A vegetarian may show up at your cookout. Do not be alarmed.
September 3rd, 2012
02:15 PM ET
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Vegetarians are (mostly) not here just to ruin your good time. Really. I swear. I was one, myself for seven years and all I wanted at a cookout was to hang out with my friends, and not have to worry that the omnivores would gobble up all the meat-free sides before I got to the table.

These days, while I'm likely to smoke up a brisket, a rack of ribs or some animal innards when company comes over, the non-meat options surely don't get short shrift.

Here are a few of my favorite ways to celebrate the bounty of the season and make sure all my guests leave full and satisfied - no matter how they choose to chow down.

Corn
Chef Akhtar Nawab of La Esquina restaurant in New York City shares this take on a Mexican street food classic - elotes callajeros (grilled corn) with lime mayonnaise, cotija cheese and chile piquin.

He says, "Get the freshest corn you can, peel, and grill them until the kernels are slightly charred and start to pop. Use a thick wooden skewer to create a handle for eating. Brush with some lime mayonnaise, generously dust with cotija cheese and finish with a little fresh chile piquin. Remove from heat, remove the skewers, sprinkle lightly with lemon juice if desired and serve."

More at our Grilled Corn 101 guide

Tomatoes
Meat eaters can keep their patties, dogs and chops. It's tomato season for just a bit longer and that's the very best season of all. For an easy Caprese salad, grab a few really luscious tomatoes – heirloom if you've got 'em. Slice thickly, sprinkle lightly with kosher or sea salt and a bit of freshly ground black pepper, stack with slices of fresh mozzarella, layer on a few fresh basil leaves and anoint with the nicest olive oil you can get your paws on. Flick with a bit of balsamic and serve.

If your guests don't eat cheese, just slice up the tomatoes, sprinkle with a little salt and drizzle with a little bit of olive oil. A good tomato needs no more embellishment than that.

More on the supremacy of the tomato and mayonnaise sandwich, or dive a bit deeper into Caprese technique

Okra
Wash fresh, young pods and trim the stems, while leaving the tops intact. Thread the pods onto skewers side by side, but not touching. If you're using bamboo skewers, soak them for at least 30 minutes beforehand so they won't burn.

Brush or spray the pods lightly with oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Your favorite barbecue rub will add an extra layer of flavor, as will powdered, okra-friendly spices like cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika or cayenne pepper.

Heat the grill to medium, oil the grate and cook the skewers for 2-3 minutes, then flip over for an addition 2-3 minutes. The pods should be slightly crisp and pick up grill marks, but shouldn't be charred.

More in our okra grilling guide

Squash, Beans, Radishes, Cauliflower and other sturdy vegetables
Marco Canora serves a sublime summer vegetable salad at his New York City restaurant Hearth; the key is to dress ingredients while they're warm. In my at-home adaptation, I boil about two cups of skin-on new potatoes (I like salt potatoes, but any variety will do) until they're fork tender, drain and then cut them into quarters.

Then I add halved strung beans and cauliflower florets (raw or lightly blanched in the potato water), chunks of raw squash and radishes, a few pinches of capers, and some ricotta salata cheese and a sliced, hard-boiled egg (if I know I'm not feeding vegans), mix them in and pour in a dressing that's equal parts lemon juice and olive oil. I add salt and pepper to taste and serve. This is one of those salads that actually improves the longer it sits in the fridge, but if you take that route, add the egg and cheese later.

More in our guides to grilling summer squash and making the most of field peas and butter beans

Potatoes
My husband Douglas whipped up this celery-crunched herb-kissed potato salad on a whim about six years ago. Now our guests demand it.

Ingredients:

3 lbs red potatoes
1/2 cup mayonnaise (vegan mayo works just fine)
1/2 cup dijon mustard
2 stalks fresh celery with leaves
1/2 white or yellow onion
3 fresh green scallions
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 fist full kosher salt
1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup fresh thyme leaves

Directions:

Quarter and boil the red potatoes for about 20 minutes, until tender to a fork or paring knife. Finely chop the celery, onion, scallions, and thyme leaves, and mix together with mayonnaise and mustard in large mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper and paprika.
When potatoes are cool to the touch, dress them in the mixture and cover. Let ingredients set up together for an hour. Eat.

Mushrooms
Chef Nawab also celebrates with grilled Hen of the woods mushrooms cooked with mojo de ajo, epazote, and Fresno chilies and cebollitas (green onions)

He says, "Carefully break the mushrooms into large pieces, brush with the mojo de ajo and grill over medium heat. In a separate pan quickly sauté the sliced shallots and chilies. When the mushrooms are tender, add the peppers and onions and cook for a few minutes until the mushrooms are coated with the peppers and mojo de ajo."

"The mojo, like the dry rub for the steak, is easy to make and has so many different uses, so take a little extra time and make a big batch! Great with shrimp and fish also. To make it, simply mince garlic in a food processor, add to a pot, cover with olive oil, fresh chilies (I like to use chile de arbol), and cook slowly. When the garlic starts to caramelize, add some lime juice and the minced herbs. Cool and use on anything and everything."

Don't forget the: cole slaw | deviled eggs | grilled pizza

Got a favorite way to keep your vegetarian guests fed at a cookout? Please share it in the comments below and we just might feature it in an upcoming feature.

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Filed under: Corn • Entertaining • Grilling • Grilling • Labor Day • Okra • Potatoes • Squash • Summer Vegetables • Techniques & Tips • Tomatoes • Vegan • Vegetables • Vegetarian


soundoff (179 Responses)
  1. shaydiej

    I'm vegan. I ALWAYS offer to bring veggie burgers or tofu dogs. If they touch mine with the meat or same tongs, I discreetly dump the patty and eat the bun, though. Then I eat when I get home. I can only liken it to someone putting human blood on your meal, would you eat it? I can't, but I can try to be courteous about it. Sometimes I'll say, "Don't worry about me, I'll bring something!" and they're really sweet and whip me up some vegetarian chili or something - those are GOOD hosts!

