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Food & Drink » Chow

Meatless Barbecue?: A vegetarian takes to the grill

Vegetarians don't have to shy away from the grill this summer with a delicious plate called brie quesadillas.

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Well Bendites, it's here.

June 21 has come and gone, you've wrapped up your pagan solstice rituals, tweens have started floating the river and the sun is coming out on a fairly reliable basis. Your coworker has even stopped smugly saying, "Welcome to Central Oregon" any time someone mentions a change in the weather.

It's also about this time that, for vegetarians, the sense of dread that has been building all spring long finally becomes a full-fledged panic. It's barbecue season.

For some, barbecues mean parties and fun, but for vegetarians these backyard gatherings bring what I like to call barbeque shame. If you've ever had to tote plastic-wrapped veggie burgers from party to party, or asked a host to use a clean pair of tongs to turn your not-dogs so as not to contaminate them with the cursed blood of the beast, then you know what I'm talking about.


The good news, fellow herbivores, is that such shame does not have to befall you this summer. The bonds of your vacuum-packed meat imitation products can hold you no longer. Barbeque shame is a thing of the past because - and this is basically a scientific fact - everything tastes good barbequed. You can pretty much grill anything and it will be delicious - vegetables, breads, tofu and even pizza.

Excited? Well, calm down because on top of that, I'm also going to share with you my go-to barbecue dish - "brie quesadillas."

To make it, you'll need the following (recipe makes two):

Four regular flour tortillas

One Granny Smith apple, thinly sliced

One 5-ounce container of Alouette crème de brie (trust me, "spreadable" brie will just make your life so much easier)

About a cup of caramelized onions (if you don't know how to caramelize onions just Google "carmelized onions" - a number of easy recipes will pop up.)

Spread brie on one side of each tortilla. Place the desired amount of caramelized onion and apple slices on top of two of the brie-covered tortillas, then place the other brie-covered tortillas on top. Cook quesadillas on the grill until tortillas are crispy and the cheese is melted. Cut into quarters and serve.

I love this dish because it can be prepped in advance and refrigerated until it's time to grill. It's easy to transport - no cardboard box or individual plastic wrapping required - and, of course, it is delicious.

Best of all, brie quesadillas are pretty much 100 percent barbecue-shame free, so hold your head high while insisting "your" spot on the grill be scrubbed free of charred animal flesh. Enjoy barbeque season, veggie friends.

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