We’re in the heat of grilling season, with steaks and all their fine marinades sizzling on BBQs everywhere. But if you’re looking for a plant-based alternative (that’s not a veggie burger), hearty, meatier vegetables can take on the form of steak and be the star of the plate, too! Cabbage wedges with a maple balsamic drizzle, broccoli coated in dukkah and the tastiest garlic sweet potatoes are about to shake up your preconceived notions about grilling, one taste explosion at a time.

Grilled Cabbage Steaks with Maple Mustard Balsamic Drizzle

Mostly reserved for slaws and salads, cabbage is often a forgotten BBQ gem. Slicing it up into vegan “steaks” and placing it on the grill helps turn this bitter veggie into something sweet and smoky. The combo of maple, mustard and balsamic is a versatile sauce that transitions from wintry roasts to this summery drizzle, elevating the sweetness of the cabbage and adding a hit of acidity. Top with fresh basil leaves so every bite encompasses something crunchy and sweet; even better if the basil is picked from your own herb supply.

Ingredients:

Cabbage Steaks
1 small head of purple cabbage
1 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of pepper
5-10 fresh basil leaves

Drizzle
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 Tbsp whole-grain mustard or Dijon
Pinch of sea salt and pepper

Directions:

1. Cut the cabbage into wedges by slicing it in half lengthwise, and then slice those pieces in half, so you’re left with 4 wedges. Keep the core intact.
2. Place the cabbage in a large bowl or tray and season with avocado oil, sea salt, granulated garlic and pepper.
3. Fire up your grill to medium-high, place the wedges on and flip every 5-7 minutes so each side comes into contact with the grill and becomes slightly charred and softened.
4. Cook for a total of 15-20 minutes, and if the cabbage begins charring too much, move it off the flame and into an area of indirect heat.
5. While the cabbage is grilling, whisk together your drizzle in a small bowl.
6. Take the cabbage off the grill when tender, crispy and browned, allowing it to cool for 5 minutes, then drizzle the maple-mustard balsamic on top.
7. Tear up a few fresh basil leaves, and scatter over the dish for vibrancy and freshness.

Grilled Broccoli Steaks with Dukkah

In the last few years, people have obsessively grilled cauliflower “steaks”, but broccoli is overlooked as an equally grill-worthy veg. Like all veggies that are BBQ’d, broccoli softens, sweetens and becomes deliciously smoky. This Middle Eastern inspired dish places the broccoli on a delicious puddle of tahini sauce, before being topped with one of our favourite Egyptian spices: dukkah. The aromatic blend is a collection of toasted and crushed nuts, seeds and spices that provide texture, bite and important seasoning.

Ingredients:

Broccoli Steaks
1 broccoli bunch
1 Tbsp avocado oil
¼ tsp sea salt
½ tsp granulated garlic
Pinch of pepper
2-3 Tbsp dukkah spice (store-bought or homemade)

Tahini Lemon Sauce
¼ cup tahini
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 Tbsp water
Pinch sea salt

Directions:
1. Slice the broccoli into large florets or steaks (so they don’t fall between the cracks of the grill), peel the stalk and slice them in half.
2. Place the broccoli in a bowl and season with avocado oil, sea salt, granulated garlic and pepper.
3. Turn the BBQ on medium-heat, place the broccoli florets and stalks on the grill. Every few minutes, flip the broccoli so each piece is cooked through and lightly charred (tongs work best). If broccoli is getting too browned, transfer the florets to an area of indirect heat.
4. While the broccoli is cooking, quickly prepare the tahini sauce. Once combined, pour it onto a plate and spread it out with the back of a spoon.
5. Place the grilled broccoli on the sauce, then sprinkle dukkah on top of the broccoli.

Grilled Sweet Potato Steaks with Cilantro Garlic Drizzle

How do you turn a root veggie into a summery dish? Grill it and smother it in fresh cilantro! This is a simple weekend BBQ recipe, since sweet potato wedges are always a crowd-pleaser. What makes it stand out from your typical roasted or deep fried wedge-variety is the smoky char marks that you simply can’t achieve from any other cooking method. BBQing veggies really does add so much flavour without doing much by way of seasoning. The cilantro-garlic drizzle that embellishes the dish is sort of like a gremolata, an Italian herb condiment, that just adds so much freshness from lemon, lemon zest and herbs. If cilantro is really not your jam, simply swap it for an herb you prefer like mint, basil or parsley.

Ingredients:

Sweet Potato Steaks
3 sweet potatoes
2 Tbsp avocado oil
½ tsp sea salt
Pinch of pepper

Drizzle
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
¼ cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 Tbsp lemon juice
½ tsp lemon zest
Pinch sea salt

Directions:

1. Slice the sweet potatoes into wedges – do this by cutting them in half lengthwise, and then slice the halves on a bias.
2. Mix the sweet potatoes with avocado oil, sea salt and pepper.
3. Place the sweet potatoes on a grill that’s on medium-high heat, allowing the wedges to cook about 5-7 minutes per side, then flip and cook for another 5-7 minutes. You should begin see grill marks, and the wedges should be soft on the inside.
4. As they’re cooking, whisk together the cilantro-garlic drizzle.
5. Place the wedges on a large plate and dollop the drizzle over top.

Don’t let your grill game stop there. Here are 20 vegan bbq recipes that pack a flavour punch, and 3 vibrant vegetarian dinners that make lemon the star.