    May 30, 2014 at 8:16 pm | Reply
    • shaun

      I been vegan for 5 months, and not only I discovered the great taste of well grown vegetables, but I feel great and brought down very high cholesterol without meds. I love been vegan. I will never eat the meat or product of a savagely exploited animal...it is just gross to feed like that.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:39 am | Reply
    • WasteNot

      I bring my own food to bbqs as well, but I am not picky if it accidently touches meat. That just seems like a waste and against vegan core values. Your actions in throwing away food is not helping any animals, but instead taking good food away from animals. So you don't like food that has been contaminated with flesh? Do you eat on plates or with forks at other peoples houses when they have been in the past used to eat meat? Yes, but they have been washed. Okay, just stick your black bean burger over the flame for a moment and burn off any animal specs if you are that worried. Or rinse off your soy dog, or just cut away a little bit where it touched meat.

      May 31, 2014 at 3:16 am | Reply
      • shaydiej

        No, it doesn't "cook off," it just dries to it. Would you want poop or pee or human blood cooked onto your food? The meat is taboo to me like those things are to most people. I can be discreet and curious, but I'm not going to eat it.

        May 31, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Reply
    • Thinking things through

      I'll provide good healthy vegan food for vegans (no tofu pups, but you'd be welcome to bring your own). But I can't guarantee that a molecular spec of something won't bounce off somewhere from the other part of the grill onto your food, or that a mosquito won't end up flying down your gullet, and I don't keep a separate set of Orthodox kosher kitchen dishes that have never seen a meat product on them for vegetarian/vegan visitors. My kitchen isn't large enough for such luxuries, for one. Nor can I guarantee you'll always be upwind from the grill, to avoid inhaling meat aromas. Winds shift around some around here.

      May 31, 2014 at 8:06 am | Reply
  2. Kanageloa

    Vegetarian? It's an American Indian word that means "Bad Hunter."

    May 25, 2014 at 12:44 am | Reply
    • shaun

      it is actually the sign of intelligent life on earth.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:30 am | Reply
    • shaun

      that is actually the sign for intelligent life on earth.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:31 am | Reply
    • gessoart

      The 1.5 billion Hindus are all bad hunters, too, I guess.

      May 31, 2014 at 7:02 am | Reply
      • Thinking things through

        Gessoart, some but not all Hindus are vegetarian (although they do share the non-eating of beef). I work with Hindus who eat chicken, goat, sheep and seafood. There are different variants of Hinduism.

        May 31, 2014 at 7:57 am | Reply
        • gessoart

          You are right. Just 40% of Hindus are vegetarian. By population, that would be like two United States where every person was a vegetarian. My observation is that many provincial Americans think of vegetarianism as marginal extremism, even cult-like, when, in fact, there are over a billion vegetarians on this planet.

          May 31, 2014 at 6:44 pm |
  3. Michael

    The corn recipe mentions chile piquin. Most people in the US would not be happy if you put much of it on their food. You certainly want to be more exact than the recipe about how much is used and how to prepare it. The pepper is normally 20-30 times hotter than jalapenos. It can be a 40 times hotter.

    May 24, 2014 at 10:44 pm | Reply
  4. The Enlightened Restauranteer

    "A vegetarian may show up at your cookout" ... in which case that vegetarian can either eat what's served or do without.

    May 24, 2014 at 6:46 pm | Reply
    • Steven Gold

      So all of your food is meat or dairy at your cookout?

      May 24, 2014 at 8:09 pm | Reply
    • nightwriter

      You don't sound very "enlightened" to me ...

      May 24, 2014 at 8:50 pm | Reply
      • Rob

        "enlightened"? You are kidding, right?? I hate PC speak.

        May 27, 2014 at 8:21 am | Reply
        • Dan

          I have never understood why people use the term "politically correct". Something either has merit or it doesn't. There is nothing political about it. When people gripe about being politically correct, it usually means that they are mad that someone has pointed out their lack of respect for others. Why not say Christian, or God-like, or for that matter, mature?

          May 31, 2014 at 1:21 am |
    • Thinking things through

      One sign of a good cook is the ability to be flexible and cook for both omnivore and vegetarian (or vegan) guests alike.

      May 24, 2014 at 9:23 pm | Reply
      • Thinking things through

        And, yes, I'll do this without resorting to soy by-products such as TVP, or other foodoid substances. The suggestions in this post are quite useful.

        May 24, 2014 at 9:29 pm | Reply
      • shawn l

        It's called "a salad".

        May 25, 2014 at 8:08 am | Reply
    • Mark An Dey Ulu

      Tells what kind of a Nasty Host you are...

      May 24, 2014 at 11:16 pm | Reply
      • Rob

        Why?? Because they don't cater to the weird whims of the veggies in the room? Give 'em a steak. They will love it.

        May 27, 2014 at 8:22 am | Reply
        • Dan

          Wow, what's with all the hostility? Do you really dislike anyone with different preferences that much? Weird? I grew up on a cattle ranch, have lived in 9 states and five countries. One thing I know for sure is that there is an amazing array of diversity out there, all of which enrich your life if you are open. The kind of disrespect and basic mean spirited nature which you are demonstrating ALWAYS comes from people who are innately insecure. People who are secure in their worth never feel the need to pointlessly attack other people.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:14 am |
        • mrsowlcroft

          Okaaay, Rob. So all of us with heart problems who have been told to avoid red meat should also avoid cookouts. Yep, fine.

