Even as a vegan barbecue season can be fun! But what can be put on the grill? What should we pay attention to avoid toxic substances? And what should definitely not be missing? Find out here.
Yeah, barbecue season is on. And with it also the annual question, what we, as vegetarians or vegans can actually place on the grill? Don’t worry, you don’t have to do without, even as a vegan you can grill excellently and let it taste good.
VEGAN BBQ FOR BEGINNERS
Germans barbecue an average of 19 times, and with the vegetable diet, we can add a lot of variety: vegetable patties, vegetables and tofu, and even fruit are really good on the barbecue. And in the end, the sauces and salads are what really enhance any barbecue anyway, right?
If we still want to take care of our mother earth when barbecuing, we can buy charcoal or briquettes from sustainable forest management. We recognize them by the FSC seal, for example. As an alternative to wood, there are barbecue charcoals made of other materials, such as olive stones, corn spindles, or coconut shells (consumer advice center, 2019). But now the far more important question, what are we grilling now?
LET’S GET VEGGIE!
When it comes to vegetables, we have absolutely nothing to be shy about. Actually, we can grill almost anything. Either pure in small baking parcels made of baking paper or, if necessary, aluminum, or cut into small pieces and marinated, or fried in a pan of grilled vegetables. When I go through my vegetable list like this, I can’t think of anything I couldn’t put on the grill. I especially love eggplant, peppers, carrots, mushrooms, asparagus, fennel, zucchini, chicory, tomatoes, spring onions – okay, you realize the list is long!
With watery vegetables such as mushrooms, tomatoes, and zucchini, or peppers, we should bear in mind that they “water” a lot and we may have to put them on a skewer or put them in a grill tray so that no vegetable stock drips onto the grill. However, if the grill is a continuous surface, it works well without it.
For firmer vegetables, we need a little more patience. If we don’t have them, we should cut these vegetables (carrots, corn or broccoli and potatoes or pumpkin…) into small pieces or even cook them in advance in the oven. With corn and potatoes, it makes sense to wrap them in foil and then grill them.
PROTEINS – TOFU, TEMPEH AND BURGERS
I still prefer to grill tofu and tempeh. But also seitan and lupine roasts are a very good addition to vegetables on the grill.
- Tofu: Smoked tofu, natural or Mediterranean? The choice is huge and there is certainly something for everyone. Personally, I am convinced that Taifun’s Black Forrest Tofu is really tasty for everyone.
- Tempeh: Tastes particularly delicious sliced and crispy grilled.
- Meanwhile, soy cutlets taste so extremely real that you could serve them to omnivores as “meat cutlets” 🙂 You can find more about this in my YouTube video. If you don’t get them, you can also use *plant shreds made from extruded (“popped”) soy flour or pea flour: If you soaked them overnight in vegetable broth or a marinade, you can put them on the grill the next day.
- Seitan: We get it natural or already as BBQ varieties. You can find more about this in my YouTube video, where I compare vegan burgers
Because meanwhile there are quite a few good meat substitutes that come very close to the meaty original. In the video, we compare seven different burgers. Everyone was allowed to give a score between zero and ten points. For those who want a really really meaty burger, I can personally recommend Planty of Burger. Here’s our voting:
- Fry Family (8,8,7)
- L’herbivore (9,2,6)
- Wheaty – super hero (8,7,7)
- Wheaty – Tex Mex (8,7,7)
- Barbecue Ore (0,4,4)
- Vegan cutlet (10,9,9)
- Planty of Burger (5,9,10)
If you prefer to make your own veggie patties – I personally prefer that, too – you can try these lentil burgers for example. I love lentils as a base because they are very rich in protein and taste simply wonderful. On the Internet, you can find many more burger patties to make yourself.
Here are my favorites:
HAVE A SWEET TOOTH?
Have you ever heard of flaming fruit? I always remember this kind of treatment when I put fruits and berries on the bbq, like pineapples, apples, or pears. But also peaches and bananas, mangos, melons and strawberries taste very good. You can eat it in combination with tempeh and other vegetables 🙂 For example, you can place bananas directly on the bbq heaters without peeling of the skin and then sprinkle them with cinnamon and syrup – delicious!
BBQ BREAD – BEST OF STONE AGE
This was my absolute favorite meal when I was little. And I still love making sticky bread dough. In the meantime, however, I put the bread on the grill rather than flat cakes or take a stick. Although looking for the stick and holding the stick over the fire is also worth an experience. Stockbrot tastes 1000 times better to me personally than any bread you buy because it is so wonderfully fresh!
BBQ bread – Mama’s Basic recipe:
400 g spelt flour
0,5 cubes fresh yeast
220 ml lukewarm water (more if necessary)
2 tsp salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1EL Olive oil
some flour for the dough
DIPS, MARINADES AND SAUCE
The marinades, dips, and sauces are the be-all and end-all of any barbecue. Here I can *heartily* recommend my book (sorry, self-promotion). Especially the cocktail sauce and the slender mayo are for my part of every barbecue. But also all the other dips and sauces, like the kidney bean hummus, the fiery tomato salsa, or the Feto dip or the vegan parmesan on a nut base are a great match for the barbecue.
Here on my blog are also some great recipes like the cashew dressing, mayo, or my hummus. If you’d rather buy the sauces, it just so happens that a lot of them are vegan anyway. These often include hummus, ketchup, mustard, salsa, pesto, BBQ sauces, soy sauce, or various dips from the refrigerator.
If we want to make the whole BBQ party really “smoky”, we can use “Liquid Smoke” or smoke salt, for example. With it, we get this smoked flavor in our food, even without smoking. Liquid smoke is produced by the pyrolysis of sawdust. The resulting smoke is condensed, purified, and physically processed, for example by extraction or distillation, to produce smoke flavorings (European Parliament and European Council, 2003).
When it comes to barbecue salads, my favorites are the classic green salad, lentil salad and potato salad. But also couscous and millet or quinoa and noodle or rice salad go well with bbq.
- fresh green salad: lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini pasta, corn
- Potato or noodle salad with a dressing of vegetable broth and vinegar, vegetable yogurt or my slim mayonnaise
- Quinoa salad, couscous, bulgur, rice or millet salad with vegetables and lentils
- Coleslaw (made from white or red cabbage)
- salad of different legumes like chickpeas, in addition to vegetables and spices
HEALTHY BBQ – WHAT YOU SHOULD PAY ATTENTION ON
In general, plant-based barbecuing is much healthier. However, even here, grilling can quickly produce a few substances that we do not want to absorb. Especially when meat sizzles next to our vegetable barbecue. To avoid this, we can put our food in a grill tray or on baking paper, for example. Unfortunately, barbecue trays are mostly made of aluminum. If the aluminum ions are transferred to our barbecue food, they are harmful to health.
However, according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), occasional use is OK, as the protection against PAHs is the main focus. PAH (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) are formed when fat or oil drips into the embers. For example, my bbq is oil-free. But you can also use an oil suitable for high temperatures, which is much better. In addition, heterocyclic aromatic amines (HAA) can be formed during the grilling of protein-rich products at high temperatures (> 150 °C). Both groups of substances are suspected to be carcinogenic. Accordingly, an aluminum bowl may offer a healthier option. However, it is much better to use other materials such as a stainless steel shell. This not only benefits you but also the environment.
VEGAN GRILLING – PLANT-BASED AND HEALTHY
Plant-based BBQ is not only more varied but also healthier. We quickly get used to the alternatives. I always like to bring a salad to barbecues. Because this way I can make sure that every barbecue really is a celebration.