Planning a Vegan BBQ

Ever since we met, JC & and have been (unofficially) competing to make each other’s birthday spectacular. I try to do something awesome for him, and he does the same thing. At the moment, I think he’s winning this one, but that wont stop me from trying. So, as part of the week of birthday celebrations for JC this year, I threw a little BBQ birthday party.

I’m looking forward to getting a copy of Grills Gone Vegan written by Tamasin Noyes. We’re big fans of the BBQ, but in the meantime, I had to put together my own menu of options, maybe you can use some of these too.

BBQ Roasted Niagara Corn

Shish kabobs and corn
I love local corn, there is something so tasty about eating something grown on land you can actually visit. I felt the same way when I lived in Alberta and corn grown in Taber was the thing to buy.

If you want to roast corn on the BBQ the most important thing to do, is get them in their husks – soak them in water for at least an hour or so before you plan to throw them on the BBQ.

The corn steams and cooks in the husk, then after about 10 minutes, you can peel the corn (careful – it will be hot), and then leave it on the grill until the kernels are roasted a little bit more (I left it on for 3-5 minutes.)

As a decent margarine alternative to the corn (though we still had margarine available), I made the Spicy Garlic Miso Dressing from Bryant Terry’s Vegan Soul Kitchen (which as I’ve mentioned before is one of my favourite cookbooks!)

Shish kabobs

I like roasted veggies and eating things on sticks so Shish Kabobs are pretty perfect all around. For our BBQ.I made two different varieties of these as we had guests/JC’s family following a ketogenic diet, so we had a normal version, and a low-carb high-fat variety.

For the normal ones I had a variety of zucchini, cherry tomatoes, yellow pepper slices, portobello mushrooms, porchini mushrooms, marinated tofu, and onions on each skewer.

For the keto ones I had zucchini, low carb tofu, and portobello mushrooms.

There were two different marinades, but they mostly followed the same premise as the recipe below. The one for the Keto folks was made without the agave syrup and onion.

Marinade Recipe

3/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup braggs
1/4 cup agave syrup
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
2 tbsp finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp ground garlic cloves
a bunch of black pepper (approximately 1 tsp)

I drained the tofu and mushrooms, and pressed them, cubed them, and tossed them in their respective marinades, leaving it for over 10 hours in the fridge. Make sure to stir it at least once or twice if your marinade isn’t covering the tofu completely (mind didn’t – I used a large roasting pan though)

Gardein Veggie Burgers

Vegan BBQ

These are a great addition to the veggie burger scene. I tried them for the first time a little over a year ago when they first appeared in Canada at the 10,000 tastes, 1 Billion Reasons Event. These always seem to impress people, vegan or otherwise. It’s a quality burger, and grills up great on the BBQ.

Homemade Buns

Check out my buns.

I’m not even going to pretend I’m not super proud of these things. Making fresh buns is surprisingly easy, and so worth it.

I have been getting a little tired of how full of random ingredients most commercially available hot dog and burger buns seem to be – especially since reading ingredients is a usual supermarket past time. Since we normally don’t keep buns very long (they get eaten!) it doesn’t seem like we need to consume so many preservatives. So I made about 40 burger buns for the BBQ.

I very slightly modified this How To Make Your Own Hamburger Bun recipe from The Kitchn and used 1:1 soy milk, ground flax seed (1tbsp flax: 3 tbsp water) instead of eggs, and coconut oil instead of butter. Easy vegan substitutions, and the resulting bun was delicious, fluffy, and held the ingredients really well.

They also freeze well.


Condiments from Good Catch

Do not underestimate the role of a good condiment at a BBQ. Since we had just moved into our new house, all of our condiments were still living in the fridge at the old house. It was time to fancy our lives up a little.

Here is 1,000,000 Relish from The Pickle Guy

Betty B’s Flaming Ketchup (It’s spicy)

Forbes Wild Foods Saskatoon Mustard – How could I not?

Kozliks mustard

I found all of these at Good Catch in Toronto’s Parkdale neighbourhood.

Macaroni Salad

Vegan Pasta Salad from Cooking Vegan with Love

I used this incredible recipe from Vegan Cooking with Love. It’s perfect, simple, and can be made several days in advance (heck, it’s even encouraged!)

Gazpacho Shooters

Gazpacho Shooters from Martha Stewart

I felt a little like Martha Stewart making these, probably because this was one of her recipes. I felt oddly obligated to make gazpacho as a nod to the Lisa Simpson Vegetarian episode where she brings gazpacho to her fathers (very-not-vegan) BBQ.

[Homer fills the grill with lighter fluid and prepares to grill]
Lisa: Wait Dad! Good news, everyone! You don’t have to eat meat! I’ve got enough gazpacho for everyone.
[Crowd murmurs]
Lisa: It’s tomato soup, served ice cold!
[Crowd laughs out loud as Lisa growls and stomps off]

Anyway, this was delicious if I do say so myself, and it made me love our food processor all over again.

RECIPE: Martha Stewart – Gazpacho in Cucumber Cups

The Cake!

And finally, the cake I didn’t make, but was pretty excited about.

Kobo Birthday Cake - Jordan

I ordered this from Sweets from the Earth and it was pretty good… even several days later. The cake was covered in fondant, but otherwise was vanilla based with a tiny bit of butter cream frosting.

All in all, I think JC had a great birthday (if I do say so myself), and it was nice to have people visit with us and eat our food.

Do you have any favourite vegan BBQ items?