Summer is here, the sun is shining, the pools are filled, and the grills are going. Got some summer squash and tofu? Grill them and savor the awesome taste of the season. Here are five tips for successful, veg-friendly grilling:

1. Choose Veggies With a Firm Texture

Vegetables with a firm texture are the best to grill because they hold up well on the grill. If they’re too soft and watery, the veggies wont look very appetizing, but instead like a gooey, charred mess. The best veggies for grilling include zucchini, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, eggplant, carrots, leeks, green beans, corn, parsnips, beets, onions, mushrooms, bell pepper, asparagus and artichokes.

2. Slice and Dice Properly

For optimum, even grilling throughout the vegetable, the way you chop them up matters. Instead of placing a hunk of a vegetable on the grill, as you might with meat, it’s best to cut the veggies into smaller pieces. Cut carrots, zucchini, squash and eggplants into rounds or strips. Cube potatoes, squash and beets.

3. Use High-Quality, Dehydrated Soy Protein

When grilling soy products, use dehydrated soy, which is slowly cooked and dried at a low temperature. This retains the soy’s health-boosting properties. A bit of prep work needs to take place before throwing soy products on the grill. Soak dehydrated soy protein for 10 minutes or until “plump.” Soaking for 10 minutes will allow for enough moisture to be added to the soy without it crumbling on the grill or turning all mushy. After, you’ll want to choose spices and a tasty marinade to make your soy taste delicious. Check out these other tips on how to grill soy products.

4.Go Bold With Flavor

There are so many possibilities to flavoring your veggies that will make them taste amazing in addition to the nice charred taste that a grill creates. Go bold and choose spices, rubs, sauces and marinates to transform your veggies from blase to amazing. Try spices like garlic, chili powder, pepper, oregano, thyme and parsley. Squeeze the juice from a lemon, lime or even an orange on top. Check out these 10 Ways to Make Awesome BBQ Sauces, Rubs and Marinades. You’ll never have a boring plant-based meal again!

5. Mind the Time

You don’t want to over-grill your veggies, since blackened veggies are not very appetizing. For perfectly grilled veggies, keep these tips in mind: The starchier the veggie, the longer it will take to grill, so potatoes, for example, can be left on the grill longer than artichoke pieces. Small pieces will grill more quickly than large chunks. The finer you chop the vegetables, the quicker they will grill. Usually, you only need three to four minutes before they’re done, so stay by the grill and don’t desert your veggies.

Image source: Rick Audet/Wikimedia