Get Your Meatless Grill On

Summer is in full swing and that means, it’s time to get grilling. We women love to take the backseat for once and let our men handle all the cooking. It’s been said that there is something almost therapeutic for guys in making those sizzling, delicious, grilled meals. So let’s take advantage of this gorgeous weather, but with a healthy twist.

Traditionally, meats and barbecues go hand in hand, especially in America. However, a vegetarian meal once in a while hasn’t hurt anyone. In fact, it does just the opposite with all the vitamin packed veggies and by lowering the risk of many chronic diseases like prostate cancer.

“Americans love grilling and eating a lot of meat, but consuming red and processed meat, like our beloved hamburgers and hot dogs, has been linked to a host of illnesses including diabetes, heart disease and various forms of cancer,” says Allison Cappelaere, Registered Dietitian and Project Director for the Johns Hopkins Meatless Monday Project. “What’s more, cooking and grilling meat at high temperatures – especially when charred – releases cancer-causing compounds and increases health risks.”

If that hasn’t sufficiently turned you off, try some of these easy and mouth watering meat substitutes when you fire up that grill. You will know what we are talking about once you do.

•       Veggies can be grilled to perfection too and much quicker than most meats! Corn, asparagus, bell peppers, zucchini, eggplant and squash rank high in popularity.

•       Grilled vegetables make a heck of a summer salad. Get creative with toppings like feta cheese, olive oil, salsa, etc. Add some beans for a good hit of protein!

•       Swap burger patties for portabello mushrooms. Throw on toppings like caramelized onions, pickles, avocados, hot sauces and olives for bold flavors!

•       Extra firm tofu is an excellent alternative to meat. Simply marinade it in your favorite sauce and load it up on the grill. Tofu cubes make excellent kabobs! Smoky tofu steak drenched in BBQ sauce is heavenly too!

•       There are unlimited options when it comes to healthy vegetarian sides. Hummus is usually a crowd favorite and you can’t go wrong with good ol’ Mac and Cheese! You can also opt to go a little more exotic to impress your friends and family with Middle Eastern sides like Labneh, Baba Ganouj or Greek yogurt.

•       For those with a sweet tooth; pineapple, peach halves and figs roast really well. They add interesting flavors to any meal.

•       No meal ends without dessert, but it’s especially hard when you are trying to be healthy. Fresh fruit, parfait and smoothies are safe to indulge in though!

Plan your next barbecue with these vegetarian options. Your summer grilling rendezvous has never been this healthy!

You can find loads of meatless recipes and suggestions on

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