Grilled vegetarian recipes for entertaining

Aug 31, 2008 at 3:00 p.m. ET

Even though the 4th of July and Labor Day are holidays characterized by hot grills and lots of juicy meat, you won't have to pick at your plate or go hungry this year. Simply fire up these vegetarian dishes alongside your meat-eating pals and have an equally enjoyable - and satisfying - holiday meal.

Veggie Kebabs

Vegetarian Recipes for the Fourth of July & Labor Day

Mushroom Quinoa Burgers

Serves 4

The meaty texture of mushrooms and heady flavor of Worcestershire makes these burgers a hands-down winning substitute for ground beef.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup diced button mushrooms
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (or more to taste)
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas, rinsed
2 heaping tablespoons minced fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
Whole wheat hamburger buns or Kaiser rolls
Toppings of your choice

1. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent. Add garlic and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring, until mushrooms are soft and have released their juices. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and set aside.

2. Place quinoa, chickpeas, parsley, salt and pepper in a food processor. Pulse until chickpeas are coarsely chopped. Add mushroom onion mixture and pulse until blended. Do not puree. Form mixture into four patties and refrigerate for a couple of hours or up to overnight.

3. Preheat grill to medium-hot and spray a grill basket with nonstick cooking spray. Place patties in grill basket and grill for 3 to 4 minutes, flip basket, grill for 3 to 4 minutes or until patties are cooked through. Remove from grill basket and serve on a bun or roll with toppings of your choice.

Grilled Vegetable Kabobs

Serves 4

These grilled sweet potato kabobs are more satisfying and flavorful than the usual grilled mushroom and summer squash kabobs. 

1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 2-inch chunks
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder or cayenne
Salt and pepper to taste
1 red bell pepper, seeded, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 green bell pepper, seeded, cut into 2-inch chunks
1 cup pineapple chunks
8 (8- to 10-inch) metal or wooden skewers*

1. Place the potato chunks in a microwave-safe 2-quart casserole dish along with water. Cover and microwave for 5 to 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are firm tender (do not overcook - they will be too mushy to grill).

2. In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, parsley, chipotle, salt and pepper. Pour over the potatoes, mixing to coat. Alternately thread the potatoes, bell peppers, and pineapple onto skewers.

3. Preheat grill to medium-high. Grill the kabobs, turning frequently, for 15 minutes, or until a nice brown crust forms.

*If you are using wooden skewers, soak them in water for 30 minutes before using to prevent the wood from flaming on the grill.

Red, White, and Blue Fruit Salad

Serves 4

Serve this festive Fourth of July dish as dessert or a refreshingly juicy side-dish. If you are serving it for dessert, partner it with a scoop of dairy-free coconut ice cream

1 cup ripe pitted cherries, halved
2 white peaches, halved, pitted, sliced
1 cup fresh blueberries
Juice of a lime
1 tablespoon minced fresh mint

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and chill until ready to serve.