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5 Easy Ways To Make Vegetables The Star Of Your BBQ

By Maria Cook

Most eco-conscious people are aware that eating less meat is good for the planet. But in practice, keeping away from meat can be easier said than done, especially during summertime--the season of outdoor grilling and backyard barbecues. Part of the reason it's so hard to turn down meat in favor of veggies is because most people are never taught how to properly prepare vegetables. 

But rest assured, it's no more difficult than preparing meat! In fact, the best way to make vegetables delectable is to treat them as if they are meat. This handy list of tips can help you create veggies so delicious, even hardened meat-eaters will be begging for seconds. Even if one of those meat-eaters is you! 

Select flavorful vegetables.

Just as one might consider which cut of meat to prepare for dinner, vegetables should be carefully selected for maximum flavor potential. When cooking veggies for summer get togethers, avoid watery or bland veggies, such as potatoes, turnips and cucumbers. Instead, choose veggies that can be prepared in a variety of ways and produce a bold array of flavors. These include bell peppers (red, green, and yellow), onions, tomatoes, asparagus, and yellow squash. 

All of these can be baked, grilled, sauteed or combined into salsa. With these veggies, you will have the potential to create dishes with as much punch as any traditional burger or brat. They also have the added advantage of looking as great as they taste--their bright colors and pleasing, varied aromas make it hard not to be tempted.

Give your vegetables a dry rub.

As any barbecue lover knows, dry-rubs can be key to bringing out meats' flavor. But it isn't only meat that deserves the dry rub treatment! Just about any vegetable dish, from kabobs to baked veggies, can benefit from a good rub down. 

Your dry-rub recipe doesn't need to be complicated. In fact, there's likely no reason that you can't reuse any recipe you've already been using for meat. Dry-rub recipes are as varied as human palates, so the sky is the limit on what flavors you can bring to the table! From ulta-spicy cajun-style rubs to savory Texas-barbecue rubs, feel free to experiment. Rubs should generally be added before cooking, but can sometimes also be sprinkled atop your dish after cooking for an added kick. 

If you're still unsure of where to start, then try out this simple recipe for a basic veggie dry rub.