Enjoy a Vegetarian BBQ

Author: Alecia Pirulis

Basket of Fruit and Vegetables

Basket of Fruit and Vegetables (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s National Vegetarian Week! With Memorial Day just around the corner, how about firing up the grill and making some vegetarian dishes? Before dismissing the idea – read on! Vegetarian cooking is more flavorful than you may think!

Start off with appetizers in the form of chips and salsa, buffalo “wings,” and fried wontons. While your guests are enjoying appetizers and drinks, you can prepare the star of the show – the main dish.

Before you think “veggie burger” or “tofu,” think Portobello! These thick, surprisingly filling mushrooms can be grilled up, burger-style. Marinate them first, and then use leftover marinade to baste them while cooking. Add tomato and lettuce on a bun, and enjoy. A Portobello mushroom has around 30 calories with no fat or cholesterol. According to the Mayo Clinic, the typical hamburger patty contains 235 calories, 16 grams of fat, and 76 milligrams of cholesterol.

For something a little less traditional, Portobello mushroom caps are ideal for stuffing – try this recipe from Eating Well magazine for Portobello mushrooms stuffed with plum tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, and Kalamata olives.

Prefer Kabobs? Use vegetables such as onions, button mushrooms, green peppers, zucchini, and eggplant to make some delicious veggie kabobs.

Side dishes can include simple grilled vegetables or something a little more complex, such as this recipe for sweet potatoes and toasted coconut. Add a little sweetness to your side by grilling pineapple slices.

End your vegetarian barbecue with dessert – ambrosia, berry cobbler, banana pudding, and chocolate rum pecan cookies are just a few options to end your celebration on a sweet note.