          May 31, 2014 at 2:36 am |
        • gessoart

          You're funny! For small town folk like you I guess a country like India has 1.5 billion people who have "weird whims". Sometime go for a trip outside your block.

          May 31, 2014 at 7:09 am |
        • Thinking things through

          As an omnivore, I love the challenge of being able to cook tasty foods for any vegetarians at my cook outs. (I skip the pre-fab unhealthy stuff from the supermarket and go towards things I'd also eat, too. Try it, you might like it.)

          May 31, 2014 at 7:52 am |
    • DK

      Oh go to hell...

      May 25, 2014 at 1:00 am | Reply
    • Dan

      Basic manners dictate that the host make the invited guests feel comfortable and welcome.Neither of which would be the outcome from your suggestion. Discomfort has a way of infecting the entire group.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:16 am | Reply
    • shaun

      Bet you don't have that many friend!

      May 31, 2014 at 1:29 am | Reply
    • Brack

      Are you really that disrespectful of anyone that is different than you? I'm agnostic and still more Christian than you.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:48 am | Reply
    • Brack

      Are you really that disrespectful of anyone different than yourself? I am agnostic, and still seemingly more Christian than you.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:51 am | Reply
    • gessoart

      Who would want to attend an event where the guests were not welcomed by a thoughtful host?

      May 31, 2014 at 7:05 am | Reply
  5. gina@cateror

    These are great ideas – it can be daunting to think about "vegetarian recipes" when party-planning, but it all comes down to the same thing in the end: good food. These fit the bill!

    September 17, 2012 at 7:32 am | Reply
    • Rob

      "good food" and "vegetarian" do not go in the same sentence. Unless it's "Vegetarian dishes are definitely not good food."

      May 27, 2014 at 8:22 am | Reply
      • shaun

        I bet you idea of good food entails smearing everything with cheese, in a pond of animal fat. Oh! so delicious....my oh my

        May 31, 2014 at 1:35 am | Reply
      • Brack

        Yeah, your probably the same guy who tells people to "lighten up" after completely and deliberately humiliating someone. A real class act.

        May 31, 2014 at 1:55 am | Reply
  6. Ris

    if we quit eating red meat . will the ozone not be in joaderpy from cow flatulation and over population of bovines ??? something to think about . i am doing my part to eat red meat to save the ozone !!!!!! just think about it . someone has to think responsibly . jodaye is not responsible for any of these comments and or thoughts .

    September 17, 2012 at 12:48 am | Reply
    • kingliberal

      If everyone would quit eating meat then no one would be raising cattle and pigs in the first place. I would guess that would be a greater help regarding climate change.

      May 25, 2014 at 9:38 am | Reply
  7. BernardCharles

    Sounds like all of these dishes will be easy for non-vegetarians to keep in mind preferably all year round as oppose to just for the summer season.

    September 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm | Reply
  8. Melissa

    I was raised a vegetarian. I've never eaten meat and I'm 38 yrs old. I will cook meat for my family though (they are all meat eaters). Not all vegetarians 'freak out' about meat. I enjoy the smell of a good BBQ! I do not like when people try to make 'fancy vegetarian food' for me. I bring my own burger and then will eat what I can that is being served.

    September 9, 2012 at 12:25 pm | Reply
    • Fred Evil

      A life wasted.....

      May 27, 2014 at 8:14 am | Reply
    • shaun

      Really? you have to bring your own food? that is so sad! you need some real new friends dude.

      May 31, 2014 at 1:36 am | Reply
    • WasteNot

      I hate it when people prepare vegetarian food especially for me too. I am a bit of a picky vegetarian, as I don't like fresh tomatoes or onions. Normally people find out I am vegetarian and try to make something special for me and it normally includes lots of tomatoes and onions. One time my friend wanted to order me a pizza, I kept telling her just cheese was fine, but she decided she would the extra mile and get a veggie lovers. She thought I was just trying to save her money by saying I just wanted cheese.

      May 31, 2014 at 3:22 am | Reply
  9. JosephS

    The fact is, what makes a diet healthy is not whether or not you are eating or exlcuding meat, but whether you are getting all the nutrients your body needs AND eating in moderation. I will say vegeterian/vegan diets are more "risky" due to the fact that society isn't really built around them. It takes more research and time to ensure you are eating properly and you may have to go out of your way to find restaurants that support your needs. Not getting the B12 or protein your body needs is definitely unhealthy and something veggs need to be wary of.

    But eating tons of junk food and overindulging in red meats is not healthy either and a big problem in America. There is nothing wrong with eating meat in moderation with a well balanced meal, but eating too much will make you fat. And of course, with all diets, exercise should be included.

    September 7, 2012 at 10:20 am | Reply
    • Mark An Dey Ulu

      well said joseph. I am vegetarian, never ate meat or will never try to. But I think eating meat is a good thing to provide the right nutrition to one's body. vegetatians lack a lot of essential nutritional elements which are only avaiable in animal products....

      May 24, 2014 at 11:21 pm | Reply
    • WasteNot

      B12 and protein are most of my diet as a vegetarian. Beans and energy drinks!

      May 31, 2014 at 3:27 am | Reply
  10. veggiedude

    By 2050, no one will have the choice anymore. The human race will adopt a veggie diet. If meat is eaten, it won't come from an animal – it will be created in a lab. The current agriculture cannot feed the amount of people on Earth – the water alone won't be enough.

    September 6, 2012 at 4:54 pm | Reply
    • ™©JbJiNg!eŚ®™

      Really? Do you have documented facts to back this up?

      September 6, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Reply
      • AleeD®

        Yep. It's written on Charmin.

        September 10, 2012 at 8:52 am | Reply
      • Mark An Dey Ulu

        perhaps this $h1t is coming from his religious texts....

