The sun is shining brightly, and after the smell of fresh lilacs, and fresh-mowed grass comes the quintessential summer smell—hot coals on a barbeque. Sadly, if you’re keeping a healthy plant-based diet, sometimes it can feel like a BBQ party is an invitation to only eat iceberg lettuce and a plain bun. Dig yourself out from that anti-social attitude and add these to your to-grill list. Your friends will love it when you BYOV—Bring Your Own Veggies—and show how delicious a plant-based barbeque can be.
It’s not a BBQ without a burger
Attending a BBQ goes hand-in-hand with having a burger. When looking for a plant-based alternative in the grocery store, be sure to read the label—and stick to one with a simple ingredient list. Even a vegetarian burger isn’t healthy if its ingredient list is 20 items long. The best burgers are just a combination of beans, grains and veggies. You can also make your own, like this nutrient-dense Beet Walnut Millet Burger
Upgrade your bun
Sometimes you may want to BYOBun as well. Look for a whole grain or gluten-free bun that has at least 3 grams of fiber per bun. Bring the whole bag and share with anyone who’d rather not use a plain ol’ white bun.
Don’t skimp on sides
Even the most devoted carnivores will love a veggie side dish. Upgrade a plain lettuce/tomato/onion salad, with whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruit and a delicious vinaigrette. Simple delicious sides, like this Apple Quinoa Salad, are sure to be a crowd pleaser.
Put a stick in it
Grilled veggie kabobs don’t have to be anything fancy. Here are some ideas to get you started:
– Pineapple – Lightly brush with extra-virgin olive or coconut oil and grill to sweet perfection.
– Portobello mushrooms – With a natural smoky umami taste, portobello mushrooms were made for grilling. Brush with extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar to prevent from sticking to the grill. Lay them cap-side down, to keep them moist while grilling. Put them in a bun like you would a veggie-burger, or slice them on top of a salad.
– Corn – If you’re not sensitive to corn, corn on the cob can be a delicious treat. Buy local, organic corn to avoid GMOs. Try tossing some chili pepper and sea salt on top for a twist on this classic. Don’t worry—you don’t need butter to make it delicious. After grilling, add a little bit of Vega Antioxidant Omega Oil!
– Asparagus – Throw raw asparagus on the grill for about 5 minutes. If you don’t have a veggie grilling pan, try spiking each spear with a skewer. This kebob will keep lone asparagus from falling through the grill grates. When you remove, toss them with lemon juice, sea salt and pepper and serve immediately.
All that time in front of a grill can make you sweat. Stay cool and hydrated by making sure you always have a drink in your hand—and not just the alcoholic version! Infuse your water with fresh fruit, lemon or lime for a flavor kick, or use Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator for a zero calorie way to stay well hydrated.