New recipes

8 Meatless Grilling Tips

8 Meatless Grilling Tips

There are plenty of non-meat reasons to fire up the grill

To get the best grilling results and avoid any sticky situations, we’ve compiled a list of the best meatless grilling tips.

“Grilling doesn’t have to be about meat,” says Molly Siegler, the Culinary Content Editor for Whole Foods Market. From flavorful fruits and vegetables, meat substitutions like tofu and tempeh, and grilled pizza, there are plenty of non-meat reasons to fire up the grill.

To get the best grilling results and avoid any sticky situations, we’ve consulted with Siegler to compile a list of her best meatless grilling tips. According to Siegler, there are certain vegetables and fruits that are best for grilling. The iconic summer grilled corn is a must, but it’s grilled best when left in the husk.

Check out more of these grilling tips and make this Memorial Day as delicious as possible. Even if your main dish is a protein, make grilled vegetables a healthy side dish or grilled fruit a part of your dessert.

Don’t Peel

For ease of preparation, don't peel fruits and vegetables before grilling. Skipping this steps up the smokiness of the end result, and you’ll preserve more nutrients by keeping the skin on. Bonus: Leaving the husk on an ear of corn while grilling works to gently steam the kernels while protecting them from drying out.

Firm Fruits

Ideal grilling fruits are firm and just barely ripe. Watermelon, pineapple, mangoes, and peaches grill well. Soak in a splash of bourbon or rum or drizzle with honey for an added burst of flavor.

Emily Jacobs is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter @EmilyRecipes.

Vegetarian and Vegan Grilling Recipes

Having a vegetarian barbecue or hosting some vegans at your cookout? Don't simply reach for the veggie burgers although a standby at vegetarian cookouts, you don't need to stop there. There are so many great vegetarian and vegan options that you can throw on the grill other than a patty.

From tofu to cheese to fruit, there are plenty of ideas for what to grill for a fantastic meatless cookout—beyond just veggie burgers.

Enrique Díaz / 7cero / Getty Images

If your only experience with tofu is when it is cut into cubes and floating in miso soup, you may be surprised to learn how versatile it is—especially on the grill at a vegetarian barbecue! It'll absorb any flavor you put on it, which means that you can make Asian style tofu, saucy Indian tofu, Italian seasoned tofu, ​cilantro lime flavored tofu, or even a chimichurri tofu, and all with that nice smoky grilled flavor.

Not looking to get fancy? Chop up some well-pressed tofu, marinate it in Italian salad dressing, and thread the cubes onto your vegetable kababs.

Tips for grilling veggies

Make flavors pop

You can never go wrong with a nice dash of salt and pepper, but don’t overlook the rest of your spice cabinet. Cumin and paprika make a great combo if you’re in the mood for Mexican basil and red pepper flakes impart a zesty Italian twist oregano and garlic are good when you’re craving Greek. Season before grilling, and then once your veggies are cooked, move them to a serving platter, add a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, and garnish with a handful of fresh chopped herbs or scallions. If you like, whip up a ZeroPoint or super low-SmartPoint finishing sauce such as citrus-herb, creamy cilantro, zesty herb, or creamy lemon-garlic.

Maximize your menu with a pan

With the right technique, anything can go on the grill. Large whole veggies (think corn on the cob) and big slabs such as bell pepper quarters can cook right on the grates. Chunky pieces like grape tomatoes and zucchini cubes go great on skewers. But for smaller or elongated shapes that don’t lend themselves to skewering—think onion slices or green beans—a grill saute pan is a smart bet. The pans come in lots of shapes and sizes and let you easily toss any veggie on the grill for that delicious smoky flavor without the pieces slipping through the grate.

Skewer strategically

If you’re planning to grill veggies on wood skewers, soak the sticks in water for 20 to 30 minutes beforehand so they don’t catch fire over the heat. (Or, use nonflammable metal skewers instead.) When threading food onto skewers, leave a tiny bit of space between each item so every side cooks. Once skewers are on the grill, be sure to flip a couple of times for even charring.

Ideas for Grilling With out Guilt

Avoiding grilled meals is an apparent answer right here however undoubtedly not a enjoyable alternative. Grilling is a staple of summer time entertaining and I’d sooner give up my coffee than my yard barbecue! Fortunately there are some choices for lowering the well being points surrounding grilled meals so we will take pleasure in summer time the best way we wish to.

Use a Fuel Grill

When attempting to determine between charcoal and gasoline grills, gasoline is the higher alternative. Fuel doesn’t create PAHs within the quantity that different supplies (like charcoal) do. The truth is, a 2018 research discovered that grilling over charcoal created 4 occasions extra carcinogens than gasoline.

