Meat Alternatives Made From Soy, Grilled Vegetables, Tofu, Tempeh

The summer barbecue is a quintessential event taking place in backyards and parks all over the country. Every summer, many a person sets up his or her grill for a night of fun and food. Vegans may feel left out at these shindigs, but never fear—there are plenty of options for grilling that will satisfy vegans and meat-eaters alike.

Soy “Meat” Alternatives

A basic substitution for the hamburgers and hot dogs is the use of soy alternatives. Soy burgers, soy sausages, and soy hot dogs can be grilled just like their non-veggie counterparts. Just remind the cook to grill them separately from the meat products. Some vegan soy alternatives (some found online):

  • Amy’s All American Veggie Burger
  • Boca Original Vegan
  • Cedar Lake’s Deli Franks (available at VeganEssentials)
  • Turtle Island Food’s Tofurky Beer Brats

Shish Kabobs

An all-veggie version of this grilled treat can be made with vegetables of your choice. When brushed with a simple marinade or oil and spices, vegetable shish kabobs will surely be one of the highlights of the barbecue.

  • Simple Veggie Kabob- a simple Veggie Kabob can include red onions, green peppers, and yellow squash on skewers; then brush the skewers with a mixture of olive oil, black pepper, and seasoned salt.
  • Tempeh Veggie Kabob- Assorted veggies of choice and add some tempeh, marinated in a mixture of soy sauce, sugar, and red pepper flakes.
  • Stir-Fry Kabob- think stir-fry on a stick! Use tofu, red onions, baby carrots, green peppers and zucchini. After grilling, slather the skewer in teriyaki sauce.

Grilled Vegetables

Much like grilling veggie kabobs, It’s your decision on what ends up in the grill. Although most vegetables can be grilled with ease (and with fantastic results) there are a few veggie just not cut out for it. Some vegetables to avoid when grilling:

  • Cucumbers
  • Celery
  • Leafy Greens

The above veggies contain just a little too much water to get great grilling results. Grilled vegetables will take on a whole new flavor, much like a lot of vegetables do when roasting (think asparagus).

Why not try some tasty grilled potatoes and onions (grill in a foil wrap with seasoning and olive oil or vegan butter)or a tasty eggplant mix? Just remember to watch the veggies on the grill and use the proper tools if needed, such as foil or skewers.

Grilled Tofu, Tempeh, or Seitan

Grilling these products gives them new life. Barbecue sauce would be delicious on any and all, but here are a few other tips and ideas for each product:

  • Tofu- tofu absorbs flavors, so pretty much any marinade will do with this product as it otherwise doesn’t contribute much of a flavor. Marinate tofu up to an hour before grilling and make sure it is pressed. Try an italian-inspired grilled tofu with a simple marinade of italian dressing.
  • Tempeh- tempeh is another soy product, but unlike tofu, it tends to have a stronger flavor of its own. Prepare tempeh for grilling by marinating it in some soy sauce and sugar.
  • Seitan- seitan is a made from wheat. It makes a great meat substitute and makes a great item for grilling. Try this recipe for Grilled Jerked Seitan.