Brush on the oil and get creative: Tips for cooking a vegan barbecue | Vegetarian food and drink

Vegetarian barbecue is still an oxymoron for many, but as more and more Australians are switching to flexitarian, if not all-vegan or vegan diets, the meat-free summertime Barbie is catching up with us.

I’ll admit that the idea of ​​grilling without an initial cut, or even a slight snag, is a compromise I haven’t made yet. But I love vegetables, their versatility, and how you can transform them with fire and charcoal, and I’ve increasingly preferred them as a dominant ingredient in dishes, so now I feel like it’s time to make the change to meat, if only for a while.

In general, when doing vegetarian grilling, you may want to consider a model that has a flat plate and grill – it will make it easier to cook both artificial meat and raw vegetables.

Tofu, with marinade

Suzy Spoon started her vegan butcher business in 2012, first as a stall in Sydney’s Marrickville Markets, before committing to a storefront in nearby Newtown. Spoon says there are many great brands of sausage, burger patties, and different seitan and gluten-free products you can “jazz up,” but starting a meatless grill is as simple as a can of tofu and a good pickle.

Vegetarian patties. It is recommended to eat it while it is hot because its texture can change when it cools down. Photo: Bloomberg/Getty Images

Cutting the tofu into slices a few centimeters thick or very thick and placing it on a paper towel allows you to get some water out, and then when you put it in the marinade, the tofu soaks it up. “You know, like the old Colgate ad: like liquid in chalk,” Spoon laughs. For a bad time, it can be a quick dip for tofu and straight on the grill, but it’s always better when it comes to the marinade.

It’s easy to take a spoonful of olive oil to a pot of soy sauce in a jar, and shake it well into an emulsion. You can add a little Dijon mustard, she says, using the marinade to tofu, mushrooms, eggplant, or broccoli.

picking vegetables

You can grill asparagus, broccoli, and the like, but skewers are a good way to prepare in advance. In standing events, things on sticks are always a good move. Load them with vegetables and marinate them on a skewer.

There is a category of vegetables that we can call underrated or unexpected when it comes to grilling. If you say shallots, you might think of pancakes or soups, but the roast is charred and crunchy on the outside, smoked throughout and tender and delicious at its core. I also like to add the likes of baby cos lettuce and Brussels sprouts to that list.

Grilled vegetable sandwich with pulled jackfruit
Grilled vegan jackfruit sandwich with coleslaw salad. The creativity in your cooking pays off. Photography: Brent Hofaker/Alamy

The magic of mushrooms should not be forgotten, they are often used in vegetable products to imitate “meat”. Portobello in its natural form was a faithful alternative to burgers for decades before the likes of Impossible Burger smashed into our consciousness.

Industrial meat cooking

Not all meatless products are created equal. Spoon products — available across Australia — are made with beans or legumes, such as polenta sausage made with yellow peas and polenta, flavored with sun-dried tomatoes and basil. “You don’t need to be a vegetarian or vegan to eat that,” says Spoon. “You just love the delicious food. It’s a great sausage for the flexibility lovers who just want to have something that isn’t a piece of meat on the barbecue.”

Alejandro Cansino was Executive Chef for the three-section Urbane restaurant in Brisbane before founding Fenn Foods, makers of Veef. “We want to imitate meat,” he says. “Our pulled products are made with shiitake mushrooms, and our burgers are made with Australian soy and pea protein.”

Vegetables on the barbecue grill
A grill with a grill as well as a flat plate will make it easy to cook artificial meats and raw vegetables. Photography: Olly Bleu / Alami

While the product may mimic the look and taste, there are differences to consider, Cancino says, to get the best result from a vegan pie or sausage.

He says eat it while it’s hot, as its texture changes as it cools. On top of that, plant-based meat products, compared to real meat patties and sausages, have less fat, which means they release less oil, he says. So when you put it on the grill it tends to stick, and the sausage might rip. Grease them with a little oil to avoid sticking.

Get creative

Finally, I appeal to home cooks to experiment. We all have refrigerators, cupboards, and pantries full of oils, spices, herbs, and spices waiting for the recipe that never comes. It’s hardly technical advice, but you can play around and soak in your own taste. If you taste as you go, it’s unlikely to be a disaster.

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