As well as, it’s simpler to manage the warmth on a gasoline grill than a charcoal grill so you’ll be able to hold the warmth low to keep away from creating HCAs.

Nevertheless, the identical research discovered that lump charcoal (charcoal created by burning wooden, like in a campfire) is much less dangerous than charcoal briquettes. The reason being most likely as a result of there are further chemical substances added to briquettes throughout manufacturing to maintain the charcoal burning evenly. Fuel remains to be the winner by far, however should you should cook dinner with charcoal, make it lump charcoal (and skip the lighter fluid!).

Moderately than use charcoal once we camp or go to the seaside, we take alongside this portable gas grill.

Use Marinades and Rubs

Marinating and dry rubbing meat earlier than cooking is an effective option to scale back dangerous compounds (and so they make the meals style wonderful too!). Right here’s what the science reveals:

  • Marinating meat in beer or wine reduces carcinogens by 40 % in accordance with a 2008 research.
  • Herbs and spices are even higher for lowering dangerous compounds in grilled meals.
  • Analysis printed within the Journal of Meals Science reveals marinade made with garlic, thyme, and sage lowered carcinogens by 88 %.
  • A 2010 research printed in the identical journal discovered that rosemary extract lowered carcinogens by 90 %! (Yay for the naturally powerful benefits of herbs and spices!)

The lesson right here is: at all times marinate (or dry rub) your meat earlier than grilling. Additionally, use culinary herbs which have medicinal properties to fight the unfavourable results of grilling.

Prepare dinner a Little Otherwise

Grilling is often a scorching and quick cooking methodology, which is what provides it the crusty outdoors and tender inside. However should you plan forward to have some further time for grilling, you’ll be able to scale back among the dangers. HCAs begin to form at 325 degrees, so if we will cook dinner meals at a decrease temperature we will keep away from them in grilled meals.

Moreover, one other JAND research discovered that acidic mediums (like a tomato-based BBQ sauce) and low moist warmth cease new AGE formation.

Eat a Little Otherwise

Typical summertime fare often consists of loads of pasta, potato salad, and different starchy sides. More healthy variations of those sides (concepts beneath) can change how these poisonous compounds have an effect on the physique by offering antioxidants that battle oxidative stress and free radicals within the physique.

Wholesome Grilling Tip: In case your meals is already charred, take away the outer blackened or charred items and eat the insides as a substitute.

Pre-cook Meats

The longer meals is being cooked at excessive temperatures, the extra possible poisonous compounds are to kind. Pre-cook meats within the oven, gradual cooker, or stress cooker, after which placed on the grill for a couple of minutes for the grill marks and BBQ taste.

Moreover, greens take a lot much less time to cook dinner on the grill (and comprise antioxidants). So think about grilling greens with, or as a substitute of, meat.

Select Protein Correctly

Steaks and burgers are fairly commonplace yard meals however different protein sources could also be higher for grilling. Fish and rooster have decrease ranges of the amino acids that contribute to HCAs. Cooking them on the grill received’t produce as many HCAs (however will nonetheless have a grilled style and texture). Fish and other seafood is very good selection as a result of it doesn’t have to cook dinner so long as different meats so it’s much less affected by the excessive warmth.

Skip Grilling

We’ve been grilling so much much less since getting our Cinder Grill. It appears like an enormous panini press and you need to use it indoors to cook dinner meat, fish, veggies, or something that wants that good sear. It additionally works like a sous vide (with out the plastic or boiling) and is temperature managed so you’ll be able to’t overcook meals.

It’s a dear equipment (we got ours on Amazon) however makes meals so completely that it saves us from ever feeling the necessity to have an costly dinner out… the meals at house is simply nearly as good if not higher!

An easy dish to prepare, this definitely qualifies as a &ldquomeat-lovers&rdquo meal. Simply slice eggplant lengthwise thinly, dip in egg, and dredge in a combo of flour and Italian bread crumbs. Fry lightly in oil (I use canola or safflower) and then layer in a baking dish, separated by marinara, cheeses, and your choice of fresh Italian spices and herbs. Bake at 350 until crispy on the edges and bubbly in the middle. Serve over pasta.

There's not meat in this dish, and guess what? There's no pasta either! By substituting one baked spaghetti squash for your traditional noodles, you can enjoy a rich meatless sauce (like Alfredo or a creamy red) over the squash strands. (Use a fork to lightly scrape the noodles out of the squash shell.)

