5 Meat Alternatives for Your Next Barbecue
Barbecues are a great way to connect with loved ones around food and enjoy all of the sun, flavour, and fun that summer has to offer. Grilling food has lots of nutritional benefits, including less excess fat and increased retention of vitamins and minerals in veggies. Plus, the grill locks in the moisture of the food so you don’t need to use as much butter or oil! If you’re looking to add more plants to your diet, or prefer not to eat meat, here are some meat alternatives you can try at your next barbecue!
Cauliflower has risen in popularity recently, due its versatility, great texture, and ability to carry flavour. Cauliflower also has some amazing health benefits. It’s full of healthy fibre that slows digestion and promotes feelings of fullness.
For a visually exciting meat alternative, cauliflower can be grilled whole wrapped in foil. Marinate overnight with your favourite spice blend before grilling. Or, try these adorable buffalo cauliflower wings that are perfect for snacking!
2. Portobello Mushrooms
Not only do Portobello mushrooms have a delicious texture, similar to meat, that will satisfy meat cravings, they are also relatively high in protein and a great source of B vitamins.
Take advantage of the portobello’s natural shape by preparing grilled stuffed mushrooms. You can get creative by using all your favourite flavours! Or, turn your BBQ into a fiesta with grilled portobello fajitas.
3. Halloumi Cheese
Halloumi is another great alternative to meat because it has lots of protein, calcium, and fat. High fat foods like halloumi sate hunger and are an important part of a balanced diet.
Try grilling halloumi with watermelon to make some sweet skewers. Spice with coriander, sumac, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, and black pepper for a dish that perfectly balances the salt of halloumi with watermelon’s refreshing crunch. You can also mix and match halloumi with veggies (hey, Portobello!) for the ultimate veggie burger!
Haven’t you heard? Tempeh is the new tofu! More like the cool, fun cousin of tofu to be exact, with much more protein per serving. As a fermented food, tempeh is rich in prebiotics which promote the growth of good bacteria in your digestive system.
Try slicing tempeh and marinate with maple syrup, soy sauce, and apple cider vinegar before grilling, or try this marinated bbq tempeh! Tempeh also works great as a meat alternative to a beef patty.
Eggplants are a dynamic vegetable that are high in fibre, folic acid, and potassium.
Grilled eggplant is a tried and true way to get more veggies on your grill, but you can also mix it up with BBQ pulled eggplant. This recipe requires some cooking in the oven, but it’s delicious in sandwiches. Another meat alternative is this smoky grilled eggplant bruschetta which is perfect for sharing with all your barbecue guests!
Most importantly, it’s all about the marinade! If you’re looking to boost the flavour of any meat alternative (from tofu to portobellos), start with a good marinade! From dry rubs to more traditional barbecue sauces, here are some quick and easy recipes to add some flavour to anything (and everything) you grill.
Mixing up what you grill is a great way to get more diversity into your diet and explore fun and flavourful new recipes. Life is all about balance—you don’t need to take meat off your grill in order to add more veggies to it. These recipes are sure to delight and satisfy all your barbecue guests and provide everyone with healthier meat alternatives.
The best thing about using the barbecue is that you can truly make recipes your own using seasonal veggies and your favourite flavours. Try some of the marinades and recipes above with your own favourite meat alternatives and share the results with us in the comments – don’t forget to include the recipe! More healthy eating tips here!