        May 24, 2014 at 11:23 pm | Reply
      • mrknowitall

        http://www.gatesnotes.com/About-Bill-Gates/Future-of-Food

        May 25, 2014 at 12:12 am | Reply
    • Elsie Price

      We'll still be eating real meat. According to demographers, world population increase has been slowing for some time and within the next 50 years will level off and begin to decrease. Just look at the birth rates in countries like Germany and Japan. The birth rates in 3rd world countries is also dropping.

      So don't worry.

      May 24, 2014 at 6:32 pm | Reply
    • kingliberal

      I am really looking forward to the day that lab grown meat puts animal agriculture out of business forever.

      May 25, 2014 at 9:50 am | Reply
  11. Spock

    I am a Vulkin.... Eating animal flesh makes me sick. I do not care if others eat it but at a party I will always go to the salads and beans and not the burgers.

    September 6, 2012 at 12:48 pm | Reply
    • Nomad

      You are an ID 10 T. Vulcans know how to spell their own race. You are obviously from a race that does not know how to spell.

      Faulty! Faulty!

      September 6, 2012 at 1:10 pm | Reply
      • Spock

        I am from a different planet. You are the one that doesn't know how to spell cowwectly.

        September 6, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Reply
        • Nomad

          Sharing a planet with Elmer Fudd would be this planet. Are you lost?

          September 6, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
  12. Beth

    For those of you who keep saying that we Vegetarians and Vegans will die young due to the fact that we're not getting enough nutrients, you're wrong. If a Vegetarian or a Vegan is a true Vegetarian/Vegan, we take care of our bodies. For many Vegans, they have to take supplements (that is, if their diet calls for it); however, for us Vegetarians, we get everything we need from what we eat. In fact, we get more nutrients, and a better quality of them, due to our, "pure" diet. By pure, I mean this: Less fat and less artery-clogging matierals.
    I AM NOT that type of Vegetarian who demands that a BBQ-Master fixes me something to eat because, dog-gone, I'm a freakin' Vegetarian. Instead, I'll eat a little something before I go. If the BBQ-Master has fixed corn or sides or whatever, then I'll eat a little bit of that. Other than that, I'll wait until I get home or eat before I show up to the BBQ. I do not preach to others about not eating meat, but I will let them know that I don't eat meat.
    Yes, there are many preachy-vegetarians and vegans out there, but not all of us deserve the, "Oh. It's one of YOU." treatment.

    September 5, 2012 at 3:10 pm | Reply
    • VladT

      I am pretty sure Coca cola is vegan. What's your point again how eating no meat supposedly guarantees you a healthier lifestyle?

      September 6, 2012 at 7:04 am | Reply
      • Rick

        Vlad: I did not see where Beth said anything about a guarantee

        September 6, 2012 at 8:33 am | Reply
    • Good Try

      " If a Vegetarian or a Vegan is a true Vegetarian/Vegan, we take care of our bodies."

      The only thing worse than a militant vegan/vegetable is someone who is delusional enough to think they speak for an entire community. I know plenty of (polite & worldly) vegetarians. Many of them eat alot of junk food. Suck it Beth.

      September 6, 2012 at 9:36 am | Reply
      • veggiedude

        Yes, many vegetarians start out with a junk diet because they usually omit meat for philosophical reasons. In time, they tend to get more educated and modify it to be more healthier.

        September 6, 2012 at 4:45 pm | Reply
    • SJ

      Die young? thats a new one...I dont eat meat or fish and I still get more than enough protein to lift weights and build muscle

      September 6, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Reply
  13. The Truth

    I am completely about equal treatment and against hypocrisy. So after attending a few parties hosted by vegetarians and vegans I noticed their menus are only vegetarian or vegan. So I plan my menu exactly how they plan theirs, I make what I want. If they don't like it meat better be on their menu. Like I said I am against hypocrisy and I treat vegetarians and vegans exactly how they treat me.

    September 5, 2012 at 2:14 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      So, you don't eat fruits and veggies?

      September 5, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Reply
      • The Truth

        If there is meat to wash it down, then yes.

        September 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm | Reply
    • WasteNot

      Is it against your morals to eat non-meat products? If so have you told them? Do you complain when you go to a handicap friends house and they don't have stairs and you are stuck walking up their ramp? A ramp isn't that big of an inconvenience for you, and neither is eating just fruit, nuts and desert.

      May 31, 2014 at 3:34 am | Reply
  14. Agha Ata

    I will offer him some lettuce and some chicken. Maybe I can convert him. :)

    September 5, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  15. myreply

    Why not ask vegeterians what they would like to eat for a party or grilling? Then it's inclusive and everyone can enjoy the party without stressing over who's eating what. I've been a vegeterian for 10+ years and really appreciate it when a host asks me what I'd eat at the party. Bringing vegeterian or vegan food to the party is no problem and adds to the food choices for everyone.

    September 5, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
    • teaclown

      Seems that you, the vegetarian, should offer to bring a vegetarian option to the party rather than expect the host of a bbq to bear the burden. Most likely, there will be veggie sides at any party to begin with, but as a host, I'd appreciate your bringing your boca burger or whatever your choice of main dish, and I'd gladly throw it on the grill.

      May 25, 2014 at 7:09 pm | Reply
  16. Beldar

    I'm not a vegetarian because I love animals. I'm a vegetarian because I hate plants. (A. Whitney Brown)

    September 5, 2012 at 11:21 am | Reply
    • veggiedude

      That is illogical. Meat eaters consume up to 20 times more plant life, and up to 50 times more water than vegans. That is how environmentally insane their diet is. If not for corporate welfare, their subsidized burgers would cost $35.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Reply
      • Realist

        @ veggiedude: Your way of life has killed your sense of humor.

