Meatless Monday- Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Options Everyone Will Love

by - Wednesday, July 04, 2018

What's the easiest switch you can make for the environment? Eat less meat!

Every week we are exploring vegetarian meals for meat eaters. Cooking with seasonal vegetables can seem really limiting at first, but the possibilities are endless. And it is worth it. Just cutting one day of meat eating out of our diet can keep thousands of pounds of CO2 out of the atmosphere a year. No seriously, it's that big a deal. Plus, it's a great opportunity to have some new adventures and try new things. Just another way to take care of the planet AND make life a little bit better!

Watermelon Shark

When you think of the All-American barbecue or picnic, from family reunion to 4th of July, you probably think of this menu:

hot dogs
grilled chicken or pulled pork

Obviously, every cook and family culture (since we are a mixing pot) has huge variations on this, but if we take the basic plot sold to us by every picnic-type ad, this is the equation.

Now, this is a heck of a lot of meat. If you have a vegetarian present, are they going to be stuck with a veggie tray? Best case scenario is a whole lot of pasta salad.

Now, whether you have herbivores or carnivores at your party, you can do a heap of good by serving less meat. We know the production of meat is one of the largest sources of climate change. In fact, a person with a vegetarian diet has half the impact of a meat eater. Meat is also a key source of waste- they waste fossil fuels, water (having a drought? Stop messing with military showers and stop eating meat), and energy. Now, if you are a meat-lover, you can still do good for the environment by just eating less meat. Every meatless meal you eat adds up to help the environment.

In a usual week if we are really scheduled, we eat 21 meals, so that is 21 chances to eat no or less meat. When we have a party, we can be in charge of that many meals all at once. So a meatless party can have a serious positive impact on our environment!

So, why not try hot dogs and black bean burgers as a big switch!? Sure, someone will give you the eye. But that is their problem. You don't have to make a frozen veggie burger (that will change no one's mind). You can find tons of amazing veggie options that will leave your guests cleaning their plates, and most will probably not even notice that they ate less meat.

Or just serve a LOT of pasta salad and invite me. I won't complain a bit.

Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Options Everyone Will Love
from Running in a Skirt
Black Bean Burgers- Before this year, I would not have gone for a black bean burger, but we tried this one from the Plantiful Table (one of our favorite vegetarian cookbooks, lent to us by a friend), and now I am all about them. They are pretty dang good! If you want something with a little more pizazz, this black bean burger from Running in a Skirt looks ridiculously good!

Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Options Everyone Will Love
from the Culinary Chase
Cauliflower "Wings"- Love that crispy, fried chicken with hot sauce? Why not try this amazing cauliflower recipe from The Culinary Chase instead? These are fun and bite sized, but they can hold a bunch of sauce just like a good hot wing, and their texture has that same crispy outside and soft inside. But people can feel proud of themselves for eating something healthy.

Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Options Everyone Will Love
from A Spicy Perspective
Grilled Veggie Skewers- So simple, and you could choose whichever veggies you wanted, but putting vegetable skewers center stage next to your protein might be a delicious choice that cuts people's meat intake down without much fuss.  I like this combination from a Spicy Perspective. No one gets mad with corn on the cob, and you could put it all together easily.

Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Options Everyone Will Love
from The Spruce Eats
Balsamic Beets- Loyal Readers know my obsession with beets, but come on! This looks so good! I have never tried grilling a beet, but you know this is on my list now. The Spruce Eats knows the way to my heart, and if you have an open-minded crowd, this could be a hit!

Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Options Everyone Will Love
from Mom on Timeout
Rice Salad- People don't miss meat when you give them carbs. This Wild Rice Salad from Mom on Timeout looks so delicious, and it would be super hearty and filling too (without being slathered in mayo or something). I definitely want to try this one.

Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Options Everyone Will Love
from Well Vegan
Carrot Dogs- Are you ready to kick the hot dog for good? (someday guys, I promise I will get there) These balsamic carrot dogs from Well Vegan are in the same old bun and might give you the same feeling, while being fresher and not having lots of unnameable animal parts. This is my big leap suggestion, but I think it could actually be awesome!

Vegetarian and Vegan Barbecue Options Everyone Will Love

 Want more vegetarian recipes to try? Awesome! Adding more meatless meals to your diet is such a fun challenge and you can discover so many things you like. Check out this page for all of the Meatless Monday Recipe Round Ups!

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