Vegan BBQ Tips
Do you have vegan guests coming to your bbq? Or do you want to hold a vegan bbq and are not sure what to cook for people?
Of course, vegetables are easy to cook up on the barbie and are also suitable for non-vegans - but you can also easily provide hot dogs and burgers for your vegan guests.
Vegan meat products can be bought at your local supermarket/health food shop/online if you would like to serve up something other than grilled veggies.
I am going to target this page towards the non-vegan who may be a bit confused about cooking up some food on the barbie for a vegan guest.
The most important thing to remember is that us vegans do not like our food to be cooked on a bbq which has just had non-vegan foods cooked on it. This may sound like hard work - but it is a serious issue for many vegans - myself included.
So how do you get around this? You have a couple of options in my experience. Firstly you can cook the vegan food first before all the other food is cooked. Or you can have a section of the grill specifically for the vegan food. Now, most vegans are quite particular about not having the fat from the non vegan foods splattered onto the vegan food so you will need something which is going to properly protect it.
The way I have seen this done before is a few bricks being placed down the centre of the grill and one of those anti-splatter devices used on the non vegan foods to stop any animal fats from spraying all over the place.
If you want to be really considerate, then you could use one of those little portable bbq's for the vegan food. If you did this, you will probably see your vegan guest visibly relax as this is a sure fire way to ensure the food stays vegan through the cooking process. You could even buy one of those little portable bbq's that you can pick up from petrol stations - they usually cost less than a tenner.
Now you have that sorted, how about what to cook on that vegan bbq? There are countless recipes out there which are suitable for vegans. Think of all the healthy vegetables that you can cook up on their own or stuffed with various foods such as couscous, rice, beans and even other vegetables.
What I have noticed about information on vegan bbq's are a lack of vegan meat recipe ideas. On my vegan meat page you will see my favourite vegan chicken which I buy in bulk and stick in the freezer.
If you can manage to get a hold of some of this, this is what I do with it: I marinate in some kind of oil (usually olive but sometimes vegetable oil or something slightly more exotic) and a mixture of fresh herbs and spices for a few hours or overnight. Tear it into big chunks as this makes it look more "chickeny" and place on the barbecue and cook like you would any other food.
If you are using vegan meat on your vegan bbq, it is probably a good idea to either marinate or spray your vegan meat with one of those oil sprays you can buy quite cheaply. Remember that vegan meat doesn't contain natural flesh juice so any burgers or sausages you cook up will benefit from this. Some people oil their barbecue grill too before cooking.
Linda McCartney "6 vegetarian sausages" are widely available in supermarkets and are suitable for vegans. I know her sausage rolls are also suitable for vegans if you want to throw a few of those in. I prefer Fry's vegetarian sausages (not the hot dog variety) myself and they cook up great on the bbq.
What about bbq'd tofu? Most of us know that tofu is quite bland tasting on its own but the good thing about the blandness is that it can soak up the flavours of all the other ingredients you use with it.
Here are some good vegan bbq tofu recipes.
My own personal taste is to freeze the tofu overnight to make it more spongy and "meatier". Then I take it out of the freezer and thaw thoroughly and then marinate in this vegan bbq sauce:
Melt the margarine in a saucepan and gently fry the onions until transparent. Add the other ingredients and simmer for around 20 minutes until the sauce thickens.
Cut the tofu into strips or cubes and place the thawed tofu in the bbq sauce mixture for a few hours (or overnight). Then it is ready to place on the bbq when you are ready. It is also a good idea to have some of this bbq sauce for people to pour over their food after it is cooked, whether that be tofu or other food items.
One other thing. Remember if you are serving salads etc at a mixed barbecue (for vegans and non-vegans), it may be a good idea to make up a couple of dishes with
Take a potato salad for instance. It would be so much easier to make it vegan so everyone could eat it. Replace the salad cream/mayonnaise with a vegan alternative. I use Sainsburys "light" salad cream which is suitable for vegans. You can also buy vegan mayonnaise. I like Mayola which is found in most health food shops and a lot of supermarkets. Add a salad with a vegan dressing - easy to make with mustard, lemon juice and olive oil. Having some soya spread is also a good idea for the bread rolls. Oh. Talking of bread rolls - most bread is vegan but check the ingredients. Happy bbq!!