        May 24, 2014 at 9:21 pm | Reply
    • Melissa

      hehe

      September 9, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  17. Kieran

    Feed them mixed vegetables sauteed in bacon fat. Muffins and cornbread baked with lard instead of shortening. Over time, they will abandon their misguided ways and eat meat again.....

    September 5, 2012 at 8:25 am | Reply
    • Rick

      Misguided ways?

      September 5, 2012 at 8:56 am | Reply
      • Nancy

        Rick, I think you missed the tongue-in-cheed :)

        September 6, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  18. Dr. Lecter

    Vegetarians aren't complete unless served with a wide variety of vegetables to balance out their bland flavor. The recipes in this article are excellent ideas for what to serve your vegetarian with.

    September 4, 2012 at 9:12 pm | Reply
  19. JR

    As a vegetarian that lives in an area without much of a vegetarian culture I keep my eating habits to myself. However, coworkers and family members constantly preach to me that my eating habits are unhealthy (though I don't see any of them competing in triathlons).

    September 4, 2012 at 6:01 pm | Reply
  20. jillmarie

    I'm a vegetarian since childhood, and I think just now people are starting to realize we aren't as difficult as was previously thought.
    I always show up with my own veggie burger, and even dill pickles (a burger's incomplete without them IMO). I bring some other yummy plates to share- I did make a delicious Caprese salad paired with peppadew peppers, and I made a bruschetta dish with fresh baked Italian bread- all with foods bought from my local farmer's market that very morning. It was a hit! I had no room for the Boca burger I kept in my cooler after all, but I do not expect anyone to fuss when I go to a party.
    That especially goes for holidays- I show up with my own vegetarian stuffing, etc... and make sure everyone knows I bought it to share.

    September 4, 2012 at 2:59 pm | Reply
    • Jaime

      As with everything in life, it depends on the people involved. I've known vegans that were appalled at the thought that their veggie burger might be too close to the meat on the grill. I do my best to try to accommodate, but I can't stand someone hovering over my shoulder, worry at me about how I used the tongs for both the sausages and the aluminum foil wrapped corn. And the corn was finished before the sausages even touched the grill. I know how to rotate cooking to accommodate, stop worrying at me. Yeah, I've never invited her to a grilling party again.

      I also have a good friend that is both a vegetarian and a celiac. She's happy that I keep veggie patties and gluten-free buns in the freezer for her (and that I give her patty an extra slice of cheese, of course), and doesn't mind if her stuff is cooked next to meat.

      September 5, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
      • Mark An Dey Ulu

        jamie, Next time you go to someone's house and they cook food for you on a potty seat would you eat it? Your friend might feel the same when the meat is too close to vegan food. If you cant take care of your guests you are a lousy host.

        May 24, 2014 at 11:28 pm | Reply
    • Atsgeba

      I absolutely love your suosegtign of designating one day per week, then two, and so on. I definitely think that's how I'll try it out, even before I reach my start date on July 5th. It will probably make the transition easier. The only issue I have, is that in the past 6 months, my slight lactose intolerance has greatly increased, so I've been trying to avoid a lot of heavy dairy. Do veggie burgers have protein in them? And how do you feel about tofu as a meat supplement?

      September 17, 2012 at 12:06 am | Reply
  21. Ann

    Another good veggie option is eggplant. A good, thick slice of eggplant on the grill makes a terrific sandwich.

    I usually have enough grilled veggies of various kinds to keep anybody happy (zucchini, peppers, mushrooms, onions). Great with or without a steak.

    September 4, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      grilled eggplant is very tasty

      September 4, 2012 at 2:40 pm | Reply
      • Anti Rick

        If you enjoy eating snot.

        September 10, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
        • Rick

          Don't know. I have not eaten snot. How is it?

          September 11, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Anne

      Grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil leaves, tomatoes, raspberry Dijon on a baguette. A little deli near my old office used to serve that sandwich–it was to die for!

      May 24, 2014 at 8:05 pm | Reply
  22. Sy2502

    Interestingly enough, I don't really have that many close vegetarian friends. Most of the vegetarians I have met were quite obnoxious about their vegetarianism, and when everybody is eating meat and having a good time and someone has to rain on the parade with some moralistic crap, these people eventually get invited less and less. So I guess all obnoxious vegetarians just end up hanging out among themselves, chowing down on their rabbit food, and calling the rest of us murderers.

    September 4, 2012 at 1:29 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      I have met obnoxious vegetarians. I have met polite vegetarians. Same goes for meat eaters.

      September 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Reply
    • Matt

      As we can see, there are also obnoxious meat eaters.

      September 4, 2012 at 5:48 pm | Reply
  23. ohioan

    I have vegetarian friends and love to grill. Most generally bring their own veggie burger or a whole portabello mushroom to throw on the grill. And since we try to eat a balanced diet around here, we usually have tons of sides that also happen to be vegetarian. Not for the purpose of being vegetarian, but not every item at a cookout has meat in it! Sweet corn, potato salad, grilled pineapple, 7 layer taco dip, etc. My vegetarian friends don't expect me to cook to their needs any more than I expect them to cook meat for me when I go to their house.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:39 pm | Reply
  24. Rick

    I have been a vegetarian for 33+ years. I have always disliked the blatherings of vegetarian evangelists

    September 4, 2012 at 12:34 pm | Reply
  25. Deborah does Vegan

    Having practiced vegan / vegetarianism for a period of time, I think it is too much to expect a non-practitioner to know what do. It is extemely diverse food practice containing a variety of "isms", what is good for one vegetarian is unacceptable for another. Veganism is even more restrictive, eliminating honey and animal derived substances, even those found in places many people would never think to look; beers, wines and liquors.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:33 pm | Reply
  26. This Just In

    Being a vegetarian killed Michael Clarke Duncan.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      A heart attack killed MCD, dimwit

      September 4, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Reply
      • Rhymes with Pr!ck

        Being a vegetable for 33+ years makes you grumpy as well.

