With visions of Memorial Day dancing in our heads, summer is really just around the corner! I don't what your plans are but odds are somebody will be barbecuing. So what will you do if you don’t eat meat or chicken?
First, grab some skewers, and weave on some mushroom caps or portobello mushrooms strips, colored bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, even some broccoli if you'd like, and good sized chunks of pineapple. Be sure to baste them all in a little olive oil, salt & pepper to taste, and add some chopped fresh rosemary and parsley to the oil before basting for extra flavor (and so they don't stick to the grill.) For an asian twist, add chunks of firm tofu, remove the pineapple, and baste with a marinade of soy sauce, sesame oil and rice wine vinegar, with some minced garlic and ginger for an added kick!
Next, spread some earth balance onto fresh ears of corn and sprinkle on a little old bay seasoning. Wrap them up in aluminum foil and grill until tender. While you're at it, spread that same mixture, plus some kosher salt, on some red bliss or baby potatoes, and do the same with them! If you miss a traditional potato salad, find a recipe you love, and use Veganaise or Nayonaise in place of the egg-based mayonnaise, and be sure to add some Dijon mustard for fuller flavor.
For dessert, try halves some peaches, nectarines and plums, and grill them, flesh side down, until they start to warm and brown. Drizzle with a balsamic reduction or top So Delicious brand or Purely Decadent brand non-dairy ice cream. The chocolate peanut butter is pretty terrific, on the fruit or just on a spoon with some sprinkles!
Is there anyone who doesn't like pizza? Ok ~ clearly the cheese is of no interest to me, but warm, toasty bread with sauce or oil and some great vegetables ~ it's just hard to go wrong with that kind of combination. Did you know you can make it on the grill?
First you need:
1 yellow squash, ends cut off
1 zucchini, ends cut off
1 small yellow onion
1.5 TBSP olive oil
1.5 TBSP truffle oil
Balsamic glaze (or you can reduce a little balsamic vinegar until it thickens slightly)
In a sautee pan, heat the olive oil and then add the onions to sweat. You want to leave them in there, stirring occasionally, until they become a bit translucent. Cut the squash and zucchini into quarters the long way, and then thinly slice in the opposite direction, and add them to the pan, stirring occasionally, covering in between so that the vegetables cook more quickly. As they soften, add a pinch of kosher salt and the truffle oil, and continue to stir until tender.
In the meantime, turn on your grill! You could make this in a regular oven for sure, but the grill adds such great flavor. Take some pizza dough, about half a ball/pie's worth, roll it out to 1/2 inch thick and brush with olive oil. The throw it on the grill, oil side down, for 5 minutes. You'll love to watch how it bubbles!
When you flip the dough, top it with the sauteed vegetables and grill for another 5 minutes (if the veggies can stand to be cooked a drop more, keep the cover to the grill closed. Remove from the heat and drizzle with the balsamic glaze or the reduction you've made and voila! For dinner itself, we took another piece of dough and just grilled it with olive oil and salt ~ rosemary or some macerated tomatoes and fresh basil would have been fabulous too.
To round it all out, and for a terrific patriotic look, muddle some strawberries and blueberries together in a shaker, add some ice cold ketel one, and serve, on the rocks. You'll surely be the hostess with the vegan mostess and they are dishes everyone will love!