Meatless Summer BBQ Tips
As summer starts and you get your BBQ ready to enjoy those long evenings cooking outdoors with friends, instead of the usual meat-focused fare, why not try a few grilled vegetable recipes instead.
Giving up meat doesn’t mean you have to give up that smoky barbecue flavour, vegetables taste amazing on the grill, plus meatless grilling is an easy way to add more vitamin-packed, healthy seasonal produce into your diet, which can enhance your health and vitality.
Eating large amounts of meat, particularly red and processed meat, has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and various forms of cancer. It’s not just the amount of meat we eat — it’s also how we cook it, cooking meat at high temperatures, like pan frying and grilling/charring over an open flame forms chemical compounds in the meat that may be carcinogenic. Many of these chemicals are not formed when grilling vegetables or fruits.
So get grilling and take a break from meat with this these ten easy summer BBQ tips:
1 Most vegetables can be thrown right on the grill with just a light brushing of olive oil (delicious results guaranteed)! Eg. Fresh corn, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, pumpkin, capsicum.
2 Kebabs are a BBQ staple and make the perfect meatless entree. Add marinated tofu/tempeh cubes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted potatoes or any other vegetable that strikes your fancy.
3 Grilled fruit is amazing too. For a sweet side dish or dessert, try peach halves, pineapples, plums, melon, kiwifruit, pears or figs with an optional touch of pomegranate molasses or coconut nectar as marinade.
4 Swap a hamburger for a portobello mushroom burger or swap the meat rissole for grilled eggplant slices. Place BBQ vegetables on a bun and add your favourite toppings, avocados, caramelized onions, roasted capsicum, homemade dips or aioli, hummus, relish etc.
5 Try a veggie burger recipe that celebrates hearty, protein and fibre rich ingredients like black beans, lentils, quinoa and chickpeas. You can also find healthy pre-made patties at supermarkets and natural food stores like www.wisecicada.co.nz
6 Make a delicious, smoky pizza right on the grill plate — all you need is pizza dough, sauce and your favourite vegetables thinly sliced or pre-grilled.
7 Use your favourite marinade recipe to add flavour to extra firm tofu cubes. Grill them and add to a salad, serve them with grilled vegetables or enjoy them on their own.
8 Add BBQ grilled vegetables to a filling summer salad. Garnish fresh salad greens with nut cheese, nuts, olives, fresh herbs etc and drizzle olive oil and lemon juice to complete the dish; or concoct a bean or grain salad base for your grilled veges.
9 Consider your sides when planning a meatless BBQ. Pasta salads, raw vegetables and hummus style dips are great ways to turn your plant-based dishes into a full meal.
10 End the meal on a healthy note with a tray of fresh fruit or grilled fruit kebabs and don’t forget to pop open a bottle of kombucha!
Marinated, Grilled Tempeh ‘Ribs’ Recipe
1 250g packet organic tempeh from Tonzu
3 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons wheat free tamari soy sauce
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 tablespoon smoked paprika
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon sriracha or hot sauce
Slice the tempeh into 6 or 8 rectangles, depending how wide you want the “ribs” to be.
Steam the tempeh for 15 minutes to soften.
Whisk together lemon juice, oil, tamari, chili powder, smoked paprika, garlic, oregano and siriacha in a shallow dish or plate.
Arrange steamed tempeh in dish, turn to coat all over with marinade, cover and refrigerate, turning halfway through, for at least 2 hours or overnight.
Prepare a grill for medium heat cooking.
Grill tempeh, flipping once, until browned and hot throughout – about 4 minutes on each side.
Transfer to a plate and serve with barbecue sauce on the side.