        September 4, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Reply
        • Rick

          No, just intolerant of idiots.

          September 4, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
        • Dnasia

          I am not a complete vitegarean. I do not eat meat during the week. But over weekends I do. Just a new diet I took on to challenge myself. Plus I watched Food Inc and that traumatised me for life.

          September 15, 2012 at 6:37 am |
      • This Just In

        His heart attack was predicated by a meatless diet. Details at 11.

        September 5, 2012 at 6:52 am | Reply
        • Rick

          Can't wait to read those details.

          September 5, 2012 at 8:58 am |
        • Rick

          How are those "details" coming, This Just In?

          September 6, 2012 at 8:35 am |
    • veggiedude

      Unfortunately, the 2.5 years of meatlessness was not enough to undo the 51 years of damage to his body.

      September 6, 2012 at 4:51 pm | Reply
  27. ionymous

    Is this article 20 years old? I'll try no to be alarmed when of "those people" show up to my party.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
  28. ru serious

    ...pompous asses should not impose their wants on host....don't go to the BBQ if you are vegan/vegetarian. Stay home and eat your groats vs. imposing your snotty food preferences on others.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:23 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      you are an imbecile.

      if the host invites someone knowing they are a vegan/vegetarian, then the guest is not "imposing their snotty food choices" on anyone. go fvck yourself

      September 4, 2012 at 12:27 pm | Reply
      • Charlotte

        Rick, the carnivores that make such hateful and puerile comments will have their own comeuppance. They will die young and we can dance on their clogged-artery graves with our vegetarian dancing shoes. They only act like this because they are intimidated and afraid of anyone who might view the world differently from them. Usually bad, churlish behavior such as their pathetic remarks stems from fear. Also the anonymity (perceived anonymity) that they think they have by posting online under a pseudonym. If someone is a worthless piece of sh1t then they attack others in such a manner. Personally I have no general problem with carnivores but they should not deride me for choosing to eat what I want to eat, just like I do not deride them for choosing what they want to eat. It's just funny they are so self-righteous about it and they are SOOOOOooooo offended by anyone who isn't just like themselves. Sad, really.

        September 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Reply
        • VladT

          Charlotte – How much meat are in sodas, potato chips, and candy bars?

          Oh, I forgot....it's only meat that makes people obese. Great logic.....maybe your brain needs more protein

          September 6, 2012 at 6:58 am |
        • pohakulua

          my grandmother ate meat every day of her life and died at 94. Not everyone who eats meat dies young just as not everyone who does not eat meat lives a long life. There are many other factors in longevity than simply what you eat.

          September 12, 2012 at 11:40 pm |
      • Rick

        yeah, they are big mouths. i have been doing this veggie thing for a long time. the folks who did the most trash talking about it back then (1979 or so) have all died from heart attacks. in some cases, it didn't bother me. however, my brother was one of them, and that did

        September 5, 2012 at 5:54 am | Reply
        • JosephS

          LMAO! Yeah, right. I think I smell bullsh** from a troll.

          September 7, 2012 at 10:15 am |
        • Rick

          Believe whatever you want, Joey

          September 10, 2012 at 10:29 am |
    • badassador

      the only vegetarians welcome at my cookouts are the ones we're throwing on the grill

      September 4, 2012 at 2:46 pm | Reply
      • Rick

        Good for you.

        September 5, 2012 at 8:59 am | Reply
  29. T. Sriram Rao

    Well....Mac Donalds is opening many all-veggie restaurants in India. Their present menu (as also Pizza Hut and subway) is already 50% vegetarian. No reason to get worried about vegetarians folks. Its in fact, a more civilized diet than eating meat.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:19 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      McD's McFalafel sandwich did not catch on in Israel

      September 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
    • Allie

      The aloo / potato sandwich is delicious. I wish american McDonalds served the breakfast hasbrowns all day

      September 4, 2012 at 1:00 pm | Reply
    • Lila

      I'm so jealous, Indian food is my favorite.

      September 4, 2012 at 1:35 pm | Reply
    • VladT

      Why is it more civilized to not eat meat? I forgot to consult you when society was structured, so please do enlighten all of us omnivores

      September 6, 2012 at 6:57 am | Reply
    • Mark An Dey Ulu

      SriRam, you are a classic Chutiya. just blabbing without knowing the pros and cons of eating meat. just because you are vegetarian doesnt mean meat eaters are uncivilized.

      May 24, 2014 at 11:38 pm | Reply
      • teeboy

        Sriram did not meat eaters are uncivilized. Eating meat is uncivilized. Probably, the subtlety is lost on un-civilized folks like you.

        May 30, 2014 at 8:39 pm | Reply
  30. Deborah does Vegan

    "special dietary requirements" use to mean someone was allergic to food, or they were diabetic. In those instances a gracious host would accomodate them. People now days using Vegan as a pompous way to stand out in the crowd, act like an ass and preach. If it means that much to you, coordinate with the host/ess, bring a dish to share, the recipe and be gracious yourself.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:16 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      "People now days using Vegan as a pompous way to stand out in the crowd, act like an ass and preach."

      Pot, meet Kettle

      September 4, 2012 at 12:29 pm | Reply
      • Deborah does Vegan

        In my house... eat it or starve.

        September 4, 2012 at 12:35 pm | Reply
        • Rick

          What a gracious hostess

          September 4, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
        • Rick

          i coordinate with the host/hostess when i go to a BBQ

          September 4, 2012 at 12:40 pm |
      • Bill

        I'm vegan for medical reasons. Not the usual heart/stroke reasons, but I have an infectious disease that just gets worse if I eat foods high in fat. So, I'm a reluctant vegan who really doesn't like vegetables very much. I do really like beans, lentils and rice. But I'm always looking for some new thing to try.

