Food for Thought:
Vegan barbecue recipes
Enjoy meat-free grilling with these healthy and delicious recipes and tips
By Penny Arsenault and Irwin Rapoport
June 1, 2023
Nothing used to strike dread into the heart of a vegan like an invitation to a barbecue. Philosophical concerns about what would be prepared on the grill aside, there was also the question of what to do – bring your own food?
Thankfully, with growing awareness and cookbook authors like Hannah Kaminsky, who we feature this month, plant-based barbecues can be an occasion for all to look forward to. Take a look and incorporate some of these grill recipes into your routine or be daring and hold an entirely veggie affair.
This is the season for locally grown fresh vegetables and fruits, soon available at grocery stores, farmers’ markets and in your garden. Take advantage of the season’s bounty to enjoy a whole range of flavours and combinations.
Here are some simple but tempting ideas for the BBQ:
Peanut and Cilantro Grilled Veggie Skewers
Grilled Cabbage with Asian Dressing
Grilled baby potatoes with rosemary
And here are two home-made vegan burger options:
Sweet and Spicy Vegan Black Bean Burgers
Hannah Kaminsky is a vegan cookbook author based in Austin, Texas, whose books include The Student Vegan Cookbook, Sweet Vegan Treats, Super Vegan Scoops!, and more.
Hannah’s passion for plant-based food shines through in each detailed recipe that takes time to teach readers all about the ingredients and tools needed. She/they is a skilled recipe developer and food photographer for many publications, vegan authors and food manufacturers. Hannah’s blog BitterSweet features hundreds of free recipes with tips and tricks for living a healthy, happy vegan lifestyle.
In response to a request for some vegan barbeque recipes to feature in this article, Hannah replied:
“Thank you so much for thinking of me! There’s nothing better than going outside and cooking alfresco when the weather is warm. I have a few go-to grilling recipes that have served me well over the years. I did the photos and food styling for the following and can vouch for their deliciousness.”
Kebabs with Chimichurri
Firm tofu cubes are skewered and lightly charred on the grill, resulting in a delightful smoky flavour. Once cooked, they are generously drizzled with a vibrant chimichurri sauce made from fresh parsley, cilantro, garlic, vinegar, and olive oil, adding a burst of herby freshness to each bite.
Madras curry powder infuses tofu with a subtle spice and gorgeous golden glow. The rich, creamy peanut dipping sauce is the perfect foil for the heat. (See feature image)
Pan Grilled Polenta with Spinach and Black Beans
If the weather isn’t so nice, this is a great option for pan-grilling inside. For a speedy dinner or a satisfying appetizer, prepared polenta topped with flavourful black beans offers convenience and taste in one go.
Blistered ears of fresh corn are a savoury treat with just a pinch of salt but reach all-new culinary heights with spicy mayo kimchi and plant-based cotija cheese. Though originally written to be prepared in a skillet, it would be even better cooked on the grill.
For a general overview of grilling tips, this is a great place to start:
We thank Hannah for her amazing photographs and recipes.
For dessert, we suggest trying out this recipe for grilled peaches:
1. Halve and pit the peaches. Run a sharp knife along each peach’s seam to halve them. Remove the pit and brush each cut side with olive oil.
2. Grill cut-side down, over medium heat, for 4 to 5 minutes. Place the peaches cut-side down on the grill and cook undisturbed until grill marks appear, 4 to 5 minutes.
3. Flip the peaches and cook until tender, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the peaches and grill until the skins are charred, and the peaches are soft, 4 to 5 minutes more.
4. Remove from the grill. Serve the grilled peaches with vegan ice cream.
The recipes featured in this article are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of plant-based options for the grill. The BBQ season is here so if you have suggestions for vegan barbecue recipes, please send them to us.
Over the next few months, we will focus on summer salads, smoothies, pickling and kimchi, and feature vegan ice cream parlours, pastry and baked goods shops around town.
We welcome your suggestions and comments and love hearing about any of the recipes you’ve tried and how they turned out.
Summer is nearly here. Let’s enjoy relaxing with family and friends, the outdoors, and excellent food.
Feature image: Tofu Satay, by Hannah Kaminsky
A figure skating coach and ballet dancer, Penny Arsenault is a friend to cats, dogs, and all animals, dedicated to fitness and nutrition, and tireless in her optimistic pursuit of the improvement of urban gardens, and preservation of wild spaces.
Irwin Rapoport is a freelance journalist with Bachelor degrees in History and Political Science from Concordia University.