Summer is coming to a close. We’ve had some good times, we’ve had some sunburns. What better way to commemorate the end of long days and good weather than with one epic last hurrah: an end of summer barbecue blow-out.
For the vegetarians among us, barbecues can be tricky. There aren’t always enough non-meat options. That’s why UncommonGoods has called upon its community of creators, bakers, and bloggers. We asked: “What’s your favorite vegetarian barbecue recipe?” This is what you all came up with.
1. Spicy Korean Brussel Sprout Tacos
Vegan blogger Izzy (of the delightful website Veganizzm) found the inspiration for this recipe after enjoying a similar dish at Winter Hill Brewing in Somerville, Massachussetts. The Chickpea Gyro and the Spicy Korean Brussel Sprouts were so delish, she decided to mix them together. So Izzy began experimenting with putting brussel sprouts in a wrap. Then she got creative and swapped the pita bread for tortillas. Voila: tacos!
Brussel sprouts are actually a perfect vegetable. Izzy explains, “They pick up flavors easily and have serious crunch appeal.” For the sauce, she modified a Sweet and Spicy Chili Sauce recipe from Kenji, which worked brilliantly.
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, stems removed and sliced in half
- 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 oz shiitake mushrooms (1 1/2 cups)
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 lime
- 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 6″ flour or corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup chili garlic sauce or gochujang
- 2 tablespoons tamari
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vineger
- 3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
- 3 medium cloves garlic, minced (about 1 tablespoon)
- 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
- 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil
Preheat oven to 350. Toss Brussels sprouts in 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (make sure they’re all coated lightly) and spread on a cookie sheet. Roast for 15-20 minutes, until crispy and slightly browned.
Whisk all the sauce ingredients together. Once the Brussels sprouts are done, toss them in the sauce and set aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a skillet and add the shiitakes. Sauté for 2-3 minutes, then stir in chili powder and juice of half the lime. Remove from heat and assemble tacos with brussel sprouts, shiitakes, sliced avocado, black beans and remaining lime juice.
2. Moroccan Chickpea and Quinoa Salad
If you’re not familiar with couscous, think of it as the rice of Moroccan cuisine. Couscous forms the base layer to a lot of great add-ins, like dried fruit, vegetables, herbs, nuts, spices and juices. Unfortunately, while couscous looks like a grain, it’s actually more like a very fine pasta. It contains gluten. That’s why health-conscious blogger Caitlin of The Vegan Chickpea came up with a delicious quinoa substitute.
After doing a lot of research into couscous substitutes, Caitlin realized that quinoa would make a great component in her own couscous-inspired dish. What she came up with might not be traditional, but it is a lightly-spiced and very delicious gluten-free alternative. This recipe features hearty chickpeas, sweet raisins, and crunchy pistachios for optimal end-of-summer enjoyment.
- 1 cup quinoa (I used red)
- 2 cups cooked chickpeas (or one 16 oz can, rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup pistachios
- 1/4 cup raisins
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp paprika
Rinse quinoa and cook according to package. When the quinoa is finish cooking, add in the cinnamon, cumin, and paprika, and mix until the spices are evenly dispersed. Add chickpeas, pistachios, and raisins, and mix thoroughly. Serve immediately.
3. Vegetable Kebabs
If you’ve never visited mystery writer Becki Green’s adorable food blog, The Vegetarian Detective, you are missing out. The site chronicles Becki’s adventures sleuthing in the world of meat-free and vegan cooking. Every recipe she takes on she calls a “case.” This time, she cracks the case of Vegetable Kebabs. Here’s the scoop:
- 2 rounded tsps (for 2 cups) vegetable bouillon powder
- 2 tbsps hickory-smoked barbecue sauce
- 1 tsp vinegar
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 2 tbsps soya sauce
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- pinch paprika
- pinch rosemary
- pinch oregano
- pinch onion powder
- pinch basil
- pinch parsley
- 16 oz medium mushrooms
- 2 red peppers, cubed
- 4 zucchinis, thickly sliced
- 1/8 cup olive oil
Soak at least 8 wooden skewers in water.
Mix together all the marinade ingredients—vegetable bouillon powder to pepper to taste—in a large bowl. Add the vegetables and marinate for an hour or more.
Thread the vegetables on the skewers, baste with the olive oil, and grill on the BBQ or broil on the middle rack of oven. This recipe serves 4.
For and added bonus: serve on creamy whipped potatoes and chickpeas and drizzle with warmed marinade.
4. Pineapple BBQ Tofu
This simple recipe for Pineapple BBQ Tofu comes from Cindy Gordon, the tofu-sizzling mastermind behind one of my favorite healthy cooking blogs, Vegetarian Mamma. Cindy and her family eat tofu pretty regularly, so she’s always looking for new ways to make the textures and the flavors interesting.
This Pineapple BBQ Tofu is delicious and easy. It doesn’t even require firing up the grill: you can make it in your broiler! But what makes this recipe really great is the special sauce.
One thing Cindy does is that she presses her raw tofu to get rid of extra moisture. This allows the tofu to cook better, and it also holds flavors better this way, too. Then she marinates her freshly-pressed tofu for 2 hours in an amazing BBQ sauce.
For more details on the sauce, visit the original recipe here. Thanks for sharing, Vegetarian Mamma!
5. Creamy Vegan Mac and Cheese
A lot of vegans agree that the most difficult flavor to reproduce if you’re not using dairy products is, well, cheese. So when we came across this delicious, creamy and, yes—cheesy!—Vegan Mac and Cheese recipe from Tara Mathews, author of VegeTARAian, we knew it was a winner.
This recipe works great with macaroni, penne, spiral pasta, or elbow pasta. You could even try it with wholemeal or gluten free pasta if you prefer. Just remember that if you’re cooking for gluten free friends, skip the bread crumbs topping.
Another great tip? Bake your Vegan Mac and Cheese in a disposable baking tray so that it’s easy to transport to your barbecue or picnic. Afterwards, you’ll have less washing up to do. If you’re feeling less generous, you could use two smaller trays and leave half at home.
Visit the original recipe on Tara’s website.
6. Lemon Asparagus Pasta Salad with Cucumber and Feta
…and banana peppers, and avocado oil, champagne vinegar and…. let’s just state the obvious: this salad rocks!
Jenn of Peas and Crayons explains:
[It’s] Easy enough to toss together in a hurry, this tasty pasta salad is great for busy weekdays, lazy weekends, and all your summer parties and barbecues!
When the craving for pasta salad struck I couldn’t shake it, yet I was missing all the usual suspects! I was clear out of tomatoes and bell peppers and running dangerously low on olive oil. Of course running out of ingredients has it’s perks, and improvising has lead to my favorite P&C recipes!
In fact, running out of pantry and produce staples led to this tasty salad, this wildly addictive side dish, and even my bell pepper pizzas! Talk about awesome! What’s even more awesome is that we now get to add this finger-licking pasta salad to the list! It’s light and crisp and so. flipping. good.
Get Jenn’s full recipe here.