Top Tips For A Vegetarian Grill Up
Our Top Tips For A Vegetarian Grill Up
Did you know that around 7% of the UK’s population is now vegetarian, with a further 8.8 million pledging to switch to a plant based diet by 2023? Now, we love a steak as much as the next guys here at Whistler Grills, but the food industry is evolving, and so is barbecuing. Cooking new foods can be a daunting task for someone who has never done so before but with a little planning, a whole lot of optimism whilst armed with your trusted Whistler, we believe anyone can cook up a successful plant based BBQ.
Whether you’re vegetarian, flexitarian or even just a carnivore looking to get your 5 a day, we’ve got the best vegetarian barbecue recipes that’ll make you fall in love with veggies all over again. We’re talking veggie dishes, alternative meat and top tips to create flavour packed concoctions that will give even the tastiest meats a run for their money!
Start with planning your dishes
Veg-centric food isn’t just for those with a vegetarian diet, make it yummy enough to cater for everyone - even the most ravenous carnivores. Incorporate a balance of meat-free alternatives and vegetable dishes to your plant based barbecue. Don’t skip the basics - not everyone will be willing to try a bunch of new things so don’t forget to grab your coleslaw, corn, halloumi and other BBQ essentials. If in doubt, get some jacket potatoes at the ready because no one EVER complained about the potatoes.
Forget the roasting and get grilling!
With Autumn just around the corner, we’re craving those warm roasted veggies that make us feel like we’re being hugged from the inside out. However this year, we’re ditching the roasting and getting grilling.
Sweet potatoes are arguably the most comforting foods out there. Not only are they incredibly versatile, but they take to the grill like absolute champs. The natural sweetness of these potatoes balances so well with the tangy and smokey flavours the barbecue induces and their hearty texture holds up impressively against the grill. To try our go to sweet potato dish, slice your potatoes into ¼ inch slices, drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder. Place directly onto the grates of your Whistler grill and cook for 5 minutes on each side, be careful not to let them slip down the grates. Baste them in your favourite BBQ sauce and cook for another 2 minutes each side to get a sticky BBQ glaze. Serve as a side or let them hold their own as the main show. The ultimate comfort dish in comfort food season!
With summer drawing to a close, there’s bound to be an abundance of leftover summer courgette begging for you to save them with one last hurrah. Courgette, or zucchini as our friends across the pond like to call it, is one of the best vegetables to barbecue. Slice your courgette into thin ¼ inch strips before drizzling in olive oil and generously seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic powder, dried parsley and dried basil. Once your grill is smoking hot, use tongs to carefully place them on your griddle plate and let your Whistler work its magic. The only way to top these dishes is to wash them down with a cold beer.
Do meat-free alternatives BBQ well?
We’re no strangers to the forever evolving range of ‘fake’ meat proudly displayed in all our favourite supermarkets. Did you know that in the last year, the demand for alternative meat has increased by almost 20%? Even as avid carnivores here at Whistler Grills, we believe that despite common misconceptions, meat alternatives can be just as good as the real thing. But, do meat-free alternatives BBQ well?
Just like meat, start with the best quality produce you can afford. Quality really does outweigh quantity so do some research and try to source the best meat-free alternatives you can find within your budget. The next thing you need to bear in mind is seasoning. Seasoning is the witchcraft of barbecuing. With some generous pinches of the right seasonings, you have the power to rustle up something incredible from even the blandest produce.
If you’re looking for that brown, crispy outer coating that you get with real meat, then marinating and seasoning is your best friend. Adding flavour and fat will help to initiate the Maillard Reaction. Without boring you with the science, this is the chemical reaction that causes food to brown and develop that distinctive charred flavour that we all crave from barbecued food. Also allowing your BBQ to reach its optimum temperature before beginning to cook ensures that everything develops a delicious chargrilled flavour and appearance. It’s so good you actually stand a chance of passing it off as real meat to even the most stubborn carnivores.
It can be easy to feel a lot of pressure when catering for people with dietary requirements. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself to get it all right, chances are your guests will be appreciative enough that you’ve taken the time to be considerate to their needs. So, grab a beer, head out into the garden and get grilling!
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