Ellen’s Vegetarian Entreés

By Ellen Siefke
Features Editor
Summer is almost here, and with it comes another season of barbecues and cookouts. I will confess that when I first became a vegetarian, I feared going to cookouts. As no one else I knew had even contemplated such a lifestyle, cookouts meant tons and tons of those horrible little discs of evil you people call “hamburgers” (gasp! I DID just say that).
For me, cookouts meant eating a bun and a ton of salad. I didn’t mind that, but I got bored of the strange looks and the constant, “Ellen, you should eat protein. You’re very active with running…and all that annoying stuff,” my mother or father could go on and on; maybe someday I should just find a dictionary and find the word “vegetarian” in it. Perhaps that would end the constant battle between us.
Anyway, I decided to do a little research to make my cookout experience a little more interesting. I found some great recipe and have since tried them all out. This particular one here is my personal favorite, probably because I love teriyaki sauce.
And I mean I rrreeeaaallllyyyy love it. I could just eat it by the bucketful, but that would be a little gross.
Anyway, this recipe is quick, easy, and perfect for any occasion. Just make sure your carnivorous friends don’t hog the grill, and you’re good to go.
Grilled Teriyaki Tofu and Veggie Kebabs
-One 16-ounce package of extra-firm tofu. (extra firm is best for grilling) If you use water-packed tofu, be sure to drain and press the package. Cut the tofu into small cubes.
– 1/2 of a red bell pepper, cut into chunks
– 1/2 of a green bell pepper, also cut into chunks
– 3-5 large mushrooms (I prefer portobello)
– 1 small zucchini, cut into thick slices
– 1 medium-sized onion, cut into chunks
– 1 cup of teriyaki sauce (or your own favorite marinade)
1. Make the kebabs by placing the tofu and veggie pieces on skewers in any sort of pattern your little heart desires. If you want to attempt to make a Christmas-themed kebab with the peppers and zucchini, go for it. I’m not stopping you, I’ll just warn you that your friends may give you a strange look.
2. Brush the teriyaki or any other marinade on the kebabs. Think of it as painting a pretty picture, and the food is your canvas. Just go crazy and put on as much or as little as you want.
3. Put the marinated skewers on the grill and turn them over once every few minutes until both sides char just slightly. This should take only around 10 minutes. I would recommend touching up a little on the marinade while grilling to add some more flavor.
4. Take the skewers off the grill carefully, plop them onto a plate, and enjoy! Take that meat-lovers!