My daughter and her partner are both vegetarian; John can’t quite believe we produced a child who isn’t a carnivore, and asks me occasionally “where did I go wrong” as though some parenting failure led to this choice of lifestyle. Whatever the reason for their choice, vegetarians often find themselves greeted with sarcasm and un-disguised despair, when they inform their hosts of their choice not to eat meat; I’ve heard Hannah many times having to explain that yes, that does include free-range chicken and animals who died of old age!
As a family who loves barbecues, we’d always believed it had to be a meat-fest, with a couple of token salads of course and perhaps a corn on the cob tossed over the charcoal for good measure. Now, however, I actually include vegetarian options on the barbie even when we are a group of meat-eaters.. Hannah and Mike have been responsible for us exploring the options that can make a barbecue not only suitable for vegetarians, but a more balanced nutritional meal for the omnivores in the group too. Here are my three favourites at the moment:
- Haloumi burgers – cut block of Haloumi into lthick slices. Cook over the coolest part of the barbecue for 2 minutes on each side and serve with sweet chilli sauce and a pot of sesame seeds, cucumber fingers and lime juice.
- Corn Chilli Sticks – whole corn on the cob. part boil over the stove for around 6 minutes. Allow to dry and then roll in mix of butter, fresh chopped chilli and coriander and some lime juice and rind. Cook on the side of the barbecue for around 4 minutes, turning regularly.
- Leek and Carephilly burgers – thanks to Hannah who made these first, we made them into burger shapes and tried them on the barbecue and they’re our new favourites! I’m going to share the recipe in the next blog, as they’re a Welsh tradition and deserve a post of their own!
When cooking on the barbecue, remember that most vegetarian dishes will not need the same heat as the meat. Move the charcoal to the sides if your barbecue allows, and it is worth using a metal tray over the grill to keep everything from sicking. It also means the vegetables are not being cooked on the same surface as the meat.
What is your favourite option for a vegetarian dish for the barbecue?