Vegetarian grilling season is here!

I’m not one to post many recipes. I looooove to eat, but truth be told, I’m not all that creative in the kitchen. Most of our go-to meals are borrowed from other people’s imaginations, and I’m fine with that. We can’t all be the Picassos and Rembrandts of the culinary world. Last night, however, I did make something delicious on the barbecue, and they were  so beautiful, I just had to share.IMG_2688

Grilled marinated vegetable kebabs with garlic pepper tofu. A delightful, easy-ish meal perfect for a warm, Winnipeg summer evening. It also happens to be vegan/vegetarian.

My family and I eat a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet at home, including my toddler. I really enjoy this lifestyle, and very rarely miss eating meat. Except during barbecue season. It’s been a challenge to find vegetarian options that go on the grill (as much as my daughter would love it, we won’t just be eating veggie dogs every night for supper). My soups, stews, casseroles, and veggie patties just don’t work on the barbecue, meaning I find myself stuck in the kitchen cooking on too many summer nights. And while the smoky, savoury scent of grilling meat does instantly get my mouth salivating and my stomach rumbling, that isn’t really what I miss about eating meat; it’s the community, the shared eating experience of friends and family gathering around a flame, feasting together. Our vegetarian answer to this is now the inclusion of smoked and flavoured tofus. These products grill beautifully, require very little additional preparation (seriously, all one needs to do is open the package and cut up), and provide that savoury umami taste and texture. They are significantly higher in sodium than plain tofu (just like most smoked meats compared to their fresh counterparts), so it is important to be mindful of the sodium content of the rest of the meal and any additional condiments.

The recipe:

  • 8 wooden skewers, soaked in cold water for at least 30 minutes.
  • 1 package Smoked Garlic Pepper Tofu, cut into 1-1.5 cm squares
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, cut into 1.5 cm squares
  • 1/2 green pepper, cut into 1.5 cm squares
  • 1/2 large white or red onion, cut into 1.5 cm squares
  • 20+ small button or cremini mushrooms
  • Marinade
    • 1/4 cup olive oil
    • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar (or to taste)
    • 2 tbsp water
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 1-2 tsp dijon mustard
    • 1/2 tsp oregano
    • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
    • black pepper
    • pinch salt
  1. Whisk together marinade ingredients until well combined.
  2. Combine chopped vegetables, mushrooms, and marinade in a shallow dish. Let sit in the fridge for at least 30 minutes, tossing occasionally.
  3. Heat the grill at medium heat.
  4. Assemble the skewers.
  5. Brush grill with canola oil. Place skewers on grill.
  6. Cook for 3-5 minutes, then turn the kebabs and repeat. Cook shorter if you like really crisp vegetables, longer if you like some char.
  7. Serve and enjoy!
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One thought on “Vegetarian grilling season is here!

  1. The smoked garlic pepper tofu is available at Safeway and at several of the specialty Asian grocery stores around town, but it doesn’t seem to be available at Co-op, Sobeys, or Superstore.

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