One of the most seminal events this time of year is the summer BBQ. At the beach, by the pool, in the backyard, the barbecue is the most ubiquitous of outdoor celebrations. While most of you will rely on the tried-and-true staples of ribs and burgers, should you entertain a plant-based guest or experience a hankering for something new, may we present to you the concept of vegan BBQ. If you consider the juxtaposition of the words "vegan" and "BBQ" to be an oxymoron, allow us to open your eyes to some of the chefs who are pushing plant-based cuisine past the provenance of wheatgrass and mung beans.
Wicked Kitchen, the brain child of culinary master Chad Sarno and his brother Derek, bills itself as "Vegan Food for Meat Eaters." In addition to offering packaged essentials for your outdoor festivities like Wicked Sriracha Sauce, Black Olive Pesto, Jalapeño Burgers, Cookie Dough Ice Cream, and M'Shroom Style Shawarma Shreds, their website has a robust recipe section. Using jackfruit, lion's mane mushrooms, portobellos, seitan and cauliflower, the Sarno brothers mimic and even surpass their animal counterparts with favorites like Kickass Vegan Reuben on Rye, Spicy Vegan Double Cheeseburger, and Wicked Simple Berry Crisp. You'd never guess they're from New England.
The folks over at Bad Manners, previously known as Thug Kitchen, want you to eat "like you give a f*ck." With four successful cookbooks including one focused on party grub and a new one out on how to source and cook fresh produce, Bad Manners has translated all your comfort food favorites into tasty, planet-friendly plant-food bites. Sweet Potato & Spinach Rolled Tacos with Fresh Herb Salsa, Crispy Crab(less) Cakes, and BBQ Bean Sliders round out a varied recipe box of Mexican, American, Asian, and Mediterranean inspired dishes. While their language might be a bit colorful, that hasn't detracted from the flavor of their food.
Portabello Mushroom Jerk Burgers, Korean Style Vegan 'Shroom Burger, and BBQ-able Vegan Lentil Hot Dogs are a few of Gaz Oakley's concoctions under his Avant-Garde Vegan brand. A U.K. chef who worked in professional kitchens since the age of 16, Oakley has since published three cookbooks, has almost one and a half million subscribers to his YouTube channel where he shows you how to do vegan meal prep as well as cooking challenges and instruction, and a website with a library of recipes that will make any meat eater think twice about calling vegan food "boring."
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