Updated: Nov 13, 2018
Hurrah, the sun is shining and the barbecues are out, but what do you do cook if you have to cater for meat eaters and vegans?
Everyone loves a barbecue, there's something about the ease of slinging on a few burgers and sausages, maybe some kebabs and chicken wings whilst you relax in the sun with a chilled beer? Even for vegetarians it's easy to find a decent veggie version these days. But what if you're vegan? Not having delved into the world of vegan sausages before I set out with my daughter to see what we could find.
After trying various stores, we were somewhat disappointed to discover vegan sausages are still lagging behind in both choice and quality to their meat counterparts. We settled for two different types, then made a trip to the greengrocers, shortly arriving home laden with vegetables, and came up with a few options to challenge any traditional meat barbecue dishes.
First up was griddled asparagus, so tender yet juicy, they are a perfect addition to any barbecue. Simply drizzle over some olive oil and season them before you put them on the grill and cook for 2-3 minutes. Delicious eaten on their own or with toasted sourdough (which you can also lightly toast on the barbecue) and then drizzle it with some olive oil.
Then we had corn on the cob, sweet but smokey when roasted, they are at their tastiest in my opinion when barbecued and reminded us all of holidays in Spain eating sweetcorn on the beach from local vendors.
I couldn't resist doing a few vegetable kebabs with courgettes, peppers and, mushrooms so easy and adds a bit of variety. But by far our favourite was the barbecued aubergine. Slice them in half, drizzle with olive oil, season and cook until the middle is soft and the outside skin chargrilled. So simple, yet so delicious.
Whilst all this was cooking I sliced up some sweet potatoes into chips and roasted them in the oven with thyme, olive oil and seasoning. A great accompaniment especially as I don't eat the usual bread that goes with a barbecue.
It's often the sauces that can make or break a dish, so to drizzle onto the vegetables I made a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice & tahini, salt & pepper - delightfully fresh and tasty. Houmous, guacamole and mango salsa also really complement both the meats and vegetables, need less to say homemade versions are always best!
I think we can all say we were happy and contented, with plenty of choice of delicious food for everyone. Who needs vegan sausages when there are so many other alternatives you can eat?