        I've met plenty of pompous and pretentious vegans. But for me, it allows me to live a normal life.

        I appreciate the new things I might try.

        September 4, 2012 at 4:14 pm | Reply
        • Rick

          bill: have you had mjdarrah (sort of a lebanese lentil porridge)? easy to make and delicious

          September 5, 2012 at 12:43 pm |
        • Rick

          I have also met pompous vegans and vegetarians. but, i have also met woment who have outweighed me by 100 lbs sneering down their noses at my veggie-ism

          September 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
        • Rick

          i am not a veggie evangelist. i do what i do because i feel it is healthier, but it truly does not matter to me what others eat

          September 5, 2012 at 12:46 pm |
        • VladT

          You show a bit of pompous attitude yourself by implying only carnivores are overweight. I mean, all those sodas, candy bars, potato chips are just loaded with meat, aren't they? Oh wait.......

          September 6, 2012 at 6:56 am |
        • Rick

          Vlad: Your infrerence is not my implication.

          September 6, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
        • Rick

          "inference"

          September 6, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
        • Rick

          obvioiusly, there are overweight veggies and overweight meat eaters. there are those who do a vegetarian diet in a healthy manner and those who do a meat eating diet in a heallthy manner.

          September 6, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
        • Rick

          i have been to veg-fest and the great american meat out and can telll you for sure that there are overweight veggies. Not all are approaching it as a dietary thing....some are approaching it as an animal rights thing. That has never been my schtick

          September 6, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
        • Rick

          I am a gym rat and an ultramarathoner (as well as other extreme stuff)....whether or not animals have suffered to provide food for others is not even on my radar. It is for other people, my girlfriend included

          September 6, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Charlotte

      Oh my such hateful venom from someone who is so utterly ignorant. So vegans are pompous and only eat that way to 'stand out in a crowd.' I see. And when did your degree in pop psychobabble lead you to this brilliant deduction? Or are you just so pompous yourself that you can't STAND it if someone says "no thank you, but do you have a vegan option?" You must sleep better at night harboring so much hate in your soul.

      September 4, 2012 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  31. lmew

    I was vegetarian for a litle while only because I was getting grossed out chewing on a dead animal. When I got invited to bbq's I would always bring veggie burgers and ate side dishes that were available. :) When going to someone's house to eat, don't expect them to work around your needs.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:08 pm | Reply
    • Rick

      If they invite you knowing "your needs" why shouldn't you?

      September 4, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Reply
      • Ann

        Exactly. Inviting a vegetarian and having nothing but burgers and beans with bacon is like inviting a Jewish friend and serving only pork chops.

        I love to cook, and the whole point of entertaining is to try to come up with something that my guests will enjoy!

        September 4, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Reply
        • Charlotte

          Exactly. A good cook/chef works to please the diner, not to please him/herself. Everyone I know is very happy to accommodate a vegetarian if they invite him to dinner, knowing in advance he is vegetarian. If you're going to invite us over, knowing we are vegetarian (or vegan in some cases) and all you offer is dead animal, then the vegans or vegetarians would be happier to stay at home than to suffer your irritation if you insist on somehow taking it as an insult. I myself detest sweets and don't eat them, so when dessert comes around I pass. This never seems to offend anyone. What's the difference if a vegetarian chooses not to eat meat? It's just more for everyone else. Just give me olives and wine and I'll be perfectly happy, LOL! And I'll stay skinny :)

          September 4, 2012 at 8:11 pm |
  32. Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

    If you choose to have special dietary needs then bring your own food. Most of us could care less if you are a veg head.
    The only reason this would be an issue is if a veg head showed up at a BBQ and made a stink about it.

    September 4, 2012 at 11:53 am | Reply
    • Carl

      Clearly you are a narcisist who has never heard of the concept of being a gracious host. Normal humans actually care about guests they invite to their home and will ensure everybody has something suitable to eat. Common courtesy, folks.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:07 pm | Reply
  33. Jill

    First off, choose party hosts who aren't as snarky as the author of this article. Your own "innards" will thank you.

    September 4, 2012 at 11:37 am | Reply
    • Lydia

      Agreed. And, it sounds like she didn't have the constitution to stick to what she believes in so now she likes being on the "popular" team so she can make fun of those darn vegetarians.

      September 4, 2012 at 11:54 am | Reply
      • Kat Kinsman

        There's a bit of projection going on here, I believe. Everyone's got their own reasons for being vegetarian *and* not being vegetarian, and the tone of the article is pretty lighthearted. I recall how dreadful it was to be at a cookout and either not having anything there that I could eat, or bringing food I could eat, and having it all eaten by the omnivorous folks before I got any.

        What I'm offering here is delicious options that everyone can eat and will want to eat - everyone is welcome. Awesome vegetarian food (and a spot of humor) leads more people to trying it than smacking someone down for the choices they've made.

        September 4, 2012 at 7:55 pm | Reply
  34. Sara

    I always keep a box of black bean burgers in the freezer, so I can bring them with me to a cookout. I just like them more than the Boca Burgers. Usually, I come home without the box, because other people want one too!

    September 4, 2012 at 11:36 am | Reply
    • OvernOut

      Those are gooooooood! Wish they came in packages bigger than a 4-pack. I'm not veggie, but all three of my kids are. I will not eat those frozen processed beef hockey pucks that seem to show up at every cookout. Those hockey pucks made me ill a few times, didn't take any more than a couple of times to have the brain kick in as "bad, don't eat". I stick with the black bean patties now.

      September 4, 2012 at 9:23 pm | Reply
  35. Lila

    I rarely eat meat, however never been to a cookout that didn't have a salad(regular, potato or fruit) corn, grilled veggies like zucchini. Worse case there is junk food like chips. I think not serving cold beer would be more controversial than not serving meat.

