Summer is here and suddenly BBQ season is upon us. More often than not, the typical British BBQ consists of overcooked burgers and burnt sausages. Cooking al-fresco is a true art form and poses an array of different challenges which would not normally be faced in the kitchen. Cooking for those with specific dietary requirements can be even more challenging and options may seem limited at first.
The Full Range sat down with Master Chef and BBQ extraordinaire, Ben Bartlett, to get his take on the rising trend in veganism and why BBQ offers a fantastic opportunity for vegans to explore new recipes and approaches to cooking.
Vegan food is an emerging food trend and choices are easy to add to a BBQ menu. Items such as a cauliflower burger or steak and pulled jackfruit respond to those wanting vegan options but can be bland and need a tangy BBQ sauce to add some flavour.
Vegans do not eat meat, fish, dairy foods, eggs or any products of animal origin. Choosing a vegan diet can be a super healthy option but it is equally important to find good sources of protein, B vitamins and iron. My favourite vegan recipe is BBQ Watermelon Pizza that is both sweet and savoury.
Ben's Watermelon Vegan Pizza Recipe
1 whole Watermelon
4 Red Onions
100mls Red Wine Vinegar
20g Demerara Sugar
20g Sea Salt
300g Vegamigo (Veganic) Vegan Cheese
Bunch Basil leaves
- Peel and slice the onions into rings and put in a bowl.
- Add the red wine vinegar, sugar and salt and mix with a spoon.
- Leave to marinade for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile slice the watermelon into ½” slices.
- Place the onions onto the watermelon slices.
- Top with grated vegan cheese and chopped basil.
- Place on the grill and cook for 8-10 minutes until the cheese melts.
- Cut into wedges and serve immediately.
Ben's Vegan BBQ Cooking Tips
- Spray food with unsweetened apple juice to keep it moist and create a lovely caramelisation.
- Season the grill with olive oil and rosemary before you start.
- Spice it up - by adding a powdered spice to your food.
- If you are using coals let them turn grey before you start cooking.
- Choose a sheltered spot to eliminate wind that may delay cooking time.
- If you are grilling in the evening have ample lighting.
- A clean grill burns better and doesn't leave a bad taste on foods.
- When using wooden skewers always soak well in water before use.
- Sugar burns very easily so if your sauce contains sugar apply it at the end of cooking.
- Marinate overnight - it's magic but remember to baste the food during the last 5-10 minutes of
Want to find out more about Ben and to see more fantastic BBQ recipes? Head over to his website now.