Meatless Monday: BBQed Veggie Skewers

This entry was posted on Jun 22, 2015 by Charlotte Bell.
meatless mondayMeatless Monday: Join the Barbecue with Tasty Skewers

In the decades since I stopped eating meat, people have often asked whether I miss eating hamburgers on the grill. I don’t. I actually don’t care for the smell of barbecued burgers, but I do like the taste of grilled foods.

Barbecues and potluck picnics abound in the summer. Vegetarians can always partake of the meatless sides at an outdoor barbecue, but why not participate in the main event? You can always bring a ready-made or homemade veggie burger, but making skewers (aka kebabs) is easy and fun, and there’s lots of room for improvisation.

The basic recipe I start with comes from The Natural Foods Cookbook by Mary Estella. You can marinate the tempeh in a store-bought barbecue sauce. Feel free to use whatever veggies are in season. I’ve grilled cauliflower (medium-sized florets), and zucchini and yellow squash, sliced 1/2-inch thick.

Tempeh Skewers

1 lb. tempeh, cut into 1-inch squares

1 red pepper, cut in 1-inch squares

1 green pepper, cut in 1-inch squares

cherry tomatoes

1/2 lb. button mushrooms, stems removed

1 T shoyu

2 T water


1/4 olive oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

Cook the tempeh in your favorite bottled barbecue sauce for 15 minutes. Drain and save the barbecue sauce. Pour the marinade over cubes and toss to coat well. Cover bowl and allow to rest 2 to 3 hours.

Before assembling, add mushrooms and peppers to the tempeh. Mix well and let sit 10 minutes.

To assemble: Put pepper pieces on the end of the skewers to secure the other ingredients. Alternate pepper, tempeh, tomatoes and mushrooms, placing a pepper piece on the end.

Add shoyu and water to the marinade for basting. Grill skewers until done, turning occasionally to expose all sides to the coals. Brush with marinade while cooking, and serve with a dollop of barbecue sauce.

A word on grilling with your carnivorous friends: If you prefer not to have your veggies touch a meat-coated grill, you can bring your own grill to place on top of the community grill. I’ve found that simple camping grills made to use over a campfire work well. You can either set the entire grill on top of the community grill, or use the legs of the campfire grill to situate your campfire grill a bit above the surface.

About Charlotte Bell
Charlotte Bell discovered yoga in 1982 and began teaching in 1986. Charlotte is the author of Mindful Yoga, Mindful Life: A Guide for Everyday Practice and Yoga for Meditators, both published by Rodmell Press. Her third book is titled Hip-Healthy Asana: The Yoga Practitioner’s Guide to Protecting the Hips and Avoiding SI Joint Pain (Shambhala Publications). She writes a monthly column for CATALYST Magazine and serves as editor for Yoga U Online. Charlotte is a founding board member for GreenTREE Yoga, a non-profit that brings yoga to underserved populations. A lifelong musician, Charlotte plays oboe and English horn in the Salt Lake Symphony and folk sextet Red Rock Rondo, whose DVD won two Emmy awards in 2010.

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