Meat isn’t the only grill-worthy food that can complement your cholesterol-lowering diet. Fruits and vegetables can also be thrown on the grill with surprisingly delicious results. These foods not only contribute vitamins and nutrients to your diet but also contain cholesterol-friendly ingredients, such as fiber and phytosterols, that can keep your LDL cholesterol levels in check. Additionally, fruits and veggies are low in calories. So, whether you put them on a skewer, place them in aluminum foil, or just let them set directly on the grill, these helpful tips will give you nothing but satisfying results.

If you want to make a completely vegetarian meal, meatless foods, like tofu and soybean, can also be grilled with nice results. Although these foods don’t behave the same as other meats on the grill, they can be cooked, yielding a low-fat and filling meal that won’t make a huge impact on your lipids.

32 Vegetarian Recipes You'll Actually Want At Your BBQ

Grilling isn't just about burgers and ribs.

Looking for more meat-free ideas? Try our amazing grilled vegetables and veggie burger recipes.

The quintessential summer salad.

BUY NOW Nesting Stainless Steel Mixing Bowls, $25

Rule #1: Don't overcomplicate it.

BUY NOW Le Creuset Grill Pan, $179.95 amazon

Mexican street-style corn meets corn salad in the best way.

Now we want to grill all our potatoes!

Even meat lovers will LOVE these burgers.

The vegan hot dog you've been asking for.

BUY NOW Le Creuset Baking Dish, $60 amazon

Everyone will be fighting for the last scoop!

Unleash your inner herbivore with this hearty veggie burger.

If you thought Brussels sprouts couldn't get any better, wait until you throw them on the grill.

The prettiest corn you'll grill all summer.

With tangy lime and sweet basil, this grilled corn salsa couldn't be more perfect for summer.

BUY NOW Lodge Cast Iron Grill Pan, $43 amazon

Go crazy for caprese this summer.

Maybe we do like salad after all!

Classic picnic comfort food.

Here's your healthy, go-to summer side.

This salad is refreshing AF.

The ultimate side dish for the buffalo wings fanatic in your life.

You're going to want to make these with or without a campfire.

This hypnotizing tart is surprisingly easy to make. Who knew veggies could be so beautiful?

Topped with fresh strawberries and drizzled with balsamic, it's so much sexier than baked brie.

Take a break from tomatoes and make panzanella with sweet peaches.

Veg out&mdashfor real&mdashwith this fresh-tasting pie highlighting summer's finest: thinly sliced rounds of squash, halved cherry tomatoes, bell peppers, and spinach over red sauce.

Burrito’s make a perfect lunchtime meal that will keep you fueling right into the evening.

This Chipotle inspired creation by Vegan Huggs is packed fill of goodness and tasty flavors including cilantro, lime rice and black beans.

Nothing makes me feel better on a cold, dreary day than a hearty warm bowl of soup.

This recipe by Vegan Huggs is super easy to make and contains just just 7 ingredients – oil, vegetable broth, spaghetti, tomato puree and seasonings.

This sticky flavoursome comfort food recipe by Strength and Sunshine is perfect for making in bulk and reheating throughout the week.

Or prepare for your family and friends next time its your turn to host.

What is dirty rice I hear you ask? That’s exactly what I thought at first…

This Louisiana Cajun/Creole inspired dish is not only gluten free, its packed full of flavour and nutritious ingredients including jackfruit, celery, onion, bell peppers and more.

Nothing beats a cheesy pasta dish sometimes.

Don’t be fooled though – this recipe by Tastes Of Lizzy T is far from the other generic recipes you’ve seen before, and is a brilliant accompaniment if you want to serve with a meat, vegetable or bean sauce.

Vegan Runner Eats really did come through here with a vegan chilli recipe with a difference.

I would never have thought to include sweet potato chunks in my vegan chili if I’d not seen this suggestion.

This dish from Sprinkles and Sprouts is irresistible for any of those of you who can’t say no to a creamy pasta sauce dish…. I mean, who couldsay no to that!?

See the full recipe to even learn how to perfect the sauce without using a tonne of cream… so you don’t even need to feel guilty!

These vegan potato patty cakes by Little Sunny Kitchen are so versatile and can be enjoyed as a mid afternoon snack, a filling lunch or as a side dish to your favourite main dish.

Another one from Little Sunny Kitchen. I couldn’t leave out this warm and hearty chili recipe.

Serve yours with rice, quinoa or vegan cornbread also from Little Sunny Kitchen.

Another family favourite that’s been perfectly adapted to suit your vegan lifestyle.

Serve this to your family and friends next time you’re hosting dinner at your house, and I bet they won’t even believe that this dish is meat free!

This protein packed dish by Slow the Cook Down is a perfect side to go with vegan curries, or you can enjoy it as a main with rice or quinoa.

It’s ready in less than 45 minutes, made in one pot and perfect for meal prep!

