“Vegetarian food is sooooooooo boring!” I’ve heard this time and time again and in fact, yesterday I heard it during an episode of The Simpsons and I couldn’t help but shake my head in disbelief. Unfortunately it’s true; that everywhere you go, people quite determinedly believe that vegetarian food is boring and consists of pasta, lettuce and tofu but do you want to know what my real pet peeve is? That when the summer comes around and the BBQ’s are out and everyone’s grilling away those succulent stakes and sizzling sausages; that all the vegetarians can do is pick at the potato salad…I mean really? In a world in which variety is supposed to discoverable on every corner why is it that our opinion that vegetarian food is “soooooooooo boring” remains the same?
This year, is say it’s time to shake things up, bring a little variety into life and prove once and for all that when the sun is shining and the steaks are sizzling on the BBQ; that vegetarians too can have fun, excitement and fantastic food…in fact, I’m making it my mission.
First on my agenda is to ensure that as many people as possible are aware that anything and everything can be barbecued to perfection which means that for vegetarians; variety will definitely be the spice of life this summer. My faves? Well, nothing beats a bit of BBQ fish; marinade a cod steak (my personal choice) in a range of bbq spices or if you prefer to keep it light then drizzle over some lemon and black pepper, wrap the fish in foil and sit it on the highest shelf of your BBQ to slowly cook. For a standard cod piece, cooking time is often between twenty to thirty minutes and what you are left with is a sizzling, stunning steak full of smoky flavour.
If fish doesn’t tickle your fancy then what about some grilled halloumi kebabs? Halloumi has a fantastic flavour and when brushed lightly with olive oil and some light spices on a skewer with some tomatoes, courgettes and peppers; you have a kebab stick that will beat its meat version any day! For a veggie take on a classic there are a range of recipes around for beer smoked aubergine that is good old BBQ food at its best; full to the brim with flavour and zing.
There are a range of fantastic side dishes that will give your potato salad a run for its money; my top faves have to be grilled sweet potatoes, drizzled with a little salt and pepper, wrapped in foil and left to slowly smoke on the BBQ or there’s a spicy Mediterranean salad filled with peppers, paprika, aubergines and chick peas. Rather than the traditional stuffed peppers I love stuffed mushrooms, chilli marinated corn on the cob, home-made, grilled garlic bread and grilled prawns. The opportunities really are endless and it is all about shaking off the norm and the boring and being a little more inventive. You can even bring further variety by creating grilled veggie tortillas, or making your own carrot and potato burgers.
My point is simple; by taking the time to explore the options, we can wave goodbye to the dried, soy burgers and veggie sausages and push out the boring potato salads and grilled peppers to instead inject variety and excitement into the BBQ once again.
For those who are convinced that the vegetarian BBQ options are slim to none, I say think again; variety is the spice of life and from where I’m standing, that variety really is never ending!
Article by Michael Price from http://www.bedsbbq.co.uk
* Vegetable Kabobs image by: indichick7