Healthy Cookout: Go Meatless,
Keep the Grill Marks

August 25th, 2014


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Quinoa and White Bean Burger

Quinoa and White Bean Burger

Give your favorite veggies the sweet, smoky flavor that only grilling can produce. Labor Day is around the corner, and here’s how to move Meatless Monday out from the kitchen and onto the grill.

The first thing you’ll need are ideas, and we have plenty of them. On the Meatless Monday Summer Cookout Pinterest Board, you’ll find recipes from Meatless Monday’s own recipe collection, in addition to a wide range of recipes from bloggers and other websites. This is a great place to start planning your cookout.

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Bow Tie Pasta

If a BBQ just isn’t a BBQ without a burger, then check out One Green Planet’s 10 Epic Veggie Burgers. Summer is also the time for bright salads, and Craving Something Healthy’s Mediterranean Grilled Vegetable Salad, CookingPlanIt’s Bow Tie Pasta Salad with Sun Dried Tomatoes, and The Salty Tomato’s Carrot Mint Salad fit the bill. And for the procrastinators, our friends at NoshOn.it published this collection of Last Minute Memorial Day Recipes; just go ahead and repurpose them.

Quite possibly, the best part of summer grilling is the endless creativity; almost anything can go on the grill. One of our favorite writers, Joe Yonan, Food & Travel Editor of The Washington Post, has this excellent piece about the “glory” of grilling a head of cabbage for first time. If you want to skip the cole slaw and impress your friends with something new, then this is for you.

Ready to take the cover off the grill? Then get your apron on, get a copy of Meatless Monday’s Monday Burgers Cookbook, and eat well all summer with these 10 easy summer grilling tips:

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Carrot Mint Salad

1.  Many vegetables can get grilled with just a light brushing of olive oil. Fresh corn, tomatoes, asparagus, eggplant, zucchini, squash, bell peppers and jalapenos are just a few to try.

2.  Kabobs are a BBQ staple that make the perfect meatless entree. Add tofu cubes, cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, roasted potatoes or just about any other vegetable that strikes your fancy.

3. For a sweet side dish or dessert, grilled fruit is amazing. Try peach halves, pineapples, plums, melon, kiwi, bananas, pears or figs with a touch of honey marinade.

4.  Swap the hamburger for a Portobello Mushroom Burger or grilled eggplant slices. Grab a bun and add your favorite toppings, like avocados, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers or an olive spread.

5.  Make your own veggie burgers packed with hearty ingredients like black beans, lentils, quinoa and chickpeas. You can also find healthy pre-made patties at supermarkets and natural food stores.

6.  Turn up the creativity and make delicious, smoky pizzas right on the grill. All you need is pizza dough, sauce and your favorite vegetables thinly sliced or pre-grilled.

7.  Use your favorite marinade recipe to add flavor to extra firm tofu cubes. Grill them up and add them to a salad, serve them with veggies or enjoy them on their own.

8.  Add grilled vegetables to a filling summer salad. Garnish fresh lettuces with a bit of fruit, feta cheese and olive oil to complete the dish; or think beyond lettuce and whip up a bean or grain salad.

9.  Consider your sides when planning a meatless BBQ. Pasta salads, raw vegetables and hummus dip are great ways to turn your plant-based dishes into a full meal.

10.  End the meal on a healthy note: include a tray of fresh fruit, a parfait or homemade smoothies.

 

Also check out the 5 meatless grilling options from our friends at Rodale News with contributions by Meatless Monday’s RD Diana Rice.