Summer BBQ? What’s A Vegan To Do?

veggie-kabobAre you invited to a BBQ this summer? Or does your family have a tradition of a BBQ like mine? Do you just have to skip it? Or is there a way to enjoy the BBQ while still staying vegan or even raw?

Yes, indeed there is a way you can still attend AND stay true to your healthy diet commitments.

For decades my family has gathered each summer. I was designated as the person to bring and grill the fish or seafood that would go along with the more traditional chicken and ribs.

AmaBBQWhen I went vegan I gave up that role and began adding other vegan friendly options to the menu. (My daughter took over as the fish person.)

Let me start off by saying you do need to judge your own level of resolve or the time you have been eating healthier. If you are brand new it may be harder for you to resist. That said, here are the steps you can take to survive and thrive at your next BBQ.

  1. Talk to the host to find out what is on the menu and/or to let them know your diet preferences. If you are lucky they will be open and willing to add veggie friendly options to the menu.
  2. Or just plan to bring your own veggie friendly options. There are very good veggie hot dogs or sausages, and veggie burgers available. Just be sure to read the labels carefully. Not all are vegan.
  3. Make sure there are plenty of tasty vegetarian/vegan/ options to fill up on to reduce your temptation to eat animal products. Here are some ideas:
    • Cut up bell peppers, onions, zucchini, and skewer on a shish-ka-bob skewers along with cherry tomatoes and mushrooms. Marinate in a vinaigrette dressing and place them on the grill or serve them raw.
    • Make fruit shish-ka-bobs.
    • A vegan cole slaw is a raw option.
    • Guacamole and salsa are other raw options.
    • Corn on the cob taste great raw! Or eat it cooked using olive oil or a vegan margarine spread.
    • A large kale salad will be welcome by many of the BBQ guests.
    • Marinated veggies are a quick and easy dish and works well at a BBQ
  4. If needed visit a health food store deli and select a variety of items.
  5. Read my post on Dealing With Your Non-Vegetarian Friends and Family. It is important that you consider how you can stick to your vegetarian lifestyle while still staying engaged and connected to those around you.

Now my family knows there needs to be vegan options. Some recipes have been modified to accommodate me as well as other family members who have food sensitivities. Recipes that I first brought are now a regular addition and folks look forward to and request my kale salad.

I have changed too. I couldn't imagine eating the animal product items anymore. It took a while, but that grilled fish or piece of chicken isn't appealing to me at all.

Now let's hear from you. Do you have concerns or questions? Or do you have tips or recipes that you like to have at BBQs? How do you handle those summer family gatherings?

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Ama Opare
Lifestyle Coach, CEO at Opare Institute
Supporting you by bringing you flavorful and satisfying vegan and raw vegan recipes, inspiration and online training and one-on-one coaching to help LOVE YOUR VEGAN LIFE! I am an educator and revolutionary who has teamed up with my physician/dietitian husband, Nana Kwaku Opare, MD, MPH, CA, to address the growing health problems in the Afrikan/Black community by building a Nation of Black Vegetarians and Vegans.

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