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Thread: Vegetarian Barbecue Options?

  1. #1
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    Vegetarian Barbecue Options?

    I'm having a barbecue Saturday, a couple of the guests are vegetarians.

    I'm planning a variety of salads, pasta, potato, green etc. that will all be vegetarian friendly. There'll also be bread and desserts.

    I'm just a little stumped as to what to barbecue. I noticed mushroom burgers at Costco. Anybody recommend them? Or grilled marinated portobello mushrooms? Served on buns like a burger? Can anybody recommend a brand of "veggie burger"?

    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks!!

  2. #2
    I'm not vegetarian but have had marinated grilled portabellos---they are very very good, IMO.

    If that's an option---that would be what I would vote for.

    -Shannon.

  3. #3
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    TerryTX posted a review of the newest grilled stuffed portobellos from the new CL. They looked really good. And I just saw a similar recipe in Giada's Familly Dinners cookbook.

    We made these for a BBQ once and everyone (even meat eaters) liked them. Plus, with the advanced prep, they are as easy as burgers.

    Portobello Burgers
    Meaty and versatile, marinated portobello mushrooms make great burgers. Half of a roasted bell pepper is stirred into mayonnaise for the sandwich spread. Use the leftover bell pepper as a pizza topping, in salad, or tossed with pasta.

    1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
    2 tablespoons olive oil
    3 garlic cloves, minced
    4 (4-inch) portobello mushroom caps
    1 small red bell pepper
    Cooking spray
    1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
    1/2 teaspoon olive oil
    1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
    4 (2-ounce) onion sandwich buns
    4 (1/4-inch-thick) slices tomato
    4 curly leaf lettuce leaves

    Combine first 4 ingredients in a large zip-top plastic bag; add mushrooms to bag. Seal and marinate at room temperature for 2 hours, turning bag occasionally. Remove mushrooms from bag; discard marinade.
    Prepare grill to medium heat.

    Cut bell pepper in half lengthwise; discard seeds and membranes. Place pepper halves on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 15 minutes or until blackened, turning occasionally. Place in a zip-top plastic bag; seal. Let stand 10 minutes. Peel. Reserve 1 pepper half for another use. Finely chop 1 pepper half; place in a small bowl. Add mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon oil, and ground red pepper; stir well.

    Place mushrooms, gill sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 4 minutes on each side. Place buns, cut sides down, on grill rack coated with cooking spray; grill 30 seconds on each side or until toasted. Spread 2 tablespoons mayonnaise mixture on top half of each bun. Place 1 mushroom on bottom half of each bun. Top each mushroom with 1 tomato slice and 1 lettuce leaf; cover with top halves of buns.

    Yield: 4 servings

    NUTRITION PER SERVING
    CALORIES 251(30% from fat); FAT 8.4g (sat 2.3g,mono 3.7g,poly 2.1g); PROTEIN 7.3g; CHOLESTEROL 0.0mg; CALCIUM 81mg; SODIUM 739mg; FIBER 2.4g; IRON 2.2mg; CARBOHYDRATE 37.9g

    Bill and Cheryl Jamison
    Cooking Light, MAY 2003

  4. #4
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    Yes, grilled portobello caps are a pretty standard veg option. Also, if you are having burgers for everyone else, you can just get some Boca burgers and your folks should be happy. I've also co-hosted a party where my co-host marinated and grilled some very firm tofu, and it was tasty.

  5. #5
    Boca burgers are good. DH thinks those mushroom burgers from Costco are good. As are grilled portobellos. Another thing I do is use a grill pan (for the BBQ grill) and I chop up a bunch of different vegetables in big chunks -- asparagus, eggplant, onions, zucchini, peppers, portobellos or other mushrooms -- and I toss them with balsamic vinegar, olive oil, salt & pepper and maybe a little Herbs de Provence. It is really good.

    There are also vegetarian hot dogs and sausages. The hot dogs I've tried are just so-so but, the sausages (I've tried Boca brand) are pretty good.

  6. #6
    I don't have any suggestions in addition to what others have already posted, but I just wanted to say that it's very thoughtful of you to prepare something for your vegetarian guests! My best friend is a vegetarian and often will bring veggie burgers with her to BBQs to ensure that she has something to eat other than sides.

  7. #7
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    I agree with all the thoughts listed before, and just wanted to add one other idea that will make you the super host in your vegetarian friends' eyes. Depending on their comfort level, offering to cook their veggie burger/portabello etc. on foil might thrill them to no end.

