Summer is coming, even if the sky's still grey here in Manchester. But like VeganReads, this has put me in mind to barbecue.
Every previous summer, I've stood by while meat-eating friends dominated the grill, mocking me from behind their prime cuts while I looked with embarassment at my pre-packaged vegi patties. But not this year. This year I'm determined to show them that you don't need meat to turn barbecues into a real feast. I've started reading, including SnakeWitch's post on BBQ 101, and experimenting around the kitchen, and thought I'd share the fruits of my labours.
First up, skewers and kebabs.
This is where I started, running through a selection of Mediteranean vegetables and tofu to show the bright variety of veganism. But what I've found is that, if my skewers all have a bit of everything, they all look and taste kind of the same. Nothing stands out.
What works is focusing on particular foods, combined with marinades that really complement their flavours. My top choices include:
There's a whole world of variety in our fungus friends, and matching the right mushroom to the right marinade really makes them sing:
- classic button mushrooms in a garlic marinade
- shitake soaked with soy sauce and coriander in an eastern style
- mixed mushrooms with lemon and pepper
Here the flavour's all in the marinade, and this is your chance to use your favourite. Personally, I like a fifty-fifty mix of soy sauce and lemon or lime juice, with a bit of sugar and some red chillis to give it bite.
An idea from Rose Elliot's Vegetarian Barbecues and Grills, she recommends a marinade of balsamic vinegar with ginger and coriander, and I can't disagree.
Sure they might not seem exciting, but who can resist a warm steaming spud, crispy on the outside, soft on the inside? Chop them up small, or better yet use baby potatoes. Top flavours include:
- tandoori - the Indian potato classic
- paprika and chilli - great with a creamy avocado dip
- sea salt - when you just want to help great potatoes speak for themselves
*Image courtesy Flickr creative commons.