegans! The backyard barbecue grill can be used to cook a plethora of foods, and just a few of them happen to be meat, so the question really should be “What don’t vegans grill?”

The truth is that anything can be grilled, from veggie burgers and tofu pups to corn on the cob and baked potatoes. Grilling brings out the flavor in vegetables, so foods like zucchini, eggplant, and red pepper taste great after a few minutes on the barbecue. And fruit! Don’t even get me started on fruit. The perfect summertime dessert is a peach, sliced in half and pitted, grilled until it’s softened slightly and then drizzled with a little balsamic vinegar. Try it. You’ll thank me later.

Since today is the unofficial start of summer and people across the nation are hitting their backyard to fire up their barbecues, I thought I’d share some of my favorite meatless grilling recipes.

Grilled Romaine

  • 1 head romaine lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (flavored oilswork well with this dish)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (flavored vinegars also work well with this dish)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the grill to medium-high.

Leaving the stem on, slice the lettuce in half lengthwise. Rub each half with olive oil.

Grill the lettuce for 3 or 4 minutes, flip and grill the other side for 3 or 4 minutes, until grill marks appear. Remove from heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar.

Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and serve.


Grilled Asparagus

  •  One bunch of asparagus, tough ends removed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  •  Salt and Pepper to Taste

Heat the grill to medium-high.

Toss the asparagus with the oil and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Grill asparagus for about 5 minutes, turning at about the halfway point.

Remove from grill, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.

Grilled Tofu and Pineapple Kebabs

  •  1 package extra firm tofu, drained and cubed
  • 2 cups pineapple chunks, about an 1″ square
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chili sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons agave
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • metal or bamboo skewers

Mix all of the marinade ingredients together.

Thread the tofu, pineapple, bell pepper and onion onto the skewers. Depending on their size, you will have somewhere between 4 and 8 kebabs.

Place the kebabs in a baking dish and pour the marinade over them. Place the dish in the fridge and let marinate anywhere from 2 hours to overnight.

Lightly oil the grill and turn the heat on to medium-high. Once it’s hot, carefully place the kebabs on the grilling grate and close the grill’s lid. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning the kebabs once.

Remove the kebabs from the grill and serve. Be careful with the skewer – it will be hot!

For more delicious meatless-grilling recipes, check out Grilling Vegan Style by John Schlimm and Grills Gone Vegan by Tamasin Noyes.