    My inlaws do this for me, and the grilled taste still comes through without me watching my veggie burger get tossed into a big dripping pile of meat juice. Just a thought! Not everyone is as picky as I am, but its a simple step that definitely makes me happy.

  8. #8
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    I am vegetarian, and I usually bring my own burgers, as tippy7's friend does
    (and I usually coordinate this with the hosts). (I just saw helios7's post -- and yes, that would make you a super host in my eyes, too!)

    Now with that being said, I always really appreciate it if the host has something to offer besides meat, meat, and more meat. Personally, I am not a fan of big portabello caps. I like the baby bellos, or the big ones sliced and then grilled (as in the Grilled Veggie Salad from VT that I made about a month or so ago), but honestly the whole thing is way more than I can deal with. Not to be ungrateful, or to speak for others, just my personal preference.
    Also, I love side dishes so I usually fill up on those (just make sure if you have baked beans they are labeled if they contain meat).

    Have fun at your bbq!

  9. #9
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    tperes, I don't like portobellos either. In fact, the vegetable I hate the most are mushrooms!

    Anyway, I'm not a vegetarian, but I tend that way. And I don't like most traditional bbq things like burgers and hot dogs. Still, I try to make it my business to not be a total complainer. So I either fill up on sides, or dress up a bun with veggies and condiments, just not have a burger. I'd pass on a portobello, and I'd pass on a boca burger too (I don't like those funny enough because THEY TASTE LIKE MEAT). And I'd hate for you to waste your effort.

    I think it's great that you as a hostess are looking out for your veggie guests. Would it be possible for you to contact them and ask if they have a preference? Since you're doing it speificially FOR them, it might be worth a phone call to make sure your special effort is actually going to work out.

  10. #10
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    Speaking of baked beans, a nice pot of vegetarian beans of any kind (Tex-Mex or some other flavor) would be wonderful, and could be kept warm on the grill right in the pot. Add some tortillas or other wrappers on the side, and your guests can make their own wraps with the other sides.

    Cheers,
    Phoebe

  11. #11
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    I love the big portabellos grilled and served like a burger and think those are a better choice than Boca/Veggie burgers since the veggie burgers are more commonplace and there isn't a home-made quality about them.
    Sarah

  12. #12
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    I just love portabello burgers! I am a vegetarian, but at the last family gathering, the portabello burgers were much more popular than the beef burgers!

  13. #13
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    Thanks to all for the wonderful suggestions.

    I was definitely planning on keeping the vegetarian grilled items separate from the meat items. I thought I'd grill the vegetarian stuff first on a clean grill and then put them in the keep warm basket in the top of the barbecue.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by scout1222
    tperes, I don't like portobellos either. In fact, the vegetable I hate the most are mushrooms!
    I like mushrooms and all, but there is something about a huge portobello that just doesn't excite me. Glad I am not the only one!

    I, too, have also just made a bun w/ veggies, cheese, and the like, or better yet with grilled zucchini and eggplant.

    Just as an aside, along the lines of KAnn's comments about the veggie burgers being a huge hit, several years ago at Thanksgiving, I made regular turkey gravy for all the meat-eaters, and veggie gravy (a CL recipe that is really good) for myself, and wouldn't you know it, everyone slurped up the veggie gravy. Now, it could be that my turkey gravey just plain ol' sucked, but I like to think it is because veggie gravy is so much better tasting!

  15. #15
    I love portobello burgers Grilled eggplant is also good, and so are vegetable kebabs with peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, and teriyaki sauce. If you make a lot of the vegetable kebabs, vegetarians can load up on them as an entree but everyone else can take one as a side dish.
    "One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, unless one has dined well." - Virginia Woolf
    http://whatsinlaurenstummy.blogspot.com

  16. #16
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    GENIUS.

    The kebab idea is fantastic.

  17. #17
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    My favorite cookbook for veg grilling is Andrea Chesman's Vegetarian Grill, it has salads, entrees, sandwiches, best selection of veg grilling recipes I've seen.

  18. #18
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    Guess I missed this thread yesterday!

