BBQ Veggie Extravaganza

Grilled vegetable platterBefore becoming vegan, I used my my gas barbeque grill year-round. At least once a week (regardless of weather) you would find me on my 4th floor balcony barbequeing chicken with garlic and herbs, and on other days lamb, pork, steak, fish or other seafood as well. Often I would barbeque vegetables (i.e corn on the cob or potatoes) alongside the meat main course, but after becoming vegan, I almost thought about getting rid of my grill.  It was as though it was not worth firing up the grill just for barbequeing vegetables. Or perhaps it was out of fear that I might be tempted to barbeque meat again?

Fortunately, I kept my grill around, as it’s perfectly suited for roasting large quantities of bell peppers needed in roast pepper salad antipasto.  During my transition period from meat-eating, it took me over 2 years to use up one tank of gas (so long between refills, in fact, my LP gas company had gone out of business!).

Now, however, in my 3rd year of following a vegan diet, I enjoy eating barbequed vegetables as much as I ever did any expensive cut of meat, fish or chicken. Although you can eat a lot more vegetables barbequed than raw, you’ll still find vegetables are much cheaper than meat in comparison.

Last weekend,  I enjoyed one of the best barbeques, if not one of the best meals in my life, period. We feasted on barbequed corn, zucchini, eggplant, pumpkin squash, mushrooms, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, tofu, and Italian bread. Although my hosts are not vegans, and could easily have cooked some meat for themselves, none of them seemed to miss meat.

There was practically no preparation, and no fancy marinades were needed: just slice the vegetables (not too thin, to avoid drying them out) and brush lightly with olive oil to prevent them from sticking to the grill (or use a non-stick grill pan).   And, as it is with indoor vegan cooking, cleaning up afterward is much easier than for meat.

So, if you are a BBQ lover, don’t fear that becoming vegan means the end of barbeque parties. It may take a while (as long as 3-4 years if you’re in your 40’s like me) to change your habits before you can accept vegetables, rather than meat,  as the main dish. But, if you stick with a vegan diet, you will surely be able to find the same enjoyment eating BBQed veggies as you formerly did eating steaks, burgers, chops and chicken.

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