There’s nothing that makes summer feel more like summer than the smell of charcoal and grilling meat in the air. Just breathe deeply and take in the smell of – wait, what is that smell? Could it be eggplant? The grill is not just for meat anymore. Whether you are a summer griller or a die hard year ’round griller, you don’t have to sell yourself short. Vegetarian meals can be easily incorporated into your grilling schedule. Grilling every day, or even several days in a week can make for a bunch of heavy meals all in a row. Because grilling usually means large portions of meat, many families may cut back on the grilling nights. We all know about the health risks of too much meat. Besides, who feels like eating large portions of meat in the summer? Aren’t summer meals better suited to salads and iced tea? Vegetarian meals don’t even have to be that boring though.
Grilling Sides and Desserts
There are several side dishes that are perfect for grilling. Corn on the cob is already a popular vegetable for the grill. In foil or in the husk, corn grills to perfection. Other vegetables work well on the grill too. Eggplant slices are delicious when they are seared and then brushed with olive oil and sprinkled with garlic salt. Speaking of garlic, don’t forget to stick the garlic French bread over the coals too. The crust will be crunchy and the center will be hot and chewy. All kinds of potatoes are well suited to grilling. Idaho potatoes are an old standby, but you should also try your luck with some yams. The flavor is intense and rich. Continuing with the theme of flavor, you will love trying dessert on the grill. Peaches are at their prime in the summer. Stick them on the grill for a few minutes and serve the gooey mess over ice cream.
Vegetarian Entrees on the Grill
Instead of meat, try grilling some vegetarian options on occasion this summer. Tempeh will hold up to the vigorous grill style cooking. It is a firm soy product. Try marinating it the way you would do a chicken breast and then stick it over the fire. The texture is similar to that of meat, but the flavor will be lighter and fresher. Another great vegetarian entrée for the grill is pizza. Just prepare your pizza as you would for the oven. Start the dough on a piece of foil, or prepare it to go straight on the grill grate. Make sure that the grill is very hot and then stick the entire pizza, toppings and all, under the closed cover. The crust will brown and the cheese will melt in just ten or fifteen minutes. Grilled pizza has a crunchy crust, hot toppings and an overall smoky taste.
As summer approaches, certainly get the grill ready for action. Remember though, the grill is not just for meat. When you are in the mood for grilling, but not necessarily in the mood for a chunk of greasy meat, consider grilling vegetarian dishes.