Typical summer cookouts are usually very meat-focused and high in sugar, fat and gluten. If you or a loved one prefers a plant-based diet, there may be limited options available. You can create your own vegetarian meal by substituting BBQ and grilled favorites with fresh vegetables and fun flavors.
If you’d like to have a vegetarian outdoor meal experience, try these five plant-based summer cookout recipes.
Balsamic Grilled Mushroom Kabobs
Mushrooms often get sidelined at a barbecue as the token dish for vegetarians. However when tossed in a balsamic-soy glaze, these kabobs can become a savory, gourmet main dish for the whole family.
Mushrooms also have a wide variety of health benefits. Mushrooms are packed with fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Antioxidants help protect the body from damaging free radicals that can cause conditions like heart disease and cancer. They also protect against damage from aging and boost the immune system. Mushrooms are rich in the antioxidant called selenium and have the highest levels of selenium of any produce.
- 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
- 2 tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 lb. cremini mushrooms, sliced 1/2″ thick
- Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
- Wooden Skewers
- Don’t wash mushrooms with water. To avoid sogginess, wipe excess dirt away with a damp paper towel.
- In a large bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and pepper. Add mushrooms and marinate for 20 minutes. Presoak wooden skewers in water while mushrooms marinate.
- Heat grill to medium-high. Skewer mushrooms and grill 2 to 3 minutes per side.
- Garnish with parsley before serving.
Chile Lime Corn On The Cob
Corn is a versatile veggie side dish that is simple and easy to make. By adding a hint of lime and chile pepper, you can give your side a southwest twist and extra kick of spice.
Corn also has several health benefits. Because of the high fiber content, corn can aid with digestion. It also contains valuable B vitamins and essential minerals such as zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese.
- 6 ears of corn with husks
- ¼ cup lime juice
- 1 teaspoon ground chipotle chile pepper
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Peel back the corn husks, but do not remove. Remove silks and rinse corn.
- Fold husks back around corn and tie with 100-percent cotton kitchen string to hold closed. Soak corn in enough water to cover for 1 to 2 hours. Then drain the water.
- Grill corn, covered, over medium heat for 30 to 35 minutes or until kernels are tender, turning once.
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine remaining spice ingredients.
- Remove string from corn and pull back husks. Tie husks with string to hold open. Brush corn with lime juice mixture and serve in husk.
Garlic Black Bean Burger
The staple of a quintessential summer cookout is of course the burger. If you’d like to avoid store-bought, frozen veggie burgers, you can prepare your own meatless patties.
This recipe uses primarily black beans as the base with a mix of rice and veggies. Black beans have a wide variety of health benefits including being an excellent source of protein. Protein is a vital nutrient that maintains and repairs the body. Beans are also high in folate and antioxidants. Beans promote heart health and curb appetite. They can also help reduce the risk of cancer and diabetes.
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1½ cups)
- 1 cup cooked short-grain brown rice (see note)
- 1 ½ cups chopped raw vegetables (example: ½ cup each of onions, carrots, and mushrooms, or any desired combination)
- ¼ cup chopped nuts (examples: walnuts, almonds, and/or pine nuts) (optional; see note)
- 1 cup quick-cooking rolled oats, or bread crumbs
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1–2 tablespoons of your preferred spices and seasonings, to taste
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2–3 tablespoons unsweetened, unflavored plant milk or vegetable broth, as needed
- ¼ cup cornmeal or chickpea flour (more as needed)
- Lightly pulse the beans in a food processor, leaving some chunks for texture, or partially mash them with a potato masher. Place the beans into a large bowl, along with the rice.
- Finely chop the raw vegetables. I use my food processor, first cutting the vegetables into 1-inch pieces and then pulsing until finely chopped. Add the vegetables and nuts to the bowl with the beans and rice.
- Add the binder and seasonings to the bowl, and knead to make the mixture workable for forming burgers. Add the moistener, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the burgers don’t hold together well. Chill for an hour or more, if time allows.
- Form the mixture into palm-size patties about ⅜-inch thick.
- Place the cornmeal or chickpea flour coating on a plate. Gently coat both sides of each burger, one at a time. Roll the edges against a flat surface to make a round shape with flat sides, and pat the coating onto the sides as well. This adds a nice crispy surface and helps the burgers keep their shape.
- Cook the burgers in a nonstick pan over medium heat for 5 minutes, then turn and cook the other side for 4 to 5 minutes more. You can also bake the burgers on a baking sheet at 350°F for about 20 minutes.
- Serve on buns or alone with your favorite condiments. Expect a savory, soft texture and a thin, crisp crust.
Crispy Cauliflower BBQ Wings
Cauliflower is another typical meat-substitute that gets the “for the vegetarians only” label. However these spicy, crispy, snacks can be a poppable appetizer that’s super yummy for all types of palettes.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins. It provides antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer. It also contains choline which can promote brain health for learning and memory.
- 1 head of Cauliflower Cut into florets
- ½ cup Hot Sauce
- 1 tbsp Maple Syrup
- 2 tbsp Coconut Oil
- ¾ cup Plant Milk
- ½ cup All-purpose flour
- 4 cups Corn Flakes Crushed
- ½ tsp Garlic Powder
- 2 tsp Smoked Paprika
- ½ tsp Salt
- ¼ tsp Black Pepper
- Preheat oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Put all the flour, garlic powder, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and plant milk into a bowl and mix everything together well.
- In another bowl, pour in the corn flakes and crush them into smaller pieces.
- BBQ hot sauce
- Mix together the hot sauce with maple syrup and coconut oil
- Next, pour all the cauliflower florets into the milk mixture and toss to coat.
- Finally, toss the milk coated florets into the crushed cornflakes and make sure everything is coated.
- Lay the coated cauliflower florets on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Pour the BBQ hot sauce onto the florets and put them back in the oven to cook for further 10-15 minutes or until they are nice and crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. You can test them by piercing a knife through a floret to see if it’s tender all the way through. Take them out of the oven.
- Serve with ranch or yogurt dip and enjoy.
Grilled Sweet Potato Fries
Sweet potatoes are another simple summer side-dish that are fun and easy to make. These naturally caramelized sides pair well with black bean burger to give the feel of a summer cookout with way more nutrients than regular fries. They have an incredibly moist and creamy texture on the inside and slight crispy char on the inside for balance.
Sweet potatoes are highly nutritious as a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Sweet potatoes promote gut health, health vision, brain function and boost the immune system.
- 4 to 6 Sweet Potatoes
- Olive oil
- Fill a stockpot with about 2 inches of water. Set a steam basket in the pot and lay the sweet potatoes in it. Turn the heat to medium-low and cover. Let steam until the sweet potatoes are just cooked through, about 45 minutes. When the potatoes are fork-tender, remove and place them on a sheet tray to cool.
- Preheat your grill to medium high.
- Once the sweet potatoes are cool enough to handle, slice them into spears lengthwise. Generously rub olive oil all over the cut and liberally season all sides with salt.
- Place the sweet potatoes cut-side down on the hot grill. Cook for about 5 to 7 minutes on each side, just until the cut sides are nicely charred with grill marks and the skin sides are smoky and crisp.
Discover More Natural Bio Health Recipes
If you’d like more ideas for healthy meals, check out our variety of recipes and recommendations based on your health goals.
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