Ideas for vegans who want to join the outdoor cooking craze
Many vegans still don’t think of joining the summer barbecue craze, and it’s a shame as there are so many different choices when it comes to vegan barbecuing.
In fact, you’ll probably be wondering how meat-eaters don’t get bored of their rather restricted offerings – but make sure you do have a separate barbecue if you are sharing the evening with those who haven’t seen the vegan light.
It is also worth noting that, for environmental and financial reasons, disposable barbecues are not the best route to choose. The use once then throw away idea is a poor product of the lazy consumerist. It creates so much waste and, in the long run is much more expensive.
On to the barbecue itself, and pretty much any vegan-friendly burger or sausage can be cooked on the barbecue – in essence it’s just an outside, slow burning grill, so, most veggie burgers and sausages will probably cook more quickly than their flesh counter-parts. Throw in some vegan cheese and onions and you’re sorted.
If you want to add some vegan coleslaw or potato salad to the mix, then all the better.
All you need for vegan coleslaw is shredded white cabbage, shredded carrots, spring onions, egg-free mayo, salt, and pepper – just mix the lot together and you’re sorted.
Of course, you may wish to be more adventurous with your barbecuing than burgers and sausages. Pulled jackfruit – if prepared in advance can be a glorious option – but it wouldn’t work on a grill because the pieces are so small, so you would need a solid barbecue or a pan for that idea!
Corn on the cob, however, tastes diving when cooked on the barbecue. If you smoother it with herby margarine (mix some garlic, pepper and maybe even chilli with a vegan spread and stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours), wrap it in foil and then just shove it on the barbie. Alternatively, it’s really good to barbecue corn in its husks. Remove the first couple of layers, then soak the corn in cold water for 15 minutes, pull back the last layer of husk, brush the kernels with olive oil, pull the husk back over the corn and barbecue.
Vegetable kebabs are a sure way of adding colour to any vegan barbecue – they are so easy, nutritious and fun, that they’re pretty much a must in my book. You can adjust them to suit individual’s taste too. What’s not to love? Red, green, or yellow peppers, tomatoes, aubergines, onions, red onions, courgettes and mushrooms – the choice is yours. If you’re using wooded skewers, remember to soak them in water for 30 minutes before you start. You can also add tofu or seitan if you want a meat substitute in the mix – you can brush the veg with oil – or a mixture of herbs and oil, or you can just cook it as is – again the choice is yours. If you want a sweeter taste to your kebab – why not add pineapple?
If you do have a sweet tooth, you could try barbecued bananas too. Cut the ends off the fruits, barbecue them for 10 or 15 minutes, split open the skin and then sprinkle for sugar and lemon juice on them if you wish – then enjoy!
Finally, how about barbecuing a couple of avocados? Take out the stone, brush them with oil or lemon juice and then you have the option of stuffing them with salsa after they’ve cooked.
As they say, the possibilities are endless.