There is more to vegetarian tailgate food than veggie burgers. If you are going to host a tailgate party, you can provide creative alternatives to your vegetarian guests. A little preparation and imagination can yield amazing vegetarian entrees for your tailgate.
Story by Eric Scott
Veggie skewers are a great tailgate item because they can be prepared in advance and only take a few minutes to cook. Begin by soaking wooden skewers in water for about an hour so that they will not catch fire on the grill. After the skewers soak, add three or four varieties of vegetables. Some suggestions are cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, squash, carrots and peppers. Place the veggie skewers in an airtight container when complete.
On game day, brush the veggie skewers with olive oil and place on the grill over medium heat. Rotate the skewers every few minutes until the vegetables are tender and evenly browned. Serve the skewers with a dipping sauce such as ranch dressing or a spicy buffalo sauce.
Grilled Vegetable Panini
Vegetable panini are great vegetarian alternatives to burgers and hot dogs. Cut a variety of vegetables into thick slices, brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the vegetables on the grill over medium heat. Cook the vegetables about three minutes on each side. Zucchini, squash, bell peppers and mushrooms are ideal items for vegetable panini.
Cut a hearty Italian or French bread into quarter inch slices. Brush one side of each slice of bread with olive oil and place on the grill until golden brown. Add the grilled vegetables and provide condiments such as honey mustard, vinaigrette dressing and barbeque sauce.
Chicago Style Tofu Dogs
Tofu is very versatile. So versatile, in fact, that it can be used to make amazing Chicago style hot dogs. Cut very firm tofu into rectangular blocks about the size of a hot dog. Place the tofu on the grill over a medium heat. Rotate the tofu every several minutes until golden brown. Serve on a poppy seed hot dog roll. Provide the standard Chicago hot dog condiments, which include pickles, relish, diced tomatoes, chopped onions and mustard.
Portobello mushrooms are often called the vegetarian’s steak and they make terrific burgers. Portobello mushrooms are one of the easiest vegetables to grill. Baste the mushrooms with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place the mushrooms on the grill and cook about 5 minutes on each side until the mushrooms become tender and soft. Serve on standard hamburger rolls with sliced red onions and roasted red peppers.
If you use a little creativity you may be amazed at the vegetarian food that you can provide to your tailgate guests. Of course your vegetarian friends will appreciate your effort but you may also find that the vegetarian items are a hit with everyone else at your tailgate.