BBQs are one of the harder social situations that revolve around food. Not only is the main focus often on things that go between buns and rolls (which are usually toasted on the grill) but many other options are also either meat-based or pasta-based. It's hard to navigate this realm both gluten free and personally as a non-meat eater, but with a bit of vigilance and planning, you can still have a great time! Whenever I throw or attend a BBQ, there are a few things I keep in mind.
- If you are not planning or throwing the BBQ, speak to the host in advance about your needs.
- When attending a BBQ, I almost always bring the following with me (just in case):
- Tin foil
- Gluten free hot dog rolls or hamburger buns
- A gluten free dish for sharing. This can be anything from a salad to chips and dip or even a gluten free pasta salad. This way you always have something to eat, even if you can't have anything else there. AND you don't come empty-handed.
- Make sure you don't have any grill contamination by ensuring that the person doing the grilling is aware of cross-contamination. This as simple as educating them about your needs and, depending on your confidence in the person and their understanding, suggesting the following:
- Provide them with your tin foil and tongs, as well as any food especially for you and let them know that these should only be used with your foods.
- Let them know that your food should be cooked separately from other foods. Depending on how much they understand, you might have to be specific about what separate means:
- In its own tin foil where nothing that might contain gluten has been cooked.
- Fold the foil over to ensure that no grease or run-off from other foods gets on it.
- If the grill has an upper and lower rack, consider asking that your food be cooked on the upper rack, or let the person cooking know that bread cannot be cooked over your food. This will avoid crumbs falling onto your foods.
- If all else fails, offer to cook your own food.
- If you are a vegetarian or a pescatarian like me, but still miss having a burger or hot dog once in a while, there are vegetarian options out there to consider (although I will admit they are hard to come by). Here are just a few:
Cajun Shrimp Skewers Print-Me
An original recipe by Georgianna Dolan-Reilly
I am a pescatarian, which makes BBQs a bit tricky, especially if I want to partake of something that is a good source of protein. These little babies add some protein and spice to your grilled meals, and are great when paired with corn on the cob, potatoes, or really any other item that might be at a BBQ. Try them on their own, or even over rice or on a salad.
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon paprika
2 teaspoons minced garlic (approximately 2 large cloves)
1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
1 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon lime zest
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder*
1/4 teaspoon sugar
*If you like more spice, double the cayenne pepper or consider adding 1/4 teaspoon finely minced jalapeño.
1 pound raw shrimp (peeled and deveined on top and bottom)
1 medium sweet onion
1 medium green pepper
1 medium red pepper
1 medium yellow pepper
1 medium orange pepper
1/2 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- In a glass or metal bowl, add the marinade ingredients. Stir until well mixed. Let sit while prepping shrimp and other ingredients.
- Wash the shrimp. Next, peel and devein by removing the grey/black areas along the bottom and top of the shrimp with the tip of a knife.
- Re-wash the shrimp and pat dry.
- Add the shrimp to the marinade and stir until completely covered. Cover bowl and let sit in fridge for 30 minutes. Shake or stir occasionally.
- Meanwhile, heat the grill to low or medium heat.
- Slice the peppers and onions into squares of about equal size (about 1 inch), and set aside.
- When the shrimp are done marinating, prepare the skewers by alternating peppers, onions and shrimp. Each skewer is best with 2-3 shrimp. Set aside marinade for basting.
- Place skewers on grill, drizzling each with marinade.
- Cook for approximately 4-5 minutes on medium heat or 9 minutes on low heat.
- Turn, baste once more with marinade, and cook for another 4-5 minutes on medium or 9 on low.
- Remove skewers from grill and enjoy!