5 Meatless Recipes for the Memorial Day Grill

Fire up great-tasting vegetarian fare, such as Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions, Tomatoes Stuffed with Cannellini and Couscous, and Grilled Vegetable Melts.

May 27, 2010

Parmesan cheese makes this grilled eggplant a satisfying entrée.

With a nod to good health and great taste, consider some out-of-the-ordinary vegetarian entrée options this Memorial Day weekend. There's more to vegetable grilling than just throwing some sliced vegetables onto the grill. With the right recipes, you can create tasty meat-free menu items that are substantial enough to take center plate at your cookout. They’ll be just as hearty as the meat options you’re serving, and full of fantastic flavor, thanks to time spent on the grill. And this way, no vegetarians at your cookout will feel left out.


But don’t be surprised if the meat-eating guests take to these dishes as much as the vegetarians do. And if the attending carnivores want further motivation besides great taste, here it is: Research has shown that reducing or eliminating meat from your diet can your risk of developing cancer, heart disease, high blood pressure, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. It’s also better for the planet. A recent United Nations report found that the meat industry produces more greenhouse gases than all motor vehicles combined. Further, livestock production uses 15 to 20 percent of the world’s water, and pollutes still more of it.

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All the more reason to sample these vegetarian dishes from our healthy recipe finderthat feature portobello mushrooms, savory eggplant, and protein-rich tofu, beans, and cheese.

#1: Portobello Burgers with Roasted Peppers, Swiss, and Caramelized Onions. This grilled portobello burger, piled high with toppings, is plenty satisfying even to die-hard burger lovers. For another great portobello option, thread the quartered, marinated mushrooms onto skewers.

#2: Marinated Grilled Tofu. Flavored with a soy-ginger-lime marinade and topped with peanut sauce, this grilled tofu dish adds some intense new flavors to a standard cookout menu.

#3: Tomatoes Stuffed with Cannellini and Couscous. For a complete meal in miniature, combine creamy, protein-rich cannellini beans with couscous, onions, and parsley; stuff the mixture into tomatoes, grill to perfection, devour.

#4: Grilled Stuffed Eggplant. Packed with Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, tomatoes, and parsley, this stuffed-eggplant dish is a perfectly indulgent cookout entrée for vegetarians, and an equally tasty side dish for meat-eaters. For a simpler eggplant alternative, brush eggplant slices with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss on the grill.

#5: Grilled Vegetable Melts. Adding cheese improves any dish, including these grilled vegetable sandwiches topped with a basil spread and melted Jarlsberg. For another cheesy option, try this super-simple Grilled Ratatouille with Goat Cheese. And when you're talking vegetables and melted cheese, you have to talk pizza. Believe it or not, Grilled Pizza is a great option for a backyard cookout