As the weather gets warmer you might want to invite your friends and family over for a day in the sun. Nothing beats a summer BBQ - the smell of grilled goods, the fizzy fruit drinks, summer sounds and the silly sports-day style games. But how can you make your sunny celebrations slightly greener and cleaner? An all-veggie menu is not only easy, cheap and healthy, it also has a lower environmental impact than typical meat BBQs as less resources (be that water, energy, feed etc.) are required to produce the food on your plate. Here are some of our favourite veggie recipes perfect for a summer get together…
Pretty much all vegetables taste great grilled, so chop away and stuff them on skewers for a colourful main the whole family will love. Jamie Oliver’s Greek veggie kebabs with courgette, pepper and tomatoes, look amazing and have been grilled simply with some olive oil, lemon, black pepper and fresh mint.
Halloumi is another tasty vegetarian-friendly ingredient, perfect for a BBQ burger. Try this delicious recipe by BBC Good Food for halloumi and aubergine burgers with harissa relish. Simply spread humus onto the base of your bun before adding fried aubergine and halloumi, topping it with relish made by mixing sliced onions with brown sugar, pepper and harissa.
Forget about the standard lettuce salad and toss together a mix of barbecued asparagus, rocket, goat's cheese and pine nuts. Ready in minutes, this light summer salad is an ideal alternative to the usual bag of leaves and these fresh flavours are the perfect accompaniment to grilled vegetables, lightly charred burgers and warm, crusty bread. Drizzle on some olive oil dressing, crumble goat's cheese on top and sprinkle with toasted pine nuts - delicious!
It wouldn’t be a BBQ without a bowl of this stuff! But it doesn’t have to be super creamy and unhealthy; Cookie and Kate have the perfect simple seedy slaw recipe to make you mind and body drool. Simply whack some finely sliced cabbage, shredded carrot and parsley into a bowl with some toasted seeds and a dressing made of olive oil, lemon juice, garlic cumin and salt. Who said coleslaw can’t be good for you?
Have you tried cashew cheese? Not only is it delicious, it’s also vegan friendly and can be made in a number flavours. A great new dip to show off to your friends a family, as well as a great mineral source. Cashews are rich in magnesium, are useful sources of iron and zinc, and contain good levels of protein. Overall a worthy addition to your diet, and your summer BBQ! Try Nutrition Stripped’s recipe for cashew cheese three ways: with sundried tomato, olive or truffle.
Another summer party essential is a fruit punch. Chop up some left over fruit and mix it into a jug of white wine, letting it sit for a few hours before you and your party start sipping. This raspberry plum sangria recipe by Martha Stewart is the perfect boozy summer beverage for a day in the sun. Or go alcohol free, switching the white wine for sparkling lemonade; a drink the whole family can enjoy.
And for the grand finale, experiment with ice pop recipes! They’re simple, quick and delicious – you pretty much can’t go wrong! We love the look of the cool watermelon lollies by With Raw Intensions, made with watermelon, coconut, lime and kiwis. Or try Pimms popsicles with chopped strawberry and cucumber chunks, following The Little Epicurean’s recipe here:
We’re feeling seriously hungry now, BBQ anyone?