Friday, June 18, 2010

Vegan Father's Day

This Sunday, June 20, is Father's Day, and for many dads that means time to fire up the grill for some burgers and dogs.  But what to do if you're a vegan?  Or even a vegan dad??  Fortunately, there are many options these days due to the array of faux meats available in grocery stores.
Fantastic Foods Nature's Burger, 10-Ounce Boxes (Pack of 12)
Veggie Burgers - Amy's Texas Burger, Gardenburger, or Boca Burger are just a few of the many popular choices.  The Blog, Chez Bettay has a lovely post on "An American Burger Vegan Style" which illustrates how to make the perfect burger sans meat.  Thinking of making your own?  You can choose one from the Top 11 Veggie Burger Recipes list which includes some tasty looking burgers made from such ingredients as black beans, portabella mushrooms, potatoes, and TVP.

Hot Dogs - So your dad's not into burgers and prefers a dog in a bun?  Again, there are many vegan options, some of which work really well on the grill.  Lightlife's Tofu Pups and Smart Dogs have been the longtime standards, but now you can also try their Smart Dogs Jumbo and Smart Sausage.  Yves makes vegan hot dogs for the grill, along with Jumbo Dogs and Veggie Brats that taste just like bratwurst but without the meat.  Turtle Island also has their take on hotdogs, with Tofurky Franks which they claim "have a firm texture like the gourmet kosher hot dogs sold on the streets of New York City."  If you like things with a spicy kick, you can try their Chipotle Franks.  

Sausage - Speaking of spicy, probably the best vegan sausage product around are Tofurky's gourmet sausages available as Beer Brats, Kielbasa, and Sweet Italian with Tomato and Basil (my personal favorite).  These could fool anyone who enjoys a good sausage and pepper grinder.  Others swear by Field Roast Sausage which are available Italian style, Mexican Chipotle, and Smoked Apple Sage.

Chicken - If you're used to grilled chicken and BBQ hot wings, why not try the same marinade on Gardein's Chick'n products?  They have Buffalo Wings, Crispy Tenders, and even Barbecue Wings which all taste like the real thing, but with no bones to pick! 

Kabobs - To diverge a bit from the faux meat thing, why not load skewers with some tasty marinated tempeh or tofu alternated with onion, pepper, and other veggies?  These are easy to make ahead on the grill (just remember to soak the bamboo skewers in water beforehand), then serve up warm with a dipping sauce when guests arrive. 

In all these cases, when it really comes down to it, it's the flavors that make all the difference.  You put the same seasonings in a soy and wheat based veggie product and you'll get something just as delicious as the traditional meat product it is based on.  Get a good roll, add the appropriate fixings, pile on some delicious sides, and you have the makings of a perfect Vegan Father's Day.  No need to feel deprived!

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