That's right, the days are warmer (or damn hot depending where you are) and longer. That can only mean t's time to dust off the ol' grill, break out the tongs and hunt around until you find that grill brush that you know you had last time you cooked out. We're going to have a cookout!
I can hear it now. "How can a Vegan have a cookout?" Well, I am here to help you avoid the pitfalls and mistakes that plague most people when they are trying to orchestrate a cookout involving people that eat meat and people that do not. It can be tricky but it can be done, oh yes, it can be done, just as long as you keep a few things in mind.
- When shopping for the cookout, don't make you vegan do any of the meat selecting. That's your job, keep it that way. The vegan may not care what you eat but they sure as heck don't want to have any part of "Do you think these steaks smell okay?"
- Alway, always, always keep the meat prep away from everything else. It would be great if we could have our own little 'meat kitchen' outside by the grill, but that's just a dream for most of us. Either do the meat prep before they dive into the prep for everything else (cleaning everything as soon as you're done) or wait until they are done with what they're doing.
- With all due respect to Hank Hill, get rid of that propane grill!! Sure, it's nice if you want to fire up the grill on a worknight for the two of you but when you've got the time and you're feeding others, charcoal is the only way to go!
- Cook veggie bruger and dogs last. I know that there are people who will say "Why don't you cook them first before all that meat gets on the grill?" Well, the grill will probably already have had meat on it at one point or another so it's not going to get any more contaminated at this point. Most of the time, unless you have many vegan friends, the meat eaters will outnumber the vegans. It just makes sense to cook all the meat first, then brush the grill off and while all the meat eaters are fixing their burgers and whatnot you can get the veggie burgers and dogs cooked. The veggie meats don't take nearly as long and there won't be a plate of uncooked burgers sitting there waiting their turn. If you've got veggies in foil packets they can be cooked right along with the meat.
Okay, now that you've got a handle on how to have a successful meat/vegan cookout it's time for the most important question....What to grill for the vegan?
Fortunately there are many alternatives and all of them are good. The best part is that none of the alternatives here require you to toss a slab of tofu on the grill which will get you laughed at by your buddies.
Note:An astute reader sent in this tip. If you have veganss that are touchy about having their food cooked on a grill that's just had meat on it, lay some foil down on the grill and cook the food on that!
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