Tips For A Great Vegan BBQ | Lizi’s
If 2020 isn’t the year to turn the traditional, meat-heavy BBQ on its head then when is? The summer months are now upon us and there’s nothing to stop us planning recipes to try when it’s time to grill again – indoors and out!
If you’re exploring unchartered territory by planning a plant-based BBQ – fear not. You’ll still be able to get your protein fix, as well as an array of vitamins, minerals and that all-important fibre to show your gut some TLC.
To help you on your way, we have compiled some top tips to make your vegan BBQ a flavoursome feast to remember.
Choose a flavour theme
Opt for a flavour or culture theme so that your foods will complement each other and give you that restaurant-quality satisfaction.
This theme can provide inspiration for side dishes and drinks, too.
For instance, by opting for a Mexican theme you can include BBQ street corn, nachos, black bean burgers, chipotle marinades, guacamole and margheritas.
For a Middle Eastern theme choose houmous and grilled pittas, harissa glazes for kebabs, cauliflowers roasted with Baharat, beetroot salad and tabbouleh, while a sweet BBQ dish includes barbecued peaches with yoghurt and nuts (or some Lizi’s!).
Or if we’re looking to the continent, why not go Greek? Experiment by making some tzatziki (vegan plain yogurt, cucumber, garlic and mint), stuffed vine leaves and olives of all colours and a bright Greek salad of cucumber, tomatoes, red onion and vegan cheese.
Always include kebabs!
Kebabs have long been a staple dish at vegan barbeques. Create colourful columns of mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, aubergine and courgettes lavished in oil and your chosen seasoning, interspersed with foods such as plant-based ‘meat’ balls, meat substitutes or falafel for extra flavour and texture.
Why not add some fruit to the kebab if it suits your flavour theme? Pineapple and mango work well with Mexican and Caribbean flavours while strawberries work well with Mediterranean recipes using balsamic vinegar and glaze.
What is a BBQ without a burger? Whether your burger is made from beans, pulses, tofu or mushrooms, they can still be juicy and fulfilling.
When layered with extras such as vegan cheese, avocado, fried onions, lettuce, pickles, jalapenos, tomatoes, and your favourite condiments – you might even decide there is no need for a meat patty ever again.
Try grilling veggie steaks
We don’t mean shop-bought plant-based ‘steaks’ – we mean thickly sliced vegetables such as cauliflower, broccoli or aubergine, cooked and charred on the BBQ.
The thick cut means they maintain their texture and bite, lending themselves to marinades and seasonings, satisfying vegans, vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
For an extra boost of texture, protein, fibre and essential omega 3, why not include nuts and seeds where you can? Add them to side dishes, use them to ‘crust’ burgers and other items, top your salad with them or add crunch to sweet dishes.
For extra flavour, they can always be toasted or roasted with a spice mix that suits your theme.
Plan your macronutrients
This isn’t about calorie-counting for macro-counting! If you learn about the food you will be serving you can ensure you are consuming all the essential food groups. Meat-free doesn’t mean you are avoiding protein, in fact most whole carbohydrates such as lentils, chickpeas and beans are high in protein.
By using these foods as the basis for your meat ‘alternatives’ you can ensure you are getting protein, as well as essential carbs and fibre. Try blending any of the above with breadcrumbs, herbs and spices before shaping into patties.
Looking for more information on plant-based protein? We put together a list of 14 vegan sources of protein.
Try to avoid just picking up pre-packaged vegan foods. Like their meat counter parts, they’re often highly processed, and you can do just as good, or even better, at home.
Experiment with different textures, protein sources and flavours for your vegan BBQ. Tofu is incredibly versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways and lends itself to many marinades and seasonings. While plain tofu might not float your boat, trying out different ways of cooking it with varying flavour combinations means you will definitely find one that suits your palate! Whether its grilling as a burger or kebab, or frying or scrambling to add to a side dish, there will be a way to cook and eat that you love.
The same can be said for vegetables – avoid the standard garden salad and grilled vegetables, instead creating mouth-watering vegetable dishes- let your flavour theme guide you.
We hope these tips bring you some inspiration when it comes to the food and flavour that can be served up at your next plant-based BBQ. Don’t forget to tag us in pictures of your dishes or share your recipes with us on our social channels!