Being Vegan at the Barbeque | Seventh Generation
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Being Vegan at the Barbeque

Author: kmiddings

Vegan BarbequeWe're heading into the season of outdoor eating, including potluck dinners, family reunions, and backyard cookouts. A time of renewal, and a great opportunity to dust off old recipes and make everything new again.

In our house, that means new takes on vegan recipes. I've spent many years swapping out ingredients, looking for ways to surprise the family with vegan food that tastes great. Here are a few of my secrets:

  • For baking, applesauce replaces the egg beautifully. It adds fluff and moistness in cupcakes, cake recipes, and cookies. Just substitute 1/4 cup per egg called for in any recipe.
  • You can also try mashed bananas, which I use instead of egg in oatmeal and chocolate chip cookies. Mash the bananas then whisk them with a little lemon juice -- it mimics the consistency of the egg and adds the binding quality that you need in cookies.
  • Summer salads are easy too -- pasta salad with fresh snow peas and a good vinaigrette (I am personally addicted to Newman's Own) makes a quick dish.
  • Pesto usually calls for Parmesan cheese, but pine nuts or cashews work just as well.
  • Potato salad can be transformed from a mushy white deli counter staple to a gourmet dish by adding chopped purple onion, seedy mustard, olive oil, fresh peas, and parsley.

See the recipe below, and please share some of your favorites!

Vegan Potato Salad
2-3 lbs cooked potatoes, cubed and drained
2 tbsp seedy mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1 small diced purple onion
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup fresh peas (frozen works just as well)
Fresh parsley, chopped

Toss the cooked potatoes well with the other ingredients and enjoy!

photo: Stuart Mudie


Saucey27 picture
Personally, I love rafts of veggies on the BBQ slathered in olive oil infused with chopped rosemary. But if you eat that way all the time I would encourage you to read "The Vegetarian Myth" by Lierre Keith. She debunks all the statements made by Weatherlight, above. I know the farmers of my food and zero grains are involved (grains are what you'd feed any animal to make it obese and sick, be it cattle or humans). Their polyculture method of farming adds to the soil each year, and fewer animals die than in large-scale agricultural operations that exterminate all the smaller critters. Yes, avoid all industrialized food, shop local, and be healthy. Check out this guy's website for more info (BTW - his wife and child are healthy vegans):
veggiegrrrl picture
Obviously you wouldn't be able to get away with only veggieburgers at a cookout full of meat eaters, but a lot of dishes are easily made vegan by swapping out an ingredient or two and you generally can't tell the difference. Where I'll ask whether something has dairy in it, an omnivore won't--they just dig in! Then you can casually mention after the fact that it was vegan, and they'll think "wow! who knew vegan could be so good!" All of these recipes sound delicious!
kmiddings picture
The mustard to try would be a Whole Grain Dijon - it gives whole salad a great consistency and flavor.
pixiechz picture
Grilled tempeh is great for cookouts! It can be marinated in teriyaki or bbq sauce, cooks in just minutes and is a wonderful protein source. Pile on the lettuce, tomato and accessories, and you've got a burger that any carnivore would love. :)
tepsi picture
I would like to try making the potatoe salad but I'm not sure what seedy mustard is compared to regular mustard. Can anyone tell me this please?
Weatherlight picture
If you're going to make vegan food anyway, serve it to everyone. It's healthier (less cancer, heart disease, etc), more sustainable (land that can support one standard American diet can support many vegans, it takes 20 lbs of grain to make 1 lb of California beef, etc), environmentally friendly (animal industries are the top cause of global warming and rainforest destruction, dairy industry is worse than all airplanes combined, etc), less contribution to development of diseases like AIDS (and avian flu, SARS, tuberculosis, measles, hepatitis E, etc, see ), less murderous (why unnecessarily manufacture, fatten, and slaughter sentient life for the sake of habit?)... While it's easy to see why vegans boycott the animal industries, there's no reason people who insist on eating meat can't also eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and seeds. If certain people are allergic or intolerant (whether or not they're vegan, plenty of vegans and nonvegans are allergic to soy for example), just take that into consideration.
jjerribug picture
except i am a vegetarian and my husband is a carnivore. here is how we handle a bbq -
MikeydooK picture
I am a meat eater and I have found that putting out more vegan dishes that I find here at parties th less meat my wife and I eat. I do my best and mean no disrespect by being a meat eater and commenting. I thought you'd all like to know.
joining for school picture
joining for school
I always make vegan food at all my parties, but I really like the idea of creating two versions of the same dish. It is especially a good idea if one of them is everyone's favorite, like potato salad. thanks for the tip.
sept51970 picture
My sister-in-law, Sue, offered two different versions for some of her dishes at a graduation party for my nephew. She made some vegan items and showed me which ones to take. I appreciated it so much, because all of her other guests are meat-eaters!! Sue included nuts in her coleslaw, a delicious way to add protein.