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! Of course one of our favorites is my new Vegan Ranch dressing. Try our Vegan Oil Free Nut Free Caesar Dressing!
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!
Smoked Hickory Balsamic Grilled Marinated Mushrooms – great on the indoor or outdoor grill.
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 or Perfectly Peachy Pie 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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A Nutmeg Notebook Online Course. Beautiful Chopped Salad Course Link
Tami Kramer’s Beautiful Chopped Salad Course includes a complete full color 40+ page recipe PDF eBook and 12 instructional videos. In the course Tami will teach you how to batch prep salads, what to shop for, and tips to ensure that your stored salads will last for a week. She will share different methods for chopping salads, and all the details about how she tops these beauties. Included are 25 different ways to top a chopped salad, 5 oil free salad dressings, gluten free croutons and crunchy toppings, hummus, salsa’s and more! Please enjoy the course videos at your own pace. There are approximately 2 1/2 hours of instruction spread over the 12 individual topic videos. When completed you will be well on your way to enjoying these beautiful, chopped salads as often as you wish, perhaps even daily as Tami does.
We are also affiliate with the amazing Holland Bowl Mill from Holland Michigan. Holland Bowl Mill makes all of these beautiful bowls, plates, cutting boards, salad bowl sets, fruit bowls and of course the very popular 15 inch bowl that I use to make my very popular Chopped Salads! When you use our affiliate link to purchase items from Holland Bowl with a minimum $125 order you get a free mezzaluna knife included in your shipment. They offer free engraving on the bottom of your hand crafted item. These are heirloom quality works of art. We love having them in use all around our kitchen.
Jody - Fit at 59
Everything looks amazing Tami!!!!!!
Thank you Jody!
Everything looks great! How do you prevent items (especially tofu) from sticking?
Hi Theresa, well the tofu did stick a little bit, the BBQ sauce did help as a release agent but there was some sticking. Our grill if several years old and the grates are well seasoned I don’t know if that helps keep things from sticking now that we only grill plants or not!
Tami you’ve outdone yourself. Again! This spread looks just unbelievable. Every dish looked better than the last. I happened to buy many of the ingredients I’d need to pull this off for this weekend. Thanks for the inspiration!
Which kind of tofu do you use for this? Extra firm?
Hi Christin – thank you for your kind comments! Yes I did use extra firm organic sprouted tofu – otherwise it will just fall apart. The leftover veggies are delicious chopped and served over rice, greens, quinoa, salad or potatoes. The grilled romaine is so yummy! I would never have believed it but once I tried it I was sold!
Have a beautiful relaxing weekend.
Everything looks fabulous, Tami! ‘can’t wait to try these wonderful recipes and ideas– thank you so much!
You are welcome Edith – have a wonderful weekend!
Oh my gosh…this is my new summer menu…I just shared the link with several family members. I’ll be printing out all the recipes, shopping for ingredients, and getting busy. Thank you so much for sharing Tami.❣️
I am so glad you like this menu and are sharing the recipes. Thank you so much.
Happy healthy cooking,
Our weather is just starting to heat up here. I look forward to trying these wonderful recipes during BBQ season. I have never had grilled lettuce. Sounds interesting. Thank you so much for sharing
Enjoy your summer cooking!