Summer is in full swing and backyard BBQs are officially a thing. As a non-meat eater I know that sometimes it can be strange attending these food-based parties when we won’t eat a majority of the stereotypical BBQ foods.
If you’ve attending a meat heavy BBQ as a vegetarian, you’ve probably had people ask you why you won’t eat the hot dogs and burgers. People may think it’s strange at first. But honestly, who cares what anyone else thinks? Chances are they will try the food you brought and actually really like it! Also while everyone is passed out with the “meat sweats” you will be sitting pretty.
My advice in attending a BBQ as a vegan or vegetarian is to ask what they will be serving and bring whatever you need to feel well fed. And bring extra in case your friends want to try something different!
A burger doesn’t have to have meat to be delicious. There are many meatless options at the grocery store now. Some of my favorite meatless patties are: Qrunch, Dr. Praegers, and Gardein. However, there are so many brands out there, so go out to your local grocery store and just try something! Almost every store will have a Morningstar or a Garden Burger patty. And those are great alternatives especially after you assemble all of your toppings of the burger.
If you prefer to make a patty yourself, there are thousands of recipes online and in cookbooks that can tell you exactly how to that. I probably have about 15 veggie burger recipes bookmarked on my computer alone. Just search the web and see what looks good! Try whipping up this simple black bean burger recipe from allrecipes.com. This one tastes great and isn’t ridiculously hard to make. Or if you’re feeling more daring, make this letil cauliflower burger from vegan blogger Vegan Richa. I have not made it yet, but I plan to because, do you see how delicious it looks?
Part of what makes a burger so delicious is the toppings. So throw on your favorite add-ons and you won’t be able to tell the difference between your burger and the meaty ones. Your friends may not notice the difference either! I’ve certainly tricked some friends with a vegan patty before!
If you are not into fake meat, that is fine too! Not eating meat or dairy allows you to save room for the delicious sides. Chips, guacamole, salsa, watermelon, beer, corn on the cob, baked beans, margaritas, veggie kabobs, colorful salads, and whatever else your heart desires. Sometimes the sides are better than the main event anyway!
You may be saying to yourself that a lot of sides are made with butter. but this is an easy swap you can ask your friends to make for you. Vegan butter brands like Earth Balance taste great and work the same… your friends will be saying I can’t believe it’s not butter! (I had to say it)
Meat is such a predominate thing at BBQ’s, sometimes people forget that other things can go on the grill too! Grilled vegetables are great. Cut up some carrots, zucchini, sweet potatoes, asparagus, corn… the list goes on and on. Many people who aren’t avid veggie eaters typically enjoy grilled vegetables at a BBQ. Something about the grill makes everything taste better. Fruit tastes amazing grilled too… grilled pineapple, peaches… I’m getting hungry just thinking about it. Lots of people think that everything tastes good deep fried, but I say everything tastes good grilled. Veggie or not.