If you’re a vegetarian, there are a number of delicious foods to grill at a summer cookout.

With summer and its hotter temperatures just around the corner, you may be thinking of all the ways to get outside of your apartment and take advantage of the nicer weather. Camping, beach trips and grilling are all great ways to enjoy the summer. Since Memorial Day is May 28, there’s no better time to start dusting off the grill to have a fun summer cookout, but if you’re a vegetarian, or just trying to eat less meat, the idea of grilling up hamburgers and hot dogs could make your stomach turn. Fortunately, there are a number of unexpected and delicious vegetarian or vegan options to throw on a grill so you won’t have to resort to eating baked beans on bread this Memorial Day.

Veggie burgers

We’re not talking about your standard frozen Boca patties here. We’re talking about healthy and hearty veggie burgers that you can make from scratch using a few simple ingredients. This brown rice and vegetable-based burger recipe comes from Alton Brown. Jazz up the finished product with a buttery, toasted whole grain bun, lettuce, tomato, caramelized onions, avocado slices and some spicy mustard and you’re in for a treat that won’t even have you missing the meat.

Portobello mushrooms

These balsamic vinegar-marinated Portobello burgers are perfect for vegetarians who are looking for something substantial to eat at a cookout. Portobello mushrooms are great because they provide all of the same meaty flavor as a traditional beef burger, without the fat and calories. Charred on the grill and served with grilled red bell peppers and goat cheese, these burgers are a unique yet satisfying take on an original.

Pizza

Impress your vegetarian friends by throwing a delicious vegetable pizza on the grill. The combinations are endless, so try experimenting with different cheeses, sauces and vegetarian toppings to keep the menu lively and exciting. This grilled vegetable pizza recipe uses a homemade pesto sauce (you can also substitute store bought pesto if you don’t have the time to make your own) as a sauce base, then layers on fresh mozzarella, smoky, charred bell peppers, zucchini and squash and dollops of soft goat cheese.

Seitan

If you’ve never heard of seitan, it is a great, high protein meat substitute made from wheat gluten. Like tofu, seitan is incredibly versatile and can be used in a variety of different ways. You can toss the seitan on the grill and slice it for sandwiches, or cut it into strips for a stir fry. If you’re feeling adventurous, follow this recipe to make your own homemade seitan, or, simply buy packaged seitan at any health food store. This recipe for seitan kebabs features a spicy lime and garlic marinade and is great for any summer cookout.

Photo credit: iStockphoto/MadCircles

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