    September 4, 2012 at 10:46 am | Reply
  36. Derek Hall

    Yeah...showing up to a BBQ as someone who can't drink anymore is worse. I am no vegetarian but I love vegetables and veggie burgers. Just bring a couple patties for yourself; problem solved.

    September 4, 2012 at 10:42 am | Reply
  37. JohnQPubliqu

    Hey, I don't like spinach, brocolli, bean sprouts and lemon grass...so there will ALWAYS be something for you to munch on at my house...

    September 4, 2012 at 10:14 am | Reply
  38. Sree

    earthlings.com>Full Movie.
    Achtung! Violent

    September 4, 2012 at 10:12 am | Reply
  39. Buster's teacher

    Time to go back to school kiddies. When the teacher is teaching you how important it is to spell correctly, listen. People judge your intelligence, in part, on how well you spell. From what I can see, there's no imminent threat of intelligence around here.

    September 4, 2012 at 7:15 am | Reply
  40. Dirty Doggg

    Vegann, people like you are nothing but retarded and a pain in the ass. Fortunately, you'll die early from poor nutrition.

    September 4, 2012 at 7:01 am | Reply
    • joejoe

      Being an ignorant, uncaring human being will kill you more quickly than a veggie diet.

      September 4, 2012 at 10:44 am | Reply
    • crowded

      Guess you haven't read the China study then. Or even listened to our own ADA (American Dietetic Association) "It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the life cycle, including pregnancy, lactation, infancy, childhood, and adolescence, and for athletes. "

      September 4, 2012 at 11:11 am | Reply
      • what_do_I_know

        And then mr.salmonella decided to be fair to vegetarians / vegans by also contaminating lettuces, cantaloupes, mangoes etc. At least viruses are not biased.

        September 4, 2012 at 12:28 pm | Reply
        • Bill

          Uhm... Salmonella is a bacteria, not a virus. You know there's a difference, right?

          September 4, 2012 at 4:24 pm |
      • Oyuncu

        I AM EXACTLY THE SAME WAY. not even kidding. im a veeiaargtn as well and i have a bit of the same issue. find workouts for your thighs and butt. frog squats are awesome. oh and also, everyone has cellulite, so don't be too worried about it n_n

        September 15, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Reply
    • AK

      Another ignorant stupid generously displaying his stupidity publicly. No dearth of such people in society.

      September 4, 2012 at 12:18 pm | Reply
    • shaun

      That kind of comment really should be monitored and deleted .

      May 31, 2014 at 1:45 am | Reply
  41. onlyaname

    it is always a good idea to have a soy burger option, now aday it is not only vegitarain who eat them but people watching what they take in.

    September 4, 2012 at 12:18 am | Reply
    • Jerv

      Agreed. The soy burgers and veggie chicken patties are actually really good these days.

      September 4, 2012 at 8:54 am | Reply
      • Ann

        Ya know, I never really liked the idea of fake meat. I haven't tried any of those products for a long time, so I'll have to take your word for it that they've improved - but how many chemicals do they have to use to make soy taste like a burger? Eew.

        Same thing with turkey-based "healthier" products. I'm sorry, but turkey bacon is not bacon, tastes nothing like bacon, and has probably had some really scary things done to it in an effort to approximate bacon. If I don't want the fat of bacon on my sandwich, I'll just leave it off. I'll splurge on the real thing less often, rather than eat something fake.

        September 4, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Reply
        • myreply

          Yeah, it's true. Meat substitutes and "fake" meat aren't really healthy, just an alternative to meat/animal products. There are recipes for patties made from vegetables and chickpeas/garbanzo beans. A restaurant in Florida had an awesome veggie burger made from veggies with no meat substitues that was really tasty.

          September 5, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
  42. Vegann

    ANYONE consuming meat in any form is nothing shrot of barbaric.

    September 3, 2012 at 6:18 pm | Reply
    • VladT

      Anyone who believes that probably was not hugged enough as a kid.
      Or, must eat wheatgrass on the streets of Berkeley.

      Either way, get a life

      September 4, 2012 at 8:32 am | Reply
    • babs

      P.E.T.A. = People Eating Tasty Animals

      September 4, 2012 at 11:24 am | Reply
      • Ann

        Wow, how original.

        September 4, 2012 at 2:24 pm | Reply
      • peta still sucks

        People Eating Tasty Animals: Uncompassionate losers for animals since 1980

        December 5, 2013 at 7:27 pm | Reply
        • shaun

          That is truly a sad comment. People that talk like you are pretty frightening.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:43 am |
        • shaun

          Your statement does not make any sense.

          May 31, 2014 at 1:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, The Piper's Son

      Your GF likes my barbaric side.

      September 4, 2012 at 11:58 am | Reply
      • 8emall

        All Gods creatures have their place...Right next to the potatoes & gravy!
        I consider my self vegan. I eat the animals that ate the veggies for me.

        September 4, 2012 at 5:38 pm | Reply
      • Fil

        Kathy Dunbar So so precious. I've seen your pciutres before and am amazed. You do have a gift. I love all these pciutres!! The one with her in dad's hands, the colored little knit cap all of them!

        September 17, 2012 at 12:17 am | Reply
    • Charlotte

      What does "shrot" mean? And Vegann – you clearly have never lived anywhere except where every food option is available to you. Comments like yours are the reason carnivores seem to hate us all – so they are unhelpful – but they are also incredibly naive. I lived in the Arctic for fourteen years. There are no vegetarians or vegans up there because they would starve to death. The only food option is game and fish for most of the year. Please educate yourself before inflaming a conversation through your own ignorance. Thank goodness most of us vegetarians do not make such childish comments.

      September 4, 2012 at 8:21 pm | Reply

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