Some people think that just because you no longer eat meat that you can no longer enjoy a BBQ. It isn’t so – we can cook so many plant foods on the BBQ grill. Everything from the humble zucchini, portobello mushrooms, eggplant, bell peppers, onions, green onions, baby peppers, corn on the cob, romaine lettuce, veggie burgers, potatoes, marinated tofu and don’t forget the fruit. Pineapple, fresh figs, mango and peaches are amazing when heated up on the grill. Light up the backyard BBQ grill and toss on some of your favorite plant foods and you will be delighted with the results! Updated this post May 25, 2021.
This was our first plant based BBQ experiment back in 2015 but I never blogged about it. We were in the middle of our kitchen update and all of this food prep took place in my garage! Hubby Tom is a master on the grill so I only have to prep the food and he takes it from there! (Note: I would no longer use foil to place my food on, but I was unaware of any issues with foil back in 2015.)
The trick is to prep all the food in advance so you are ready to go when the grill is hot. The tofu was marinated in some BBQ sauce and the Portobello mushrooms were marinated in balsamic vinegar. You can use fresh lemon juice, lime juice, orange juice, pineapple juice, vinegars and no salt seasonings to add flavor. Here is an easy but oh so tasty BBQ sauce recipe that was created by one of my fellow Ultimate Weight Loss buddies!
Mairead’s BBQ Sauce
- 12 oz. can tomato paste
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. allspice optional if desired
- 2 tsp. liquid smoke
- 6 oz. Napa Valley Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar – the thick one that is only 4% acidity and slightly sweet
- 2 oz. lemon juice
- Place all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Stir with a fork or whisk vigorously until smooth.
We are big fans of the Well Your world SOS free BBQ Sauce. It is vegan/plant based and delicious.
I buy these colorful carrots at Trader Joe’s and they make me smile! They are so good grilled and so pretty. Our son in law Esau taught us how to grill corn and then season it with fresh lime juice. We were sold after the first bite. Its so easy and yet insanely delicious. It could be a meal all on it’s own. Click here for Esau’s Grilled Corn recipe. If you don’t have a BBQ Grill you can use your air fryer. We love our Breville Smart Oven Air! Here is a blog post about making a meal in the Breville Smart Oven Air.
Bell peppers become so sweet when grilled. I have now discovered the mini peppers and they are even sweeter. Slice some of the leftovers and add them to your next salad.
Red onion and zucchini even become extra tasty after a few minutes on the grill. All the natural sugars come to the surface and the flavor is enhanced.
Hubby Tom loves it when we have something that he has to cut with a knife to eat and these big fat juicy portobello mushrooms fit the bill! Marinate in some balsamic vinegar for flavor. Add your favorite fresh or dried herbs.
Even non tofu lovers will like it grilled! It becomes a little chewy and I love the grill marks! Marinate in fresh fruit juices or a little homemade BBQ sauce. Tofu is a higher fat plant food – not good for weight loss but can be enjoyed once in a while on maintenance. Hubby says you need to keep a close watch on the veggies when grilling.
Even romaine lettuce can be grilled – I know it sounds crazy but it’s actually very good! I topped it with some little mandarin slices, balsamic vinegar glaze and a little dressing. Pretty fabulous. The dressing is a recipe called Green Sauce by Chef Del Sroufe and I make the version without the tahini – just increase the cilantro and it’s fabulous. It is made with Mori Nu Silken Lite Tofu which is a little higher fat plant food. If you are in weight loss mode you might prefer my Creamy Balsamic Dressing instead. It’s also pretty darn amazing and gets rave reviews!
These were previously cooked potatoes that I made in the Instant Pot pressure cooker because my kitchen was under construction and I had no oven. They were simply cut in half and heated up on the BBQ grill.
Last but not least are lemons cut in half – the juice is lovely squeezed over the grilled veggies or over your salads. Fresh figs and mango slices are a treat for dessert after being warmed up on the grill. Don’t forget pineapple and peaches too!
This is what my plate looked like – all healthy delicious plant foods! A feast that is filled with foods that love you back!
If you still need a few other ideas for taking something to a BBQ – pot luck I do have some suggestions. One thing I missed was baked beans until I found a recipe on the Furhman boards and adapted it a little to resemble an old favorite. Chipotle Baked Beans uses an unusual ingredient that makes them extra special.
This is a lovely crunchy cold salad perfect for pot lucks! Click here for the recipe California Quinoa Mango Salad.
Zesty Black Bean Quinoa Salad is crowd pleaser! Easy to make and perfect for a warm day.
One of my favorite salads is this Gluten Free Tabbouleh, created by my daughter just for me.
Try one of these Smokey Black Bean Burgers topped with salsa, lettuce and avocado. Yum!
These are not cooked on the BBQ grill but they give you the flavor of having been! BBQ Lentil Loaf Muffins.
Watermelon is always well received at a BBQ pot luck but it sure is fun to serve it in a new way. This is Chef AJ’s Watermelon Salad and its amazing.
Apple Oat Crisp is the perfect finish to a BBQ meal. Serve it topped with some banana nice cream for a real treat.
If chocolate is more your style then make these Chocolate Brownie Parfaits. Of course if you aren’t dining at home you can simply bake the brownies and easily take them with you.
Cherry Peach Cobbler can be made in individual ramekins for easy serving. Top it with Banana Cherry nice cream for a real treat. I use frozen fruit for this all the time – it makes it so quick and easy.
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