Want to spice up your BBQ this sunny season? Here are 6 plant-based ingredients you can use to create an incredible summer BBQ.
It goes without saying that going plant-based does NOT mean missing out on sticky BBQ bliss. Grilling adds layers of flavour and texture that elevate just about everything plant-based to veggie nirvana. Throw in an incredible sauce and you’re away. So here are three BBQ basics for anyone new to plant-based, and three surprises even veteran vegos might never think to grill.
3 BBQ Basics
Corn is a BBQ classic, one of those “no barbie is complete” staples that everyone loves. It’s great simply slathered and charred in home-made vegan butter with a sprinkle of sea salt and a crack of black pepper. But take a leaf from the Mexicans and dress those beauties up Elote-style with paprika lime and cilantro. Or twist them with a herbed lemon tahini topping.
Portobellos are a popular burger and steak stand-in thanks to their size, juiciness and generally earthy, meaty vibe. Basted, seasoned and infused with smoke from the grill and they’re already a perfect fit for slaw, potato and your standard BBQ sides. To level them up try glazing with balsamic or topping with chimichurri, bruschetta, vegan pesto or just a simple onion and garlic vinaigrette. So good.
I mean, hello? Infinitely flexible, infinitely tasty plant-based skewers are a perfect option that rewards a playful touch. Plus they can look ridiculously appetising so if you’re inventing your own skewer combination remember the eyes as well as the palette. For flavour ideas, you could turn to Japan or the Mediterranean with something yakitori or kebab-inspired. Or there’s our personal favourite: satay from spice-marinated tempeh or tofu because, yum, peanut sauce!
3 Wait Whats?
Yes, avocado. Who knew? But a creamy avo halved, quickly grilled for a layer of smokey goodness and with a dollop of something yum on top is a show-stopper. Try a plant-based ceviche or a honey tahini sauce for a luxuriously tasty and indulgent side, and one that will definitely get your guests talking.
The humble cabbage is transformed by fire and smoke from coleslaw cliche to something exotic and surprising. Keep it simple with a soy dressing or vegan miso butter, or make it the star of the show with a riot of flavour. Jalapeno chimichurri lentils and maple mustard tahini for example. Or a chilli mint and hazelnut dressing. You’ll never look at cabbage the same way again.
Plums, peaches, apricots and nectarines
Look beyond BBQ staples like grilled banana or pineapple and discover a whole new world. Most summers Australia is blessed with an abundance of stone fruit, nearly all of which do beautifully on the barbecue. The sugars sear and caramelise adding a wonderful sweetness and depth of flavour. Imagine grilled plums, peaches and apricots tossed through a summer salad. Or sweet, seared and smokey nectarines served warm with a dollop of coconut cream. Easy and magical.
Charred and smokey sticky-sweet juicy goodness is what we’re looking for from a barbeque. Let us know if you have any plant-based ingredients we should try. And tell us what you think of the ideas above.
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