The ultimate vegetarian barbecue guide
Veggies are often forgotten at barbecues, but no more
Summer is coming, the weather is hotting up and that can only mean one thing - barbecue. If, like me, you are a vegetarian, there is a good chance you're significantly less excited by that prospect than your carnivorous friends.
I love a barbecue. I love the smell, I love hanging about in the garden with a glass of the good stuff, soaking up some amazing summer rays. I do not love the food, primarily because there is seldom anything there for me. It's to be expected really: when did you last hear the phrase, 'stick another carrot on the barbie'?
But we needn't be neglected. It might be tough for your meat eating counterparts to come up with things to feed you or even remember that you wont like any of the stuff they have to offer, but that doesn't stop you setting a trend by throwing a barbie with some mind-blowing vegetarian treats to let them know that they can cater to you now too.
Veggie burgers are so last century. We have chickpea burgers, black bean burgers, mozzarella and red pepper burgers... the list is endless. If you can't be bothered making them yourself, they are readily available at the supermarket. No excuses.
Aubergines are really tasty and perfect for the barbecue. If you slice it up and grill it, it can go on a bun like a slice of anything else, or it can be served with chips or salad.
Everyone loves cheese and this one holds its shape so it can be grilled and put on a roll. Your veggie friends are going to love it, but you'll find everyone wants a slice. You can also make halloumi fries on the barbie by slicing them into chunks and dishing them out to everyone.
Jackfruit is an amazing alternative to meat and comes in all shapes and forms so you can stick it on some veggie skewers, get some jackfruit burgers and even some jackfruit hotdogs. If you've never tried it, now is the perfect time. It also looks just like pulled pork, so if you're into aesthetics at all, this is up your street.
This will work for regular potatoes too, but sweet potatoes are better for you and they are super tasty too. Prick the spud all over and bake the whole thing, in foil, on the grill, for about an hour. Yes, it's a long time, but get a few on the go at the start of your party and I promise it'll be worth it.
Grilled veg skewers
An oldie but a goodie. Skewers of diced pepper, onion, courgette, sweet potato, spring onion – any veg, really. If you want to give as many options as possible, set the veg out separately and let people make their own skewer to be done on the grill.
Don't forget the sides
Sides and additions are just as important as what goes on the grill. You wouldn't dream of having a barbecue and not having cheese and ketchup available, so why not branch out to some top notch veggie options. Humous will never not be well received and is available in a tonne of flavours. Sweet potato and regular fries are a good shout, along with effortless, help yourself salad, and some grilled veg options.
Desserts are the forgotten part of the barbecue, but there are lots of really simple things you can make to please everyone, including the vegetarians. S'mores are really easy to do and great fun if you get everyone involved. Veggie marshmallows are readily available now, so everyone can have a go.
You can also grill just about any fruit. Pineapple and mango are firm favourites, and you can grill a load of slices and let people help themselves. Don't forget the ice cream.