Roasted and charred corn from the grill

The Ultimate Griller’s Guide to Eating Less Meat



It’s about that time: the sun sets later, the grills get unveiled, and the vegetables are on the grill. Yes, I did just say vegetables.

When it comes to summer, the first thing most people think of is barbecues. I’m definitely one of those people! What’s better than sitting outside with a drink in your hand and a plate full of delicious food while seeing some of your friends and family? Nothing, is what!

As summer 2020 looks a bit different than past ones with social distancing, it’s also one to try new things. With potential fresh meat shortages, there’s no better time to try eating less meat and broaden your horizon to the wonders of plant-based foods.


grilled eggplant on a grill

Grilled vegetables are delicious and can be quite filling! Most summer vegetables, such as zucchini and corn, make great grilling veggies and the versatility of vegetables this time of year can make even the pickiest of eaters enjoy dinnertime.

Have you ever grilled corn and added it as a topping for nachos? Or made delicious grilled zucchini boats stuffed with rice, mushrooms, and the sauce of your choice? Carrot hotdogs (do not knock them until you try them) can also be a great substitute to one of America’s most grilled products.

There are endless ideas for grilling vegetables that will make your taste buds dance in delight, you just have to be a little creative!


Grilled peaches on a plate

Fresh. Grilled. Peaches. Need I say more?

When placed on the grill, the natural sugars get caramelized, heightening the sweet flavor of the fruits and making them (almost) like candy. Grilled fruit kabobs, including bananas, strawberries, pineapples, cantaloupe, and apples can be a delicious end to a hearty meal.

For an extra fun dessert, grilled watermelon can not only satisfy the sweet tooth, but help hydrate you on those extra hot summer days.


Tofu in a bowl

This may seem so simple that it should have been at the top of the list, right? Tofu is a versatile ingredient and can be used in smoothies, quiches, or as ‘egg’ scramble, but that’s not all it can do.

With some regular tofu, you can add spices, vegetables, and other ingredients to form some plant-based burger patties, but you can also grill extra firm tofu and use that as the protein! For instance, I usually coat my tofu in a spice mixture that includes poultry seasoning (it’s all plants!) to give it the flavor of grilled chicken, but you could simply marinate it in your favorite barbecue sauce and call it a day!

Plant-Based Proteins

Meat-alternative burgers on a grill with cheese and onions

As more people are choosing to eat less meat or to fully embrace a plant-based diet, meat substitutes are readily available in most supermarkets and corner stores! I always have some plant-based protein in my freezer, whether it’s a type of sausage, ground ‘meat’, or hotdogs (yes, they make those, too!). It’s a great way to use the grill without using too much of your time on prep.

These proteins cook almost exactly like their meat alternatives and taste very similar, so you won’t even miss the meat!

Veggie Patties

Veggie burger with avocado

The tried and always reliable veggie patties are not only easy to make, but you can also freeze them. Before plant-based alternatives were available, those following a plant-based lifestyle relied on these bad boys to make summer cookouts more enjoyable. While more people are choosing the ready-made burger alternatives, there’s nothing like a good black bean burger to keep you feeling full, but not sluggish.

Pro-tip: Most vegetables and beans can be used as a base for veggie patties! Some include carrots, while others are entirely made up of zucchini. Try out a few recipes and see which ones you like best!


By reducing our meat consumption, World Animal Protection expects factory farming to be phased out, which in turn will result in farmed animals living better lives.

Shifting to more sustainable and kinder practices has the potential to put an end to many of the cruel practices farmed animals face today, such as extreme confinement, the overuse of antibiotics, and brutal mutilations.

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