Labor Day is on its way and most everyone with a backyard wants to throw a barbecue. But what do you do if you are a vegan host and most of your friends are not? How do you get them to attend your barbecue instead of one serving meat lover’s delights? Make it colorful and interesting. Send an invitation which includes your menu and remind them eating vegan doesn’t mean eating boring. And with these two recipes on your menu, they won’t miss the meat.
JERK VEGGIE SKEWERS
1 cup red wine vinegar
1.5 cups light soy sauce
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
5 tablespoons of your favorite jerk seasoning
20 cherry tomatoes
20 small or medium button mushrooms
20 small to medium broccoli florets
2 red bell peppers
2 green bell peppers
2 yellow bell peppers
Soak skewers in water while preparing marinade to prevent them from burning on the grill.
For the marinade: Place peeled onions in a food processor and finely chop. Add remaining marinade ingredients and process to mix thoroghly.
Prepare the vegetables by cutting peppers and zucchinis into chunks. Do not cut mushrooms or florets.If florets are too large, break off branches to size. Spear vegetables on skewer in alternating colors. Place skewers in a large glass dish. Pour marinade over vegetables and marinate for up to 4 hours.
Coat grill with olive oil and pre-heat. when hot, grill veggies for 4 minutes on each side. Place on your favorite serving platter and garnish with remaining vegetables Enjoy!
Not-So Italian Bread and Salad (makes 10-12 servings)
3 red bell peppers
2 cups green olives
2 cups black olives
2 cups sweet peppers
4 stalks celery
4 garlic cloves
2 purple onions
1 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons capers
2 teaspoons black pepper
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Roast red peppers in broiler or on the grill until skins are slightly blackened and pepper is slightly tender. Cut into long, thick strips. Place red peppers, olives, sweet peppers and artichoke hearts in food processor and chop finely. Place in a bowl which can be sealed.
Place celery, garlic, carrots, onion in food processor and chop finely. Add to olive mixture and mix with a large spoon.
Combine vinegar, olive oil, capers, black pepper, and Italian seasoning in a small bowl. Pour over salad and mix. Cover and store in refrigerator at least 2 hours before serving.
6 Portobello mushrooms
4 teaspoons olive oil
3 loaves Italian bread
1.5 pounds mild Monterrey Jack cheese (or Swiss)
1.5 pounds provolone cheese
1 pound mozzarella cheese
Slice Italian bread in half, horizontally. Slice mushrooms into pieces ½ inch thick. Brush with olive oil and sauté until slightly browned on both sides. Set aside.
Hollow out the bread from inside of the Italian bread to create a shallow bowl. Brush outsides with olive oil. Layer mushrooms, Monterrey Jack, provolone, and Swiss. Place in oven or on grill until cheese is melted.
Can be topped with olive salad, or served on the side. Either way, it’s an explosion of tastes that enhances any backyard barbecue. Enjoy!