With the new year here, we all look for those new trends and challenges, January is a great time when some people decide to try a plant-based, or vegan diet. Over the past few years, more and more people are signing up for a January trend called Veganuary, which is actually a non-profit organization based out of the UK, and every January the event is held to promote plant based eating for the month.
Now don't worry, we're not here to tell you to give up your steak, or your pulled pork, but we wanted to take part in the fun, and provide some helpful tips and tricks to the everyday griller to get the most out of your grill for plant based eating.
We created a blog a little while back that went into a bit of depth on the difference between the differences between vegan and plant based, and if you'd like the full run down, you can click here.
In short, Vegan's completely eliminate any products that are animal derived, whether it be meat, dairy, eggs, fish and so on, but do not specifically limit their intake of processed foods, oils and so on. Where as plant-based is a diet consisting of unprocessed or raw foods, mostly consisting of fruits, veggies, legumes, nuts and so on.
Now, onto the fun stuff.
If you're wondering how to use a barbecue for plant based grilling but you're left scratching your head, don't worry, it can be a bit challenging trying to figure out what to go with instead of your traditional protein.
Some great accessory options are:
Griddle: A very versatile accessory. You can use it as a separate grilling surface to keep the meat separate, or you can use it for a full meal like stir-fry's, breakfast foods, grilled cheeses and so on.
Pizza stone: They're great for any griller, but it gives those with some dietary restrictions to fully customize their own options, rather than be limited to a lot of fast-food menus. For fully vegan, you can find cheese alternatives typically alongside the plant-based milk section in your grocery store, or skip the cheese al together and use thinly sliced potato as a base layer.
Vegetable basket / rotisserie basket: Great for doing stir-fry's that expose the food to a bit more flame compared to griddles, so you get that classic BBQ char on there for some added flavor. Rotisserie baskets are also a great way to get some delicious barbecued potato wedges
Skewers: Great for veggie and protein concoctions. If you're looking for a meat substitute, extra firm tofu is a great option (less firm options may fall apart on the grill). Beware though, it's a tricky cook. One of our vegan associates recommends making sure to fully dry it out of the package, then let it sit in your favourite BBQ marinade or sauce for a few hours prior to cooking, then place it between items such as onions and peppers. Tofu on it's own is pretty bland (similar to chicken), so letting it soak up those flavours prior and during cooking will bring out the best results.
Burger press: There's plenty of options on the plant based & vegan burger market. Yves, Beyond Meat and LightLife are all great options if you're looking for a quick solution. But there's just something about a handmade burger that's different. For a high protein option, try mashing up black beans as your base. ProTip: Mix in some shredded beets to keep the moisture in and give it a pop of colour.
Shop in-store or online with Barbecues Galore for all of your barbecue accessories. We have 5 locations throughout Canada. Two are located in Alberta with our Calgary North and Calgary South locations. Our other three are located throughout the GTA in Burlington, Oakville & Etobicoke, Ontario.