If UFC fighter Nate Diaz or director James Cameron are coming to your BBQ, you need to be ready with more than the chips and salsa to feed them. You (or more specifically they) are in luck — great vegan food is now everywhere. “I remember when I was growing up, my best case scenario was grilled portabello mushroom and undressed salads,” says vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli, whose burgers at by Chloe are in high demand from way more than the usual crunchy crowd. “Now vegans can not only survive at a BBQ, but they can thrive, indulge, and really chow down.”
What changed? In short, the availability of high-end seitan (not that stringy DIY stuff your college roommate made), a product derived from wheat protein. The likes of Upton’s Naturals, Sweet Earth, WestSoy, and Pacific are just a few of the brands you can find in most Whole Foods that taste great with minimal preparation. Cooking the stuff is as easy as grilling steak. Season, oil, and put it over flame or in a pan. But don't take our word for it, try Chloe's Red Wine BBQ seitan sandwich below, along with four other vegan sides we compiled — for your next accidentally meat-free BBQ.