June 20, 2017

On weekend afternoons in the summer, there’s nothing like hanging out around the grill and preparing an array of delicious foods for friends and family. Colorado culinary arts students know the possibilities for cooking out go well beyond burgers and chicken. Try these recipes for remarkable, meat-free dishes over the fire.

Step up your meatless burger

“Few beef alternatives can compare with the savory goodness of portobello.”

You have plenty of options when it comes to making a burger patty without the beef. However, few can compare with the savory goodness of portobello. A Couple Cooks suggested a version that pairs the mushroom patty with an irresistible basil pesto.

Make the pesto ahead of time, including garlic, walnuts, salt, Parmesan cheese and olive oil along with the basil. When it’s time for cooking out, cut the stems off your portobellos and brush on a marinade of balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and allow 15 minutes while the grill reaches a medium-high heat.

Set the mushrooms on the grill, cooking for about five minutes on either side. During the last minute, add provolone cheese. Assemble the burgers by placing the mushrooms on buns with a slice of tomato, arugula and the pesto.

Assemble the ultimate grilled sandwich

Bring a veggie-packed sandwich to the next level by cooking the ingredients on the grill. Serious Eats offered directions for preparing a vegetarian take on the classic croque monsieur that starts with tossing planks of zucchini in olive oil, salt, pepper, and the dried herbs mixture Herbes de Provence. Grill the zucchini over high heat for about four minutes on each side, until the pieces are nicely charred.

Melt butter in a saucepan and whisk in flour to cook on a low heat for a minute. Add milk and whisk until the mixture thickens. Then, set aside.

Spread butter onto thick slices of white bread, placing grated Emmenthal cheese on the opposite side of one piece. Add the zucchini and then more cheese before placing the sandwich in a skillet to cook on medium heat until a golden brown on either side. Transfer the sandwich to a baking sheet lined with foil, topping with the white sauce and more cheese. Finish the sandwich by broiling on high until the cheese toasts.

Enjoy a side of bok choy

If you’re looking for the perfect grilled vegetarian side dish for your feast, this Chinese cabbage may be the answer. Food Network advised first cutting a pound of bok choy in half and heating it in a microwave for three to five minutes. Meanwhile, use a whisk to combine rice vinegar, sweet chili sauce, brown sugar, soy sauce and sesame oil.

Toss the bok choy in the marinade. Then, throw the cabbage on a grill over medium heat. Cook for a minute or two on each side, brushing on more sauce, until it chars.

For culinary academy students, grilling is a chance to try out new recipes and flavor combinations. Explore the possibilities of skipping the meat at your next cookout.

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