This daal recipe from The Busy Baker is the perfect easy and healthy weeknight meal that can be made vegetarian, vegan and dairy-free.

Enjoy a takeaway style meal at a fraction of the cost that can be prepared in just 25 minutes!

This dairy free meal by Real Food Whole Life is a perfectly warming lunchtime option, or can be enjoyed with fresh bread for dinner with the whole family.

In the words of the creator: “a rich, sweet and comforting recipe which is super simple to throw together and is oh-so creamy without the cream”

Curries are my favourite, so I just can’t get enough of this delectable dish by The Foodie Corner.

This amazingly delicious vegan curry with new potatoes, chickpeas (garbanzo beans) and beet greens (beet leaves) can be tossed into the slow cooker with minimal effort and enjoyed by the whole family come dinner time!

Another easy slow cooker option for busy moms – this creation by Kalyns Kitchen is also a great meal prep option and can be prepped in bulk and enjoyed all week long!

17 Meatless Recipes That Are Perfect for Grilling Season

Anyone who's ever been to a barbecue knows they're not always the most vegetarian-friendly gatherings. If you're lucky, your host will have a few veggie burgers or corn cobs on the grill. But more often than not, it'll be greasy, meaty hot dogs and burgers as far as the eye can see.

Whether you're vegetarian or not, having a few meatless options to choose from at a summer barbecue never hurts. And the thing is, it's actually easier than you realize to throw something together. Most vegetables taste better with a nice char on them, so you can put anything from mushrooms to romaine lettuce straight onto the grill and expect great results. Plus, vegetarian favorites like tofu and halloumi (a type of cheese that won't melt when you grill it) take less time to prepare than your average chicken breast or burger.

Of course, if you feel like getting fancy with it, there are exciting options like grilled pizzas and homemade veggie burgers that will help you flex your cooking skills. Whatever type of meatless, summertime recipe you're looking for, you're sure to find something you love in these 17 recipes. Bring them to a party or serve them at your own and watch the crowd go wild.

10 Tips for Eating Meatless

It's easy to be a vegetarian these days, with so many meatless food products on the market, along with all kinds of vegetarian cookbooks and magazines.

If you want to become a 'sometime' vegetarian or just enjoy a meatless meal once in a while, there are ways to do it without learning a whole new way of cooking and eating. First, start by substituting beans for meat or poultry in your favorite dishes, advises Diekman.


"The easiest way to transition into a more plant-based diet is to use familiar recipes substituting vegetarian ingredients," she says.

She recommends making these substitutions in dishes that have strong flavors, such as those with a sweet and sour or marinara sauce. Once you get used to more beans in your diet, experiment with meat substitutes, which look and taste like meat but are made of plant products.

Your second step: The next time you're at the grocery store, pick up one of the many pre-prepared vegetarian convenience foods. Sample several options to find the ones you enjoy.

Here are eight other tips for working more vegetarian meals into your eating plan while meeting all your nutritional needs:

  • Look for foods that are fortified with extra nutrients for a nutritional boost. Choose soy products that are fortified with calcium, vitamin D and B12.
  • Try tofu and soy crumbles, which are mild-tasting and absorb the seasonings and flavor of whatever you cook them with.
  • Eat plenty of dark, leafy greens, which are rich in iron and provide calcium.
  • Top salads, soups, stews, and omelets with beans, nuts, or seeds to add protein.
  • Add a once-daily multivitamin/mineral for nutritional insurance. See your doctor or registered dietitian if you are pregnant or have any other condition that could require extra supplementation.
  • Choose low- and nonfat dairy products.
  • Boost the healthy omega-3 fatty acids in your diet by eating fatty fish (if you include fish in your diet), enriched eggs, walnuts, flaxseed, and canola oil.
  • Try going meatless one day a week at first. You don't have to cook elaborate vegetarian meals it can be as simple as having a veggie burger and salad for dinner.

Vegetarianism is a healthy lifestyle, but experts point out that lean meat, fish, and poultry also have nutritional benefits -- as long as you keep your portions moderate. To gain the health benefits of a vegetarian diet and still enjoy animal products, think of the meat, fish, or poultry as a side dish and fill the rest of your plate with plant foods. And be sure to choose the leanest cuts when you do buy meat.


SOURCES: Nutrition Reviews, April 2006. Journal of the American Diet Association, 2003 vol 103: pp 748-765. News release, Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. Cynthia Sass, MPH, MA, RD, spokeswoman, American Dietetic Association and co-author, Your Diet is Driving Me Crazy: When Food Conflicts Get in the Way of Your Love Life. Connie Diekman, RD, MEd, FADA, president elect, American Dietetic Association and director of nutrition, Washington University, St. Louis.