Sunday, February 2, 2014

Help! There's a Vegetarian at my BBQ!

As a vegetarian, who is the only vegetarian in my close circle of friends, I have been to soooooo many dinners and barbecues where the only food to eat was the salad. And telling you now, seriously, vegetarians like hot food too! Like the amazing skewered vegetable recipe at the end of this post.

The thing is, often someone will bring a +1 to a dinner party or BBQ, and even the partner won't know they are vegetarian. (My husband of 12 years still forgets....) so being prepared for the event that a vegetarian could show up unannounced, and having hot food ready to go.... Guaranteed BBQ success.

The tricks to feeding a vegetarian at a BBQ:

- always have 2 types of salad. I always have a boring lettuce or spinach salad made f garden vege, dressed with salt, pepper, and a little lemon juice. This caters for those allergy types as well, as clearly every ingredient can be seen, saving a lot of, 'are there any nuts in this?'. And then I pair it with either a potato, rice or pasta based salad with a boiled egg in it. This won't help with your vegans, but they have the green salad, and the egg helps to cater to the protein of your vegetarians.

- Corn on the Cob. In summer we always have this growing wildly. I usually just go and pick one cob per guest as the BBQ is cranking up. Throw the cob, husk and all, on the barbie and forget. Peel the husk back creating a handle, and a glorious corn experience awaits.

- Falafel. I keep a ready supply, but if you don't, don't stress. But an instant falafel patty thrown on the hot plate (I use a non-stick aluminium foil underneath) makes an easy burger patty.

- Asparagus. Throw it on the grill, rotating as it gets those grill lines, and serve hot.

- Large, flat mushrooms. Giant flat mushrooms drizzled with oil, pepper and a little chili powder make a meaty meal.

- Potato Slices. Sounds strange, but I learned this one in China at a Korean BBQ... Take a sheet of non-stick baking paper and put it on the hot plate. Using a mandolin, thinly slice a potato. Wash well. Place on the BBQ... When the edges are slightly browned, turn the slices over. These will take the longest to cook, but they are delicious with a dipping sauce.

- Vegetable Skewers. See below

- Dipping Sauce. Everyone loves a choice. I like to have tomato sauce (duh), a Thai Chilli Sauce (sweet with ginger), and a spicy Satay sauce. This gives your guests flavour options which will blow their mind.

Also, those carnivores need to eat vegetables too.... When dished out to the boys, these skewers never disappoint.



Vegetable Skewers

1. Soak long wooden skewers in water for about an hour.

2. Wash button mushrooms in water, slice a yellow courgette, slice a purple onion, slice thickly a green pepper, and rinse cherry tomatoes.

3. Thread into a colourful arrangement on a skewer

4. Optional: marinate in a mix of olive oil, dark soy sauce, pepper and chilli powder.

5. Throw on the BBQ- can be cooked on the grill or hot plate.

6. Serve on the stick, optionally with a drizzle of sauce.

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