    Again, I'll reference the guru, Steven Raichlen. He's done a few episodes on vegetarian grilling. Here's a list of recipes from Barbecue University:

    Barbecued Bean & Cheese Chili Rellenos
    Best Barbecued Beans on the Planet
    Eggplant Dip with Dill
    Ember-Roasted Sweet Corn
    Ginger-Grilled Tofu "Steaks"
    Grilled Fry Bread
    Grilled Gazpacho
    Grilled Peppers
    Grilled Polenta
    Grilled Quesadillas
    Homemade Tortilla Chips With Grilled Pineapple Salsa
    Macaroni and Cheese
    Portobello "Burgers"
    "Tofu on Stilts" (Dengaku)

  19. #19
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    I like the kebab idea too. I also think many people would enjoy the grilled portobellos. Also, I don't know if you've tried these, but President's Choice has frozen portobello swiss burgers that are VERY juicy and tasty. (Wouldn't help if you have guests who don't like portobellos or mushrooms, period, of course.) You can get the burgers at Loblaws, Independent, Zehrs, Fortinos, etc. - not sure if you have any of these nearby.

    Have fun!

    Natasha
    "If you're not chasing after miracles, what's the point?" The movie Saint Ralph

    "What it all comes down to
    Is that everything's gonna be fine fine fine
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    And the other one is giving a high five" - Alanis Morisette, Hand in My Pocket

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Natasha
    I like the kebab idea too. I also think many people would enjoy the grilled portobellos. Also, I don't know if you've tried these, but President's Choice has frozen portobello swiss burgers that are VERY juicy and tasty. (Wouldn't help if you have guests who don't like portobellos or mushrooms, period, of course.) You can get the burgers at Loblaws, Independent, Zehrs, Fortinos, etc. - not sure if you have any of these nearby.

    Have fun!

    Natasha
    I can't believe all the great suggestions I've gotten!!

    I buy the Presidents Choice Sirloin and Prime Rib burgers all the time. In fact was picking some up tomorrow. I'll bet the Portobello burgers are in the same freezer. That's easy!!

  21. #21
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    I love grilled portobello's but if I'm not going to have meat, I would want a Garden Burger or a homemade veggie burger. I think they are much tastier than the Boca Burgers, which taste much more like soy -- yes, they are I know but they don't hide it.

    Suz

  22. #22
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    Yves brand soy dogs-- the Chili dog flavored ones, only, or Smart dogs jumbo size!!

  23. #23
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    The thing with the huge portobellos is that they ARE mushrooms, which means they've got minimal calories, and are not as satisfying as meat no matter how chewy they are.

    Marinated tofu or tempeh is yummy, or tofu/tempeh skewers with vegetables.

    I'm also a big fan of Yves Veggie Cuisine. I like ALL their products much better than Boca, which are hugely expensive here, and IMHO not as tasty. However, they do taste very convincingly meaty, which won't work for meat-averse vegetarians. (The Chili Dogs are not my personal favourites. But Yves just came out with Bavarian and Italian Veggie Sausages, which are delicious -- in fact, I had one for supper, even though I'm not vegetarian even a little bit any more.)
    fresh hot random! mad endeavour on vox
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  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sooty
    My favorite cookbook for veg grilling is Andrea Chesman's Vegetarian Grill, it has salads, entrees, sandwiches, best selection of veg grilling recipes I've seen.

    I LOVE this book. Everything I have made out of it has been a winner. I usually add more veggies though.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by CompassRose
    The thing with the huge portobellos is that they ARE mushrooms, which means they've got minimal calories, and are not as satisfying as meat no matter how chewy they are.)
    Michael Chiarello did a grilled portobello burger that he topped with hummus and feta cheese. Now THAT sounds like a satisfying burger to me. It also got good reviews. One of the reviewers suggested you could do it with smaller mushrooms like an appetizer. That might appeal to someone who doesn't enjoy the really big mushroom.

    http://www.foodnetwork.com/food/reci..._25828,00.html

    Bonnie

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbenedict
    I LOVE this book. Everything I have made out of it has been a winner. I usually add more veggies though.
    I have her Roasted Vegetable and (I think it's called...) Garden Vegetable cookbook and love them also, no fail recipes. The green bean casserole recipe is the best, no cream of mushroom soup, which DB does not care for, it uses fresh beans, even recommends it as a good use for overgrown ones. Has recipes (baking) for overgrown zucchini also!

  27. #27
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    I have both of those two. I've made a lot out of the Roasted Vegetable but just got the Garden Vegetable not too long ago so haven't made anything yet. Glad to get the recommendation on the casserole. I'll give it a whirl.

    Bonnie

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