First off, no, Vegan grilling does not mean just throwing some veggies on the grill. Vegan recipes can be diverse and layered in flavors and textures. Whether you are looking to satisfy your own tastes or incorporate Vegan grilling into your wheelhouse for friends and family, these tips and recipes will keep you coming back for more!
It can be hard for those who are not Vegan to wrap their heads around what is and what isn't Vegan. Here are the basics when it comes to Veganism.
- Definition of Vegan | The Vegan Society defines Veganism as, "a philosophy and way of living which seeks to exclude—as far as is possible and practicable—all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing, and any other purpose." Strict Vegans will also abstain from products like honey and leather.
- Dos and Don'ts | To avoid any confusion, there are a few notable points about Vegans that are sometimes overlooked.
- Eggs, fish sauce, dairy, etc. Vegans DO NOT eat the by-products of animals. That means no fish sauce, no eggs, no dairy of any kind and so on. Strict Vegans won't eat honey either.
- Processed foods. Vegans DO have to be mindful when choosing prepared foods. Many processed foods, even Vegan, are high in fats, sugars and chemical ingredients. A product labelled Vegan or Organic isn't necessarily a gold seal for something healthy or nutritious.
- B12 is naturally found in animal sources. Therefore, Vegans DO NOT have access to natural sources. A B12 supplement is highly recommended for anyone following a Vegan diet.
- Protein. While Vegans don't eat meat, eggs or dairy, they DO have a variety of options when it comes to getting their protein. Anyone who decides to be Vegan must understand the concept of a complete protein.
- Our bodies contain 11/20 amino acids necessary for our health. That means that 9/20 need to come from our diet.
- Foods that contain all nine amino acids are Quinoa, Buckwheat, Hempseed, Blue-green Algae, and Soybeans.
- You can also combine partial, incomplete protein sources that complement each other, providing the nine amino acids your body needs. For example, nuts and seeds + whole grains (peanut butter on toast), whole grains + legumes (beans and rice, pita and hummus, etc.), and beans + nuts and seeds (salad with chickpeas and seeds).
It's important to remember that every individual is different, and therefore the benefits of any diet are relative. It's also vital to note that healthy Vegan eating includes proper nutrition education and consultation with your doctor to eliminate potential risks associated with a Vegan diet.
That said, incorporating Vegan recipes into a balanced diet is a fantastic choice for improving health and wellness.
When it comes to grilling Vegan, there are secret tricks of the trade that can make every BBQ session a successful one.
- Foil | Opt for the ultra-strong, BBQ-friendly aluminum foil. Useful in so many ways, it especially makes an excellent packet for steaming food and retaining all the flavor and juices.
- Grill Mat | A grill mat or even parchment paper makes a great bed for grilling and helps to prevent sticking or food from falling through the grill.
- Grill Bags | Mesh grill bags are exceptional, especially for recipes like mixed vegetables. They are basically metal mesh baggies that snap to close, made for easy and perfect grilling.
- Avocado Oil | Avocado oil spray is a favorite among Vegan grillers for its high smoking temp and neutral flavor.
- The Grill | Gas, charcoal or pellet – it's really up to personal preference. The best grill for vegan grilling is the result of an educated selection process.
There are myriads of Vegan grilling recipes on the web. To start you off, here are three delicious Vegan go-to's that are quick and simple to master.
Veggie Steaks | We aren't claiming that a veggie steak will taste like the real deal, but it will taste crazy good! Not to mention there is no "recipe" for this one. Serve these up with a side salad and baked potato for a complete meal.
- Cut or trim your veggies into 1" thick slices. (Beets, Cauliflower, Cabbage, Squash, Celery Root, Portobello Mushrooms, Eggplant etc.)
- Mix up your favorite spices (dried and/or fresh), salt & pepper, and add your choice of grilling oil. Get creative and try Cajun, Jamaican or Korean spice mixes.
- Slather those vegetable steaks in your seasoned oil.
- Roast them on your grill using a bed of parchment paper or a grilling-mat on medium heat, turning once.
- Depending on the vegetable, these take anywhere in between 20-40 minutes to roast to perfection.
- Garnish with fresh herbs, salsa, kimchi, etc.
Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce | This satay recipe is great for BBQs, whether it's a finger-foods type meal or a sit-down dinner. Check out com for the full recipe.
- If you are using wooden skewers, get those babies soaking the morning of, if not the night before.
- Cube your skewer ingredients to 1" cubes. Use nice firm tofu, along with baby corn, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes.
- Marinate your skewer ingredients in a Ziploc or bowl for at least 30 minutes.
- While they marinate, make the peanut sauce.
- When you are ready to grill, place the skewers on a grill mat over medium-high heat. Grill until brown and repeat for each side of the skewer.
- Serve them up on a platter, next to a bowl of peanut sauce.
Black Bean Burger | This is the ultimate black bean burger recipe; just ask com. You can even pick up some vegan mayo and cheese to top your burger.
- Partially dry out your can of black beans in the oven. Lay them out in a single layer on a baking sheet for 15 minutes at 325° F. This will remove excess moisture and prevent a mushy burger.
- Sauté your garlic, onion and pepper, providing the flavor base of the burger. Blot with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.
- Combine your sauté mix and beans, mashing them with a fork or in a food processor. Be sure to leave the mix chunky, as opposed to smooth, for a better texture.
- Add cumin, BBQ sauce, smoked paprika, Vegan feta (optional) and chili pepper to your burger mix.
- Add a binder combo. As a vegan alternative, use 1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed + 3 Tbsp hot water for every egg suggested or 1/3c. mashed sweet potato.
- Mix everything together and form the burgers, using 1/3 c. of the mixture per patty.
- Grill on greased foil at medium-high heat, 8 minutes on each side.
There you have it; Vegan grilling made easy! WE LOVE FIRE is an inspirational site designed to enlighten and inform you about the exciting world of fireplaces and barbecues.