Yes, barbecues are mostly to do with meat. But you can throw the perfect vegetarian barbecue party for your friends as well! Apart from the actual food you eat, a lot of things go into making a barbecue successful; the venue, the seating arrangement, the lights, the talk, and of course, the drinks! With all those things in place, you can enjoy a wonderful barbecue party, even if its only veggies you are going to stick into your barbecue!
Before we actually go about discussing the barbecue, let me tell you how the word 'barbecue' came into being. It will help you understand the concept, and hence plan the perfect barbecue. The word 'barabicu' from the Timucua language of Florida, refers to a grill (typically with a wooden platform, held up on sticks) to cook meat. Another story says that local inns in America used to advertise their establishments as "Bar, Beer and Cues". (A typical local inn, or 'roadhouse', has pool tables too. The 'Cues' refers to the pool stick, also known as a cue stick.) Hence the acronym BBCue, and then the popular BBQ, originated. Interesting, isn't it? Let us now take a look at some useful tips to plan a vegetarian barbecue.
Tips to Plan a Vegetarian Barbecue
First I will discuss a few tips about the barbecue itself. Then I will move onto other tips that will make your vegetarian barbecue party a roaring success!
~ The Barbecue ~
Since it's a vegetarian barbecue, include as many veggies as you can. A barbecue might be a good way to try to eat those veggies that you don't much like. For example, a lot of people do not like broccoli. But do you know that barbecued broccoli tastes yum? I speak from experience! I was not much a broccoli fan till my aunt hosted a barbecue party and tricked me into eating broccoli.
How about including a couple of fruits in your barbecue? It would be a great idea to include fruits like apples, pears, apricots and peaches. The sweet and spicy taste of barbecued fruits can really get your mouth watering!
Preparing the Veggies
Make sure you wash all the veggies thoroughly before you barbecue them. The best thing to do would be to wash them under running tap water. The force of the running water will drive the dirt out. Also, wash the vegetable before you cut them. Now, when you cut the vegetables, make sure you cut them into bite-sized pieces. It makes eating them easy. Also try to cut all veggies into equal-sized pieces.
A good idea would be to add a pinch of turmeric powder to the water in which you are going to wash your veggies. It acts like an antimicrobial and helps in cleaning the vegetables properly.
The Barbecue Sauce
Traditional barbecue sauce has onion, garlic, Cayenne pepper, jalapenos, tomato, mustard, vinegar, red wine, among other constituents. However, you could add a special 'vegetarian' twist to the sauce. How about mixing some herbs in the sauce? Fresh oregano, thyme, coriander, celery and mint will add a characteristic fresh vegetarian flavor to your sauce. You can add these herbs in the marinade or in the barbecue sauce.
If you are not sure whether your friends will like this twist in the taste, you can instead make a fresh herb dip. Use egg-less mayo as the base. You can even add finely chopped cucumber if you want to make the dip a little crunchy.
Apart from this, it will be a good idea to accompany your barbecue with some barbecue side dishes. One of the best side dish that goes well with a vegetarian as well as a non-vegetarian barbecue is Coleslaw. Another yummy side dish is buttered corn cobs. They taste yummy! If you like beans, baked beans can also go well with barbecued veggies.
~ The Party ~
Barbecue parties must be hosted in the garden! However, you can even throw a barbecue party at the beach, or make a day-trip out of it. Here are a few common tips for an outdoor barbecue party.
The 'Fun' Element
You can have a few games for a lunch barbecue. Even simple stuff like dumb charades, truth or dare can perk up the mood! For a dinner barbecue, you can have music and dance! If any of your friends plays an instrument, like a harmonica, or a guitar, you can ask them to bring it along.
A vegetarian barbecue is a good way to enjoy the usual veggies in an unusual way. It will help you get rid of the monotony of everyday food; and of course, barbecued veggies are healthy too! So go on and have a wonderful barbecue party!