Written by Ami Tadaa

Food

So just what the hell DO you cook at a vegan barbecue?

If the thought of a vegan accepting an invitation to your summer barbecue sends you into a panicky skewer spin, do not fret. Lifelong vegan Ami Tadaa is here to offer some ideas we think the meaties will be fighting over.

burger and sweetcornSo the summer has finally taken off its cardie and we’ve all felt the benefit.

And if you need scented evidence, let me tell you that not a day went past last week when I didn’t get a whiff of barbecue merriment floating down our back lane. A sure-fire sign that people are in the summer swing. And bearing skewers.

As a lifelong vegan, you may assume I’ve never enjoyed the al fresco experience of a back garden barbecue. I mean, what would be the point?

I’m a V-E-G-A-N! I don’t eat sirloin steaks, or chicken legs, or burgers which boast of their 100% animal flesh content. Meanwhile the thought of a sizzling king prawn offers flashbacks of a traumatic trip to Wagamama involving a vegetable gyoza, which was not that.

But back to the smoking charcoal in hand (don’t put it in your hand).

The truth is, there is an absolute myriad of munchworthy vegan dishes which chime in perfectly with a barbecue feast.

So if you have a vegan coming round (you should have, we’re a proper treat at parties) and were thinking of shelving any plans to break out that barbecue from behind the lawnmower, think again.

Kidney bean and sweet potato burger… with everything on top!

Ingredients:

Bean and sweet potato burger:
1 tin of drained kidney beans
1 large sweet potato
2 tablespoons flour
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp coriander
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small chopped onion
Oil for frying
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Breadcrumbs or semolina flour

Toppings/sides:
Fried assorted mushrooms
Red onion rings
Baby spinach leaves
Vegan bought or homemade vegan mayo
Sweetcorn

burger and sweetcornMethod:

1. Chop and boil your sweet potatoes until soft. While this is boiling, fry your small onion and cloves of garlic.

2. Place the cooked sweet potato, drained kidney beans, cumin, coriander, two tablespoons of flour, fried onion and garlic mixture and salt and pepper for seasoning in a food processor (or mash with a fork).

3. Form your mixture into burger shapes (add more flour if too soft) and roll in breadcrumbs or semolina flour.

4. Heat up the oil in a non-stick frying pan and add the burgers when oil starts to sizzle.

5. Fry your burgers for 2-3 mins on each side and flip them over.

6. When they are done, place in a burger bun and add your favourite toppings! We love assorted fried mushrooms on the top of our burgers as it adds a meaty texture.

Potato salad with vegan mayo dressing

Ingredients:

Potatoes and salad:
6 or 7 red skinned potatoes
½ bunch green onions (white and green parts), finely chopped
1 cup (132g) diced celery (about 4 large ribs)
1 cup diced carrots
½ cup frozen peas, defrosted
1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste

Mayo dressing:
1 cup vegan mayo
1 teaspoon of mustard
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste

potato saladMethod:

1. Wash the potatoes and chop into two-by-two-inch pieces. Steam for 10-15 minutes until ready to eat. When ready, let cool for 10 mins while preparing the vegetables.

2. Dice celery, green onion and carrots.

3. Mix the vegetables and defrosted peas in a bowl with the cooled potatoes.

4. To prepare the dressing add the mayo, mustard, minced garlic and salt and pepper and mix.

5. Add the dressing to the bowl of vegetables and potatoes and mix thoroughly.

6. Sprinkle the flat leaf parsley on the top and serve!

Marinated tofu steaks

Ingredients:

1 pound (454g) extra firm tofu, sliced into ¾ inch rectangles
½ cup barbecue sauce
½ cup brown sugar
½-1 tsp chilli powder
½ cup orange juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. In a pan, whisk together the barbecue sauce, brown sugar, chilli powder and orange juice over medium low heat until well combined, about 2-3 minutes.

2. Place the tofu pieces into the mixture so they are covered on both sides and marinate for 1-2 hours.

3. Place the tofu on the barbecue for about 3-4 minutes on both sides, brushed with more sauce if required.

4. Add salt and pepper as required, and enjoy.

Veggie and fruit skewers

This one is easy and great for kids to get stuck in and decorate their own skewers with their favourite veggies!

Veggie skewers

Ingredients:

Your favourite selection of vegetables (mushrooms, onion, peppers, tomatoes, courgettes etc)
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

1. Cut your favourite vegetables into cubes and add them to a skewer.

2. Dress with olive oil.

3. Barbecue the skewers for 10 mins or until the vegetables are soft.

fruit skewersFruit skewers

Ingredients:

Your favourite fruits (berries, watermelon, grapes, apples, mango, pineapple, oranges etc)

Method:

1. Cut your fruit into cubes or thick slices and add them to a skewer. (This is guaranteed fun synergy in the same way that fans of Mars bars tell me they’re more fun to eat when they’re chopped up on a plate.)

Hot bananas dessert

Ingredients:

2 or 3 bananas
Vegan chocolate sauce

Method:

1. Peel your bananas and cover in tin foil.

2. Place the covered bananas on the barbecue for 5-10 minutes or until hot and soft inside.

3. Take your bananas out of the foil and smother in vegan chocolate sauce or even sprinkle with vegan marshmallows and vegan whipped cream. I surely don’t need to tell you to enjoy this.

Happy barbecuing!

@TyneChease

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Written by Ami Tadaa

Lifelong vegan Ami Tadaa was raised from birth around the world on pure plant. She has somehow reached 24 and landed in Newcastle, with an uncanny resemblance to a human being, but an obsession with cashew cheese. She recently launched @TyneChease and vegan Sara Pascoe thinks she's a 'genius goddess'.