Siobhán (vondage) wrote in vegancooking,
Siobhán
vondage
vegancooking

Barbecues!

Here in the UK we've had a couple of weeks of unseasonable warmth, although things seem to have returned to normal springtime drizzle now it was quite exciting and summery for a bit there! So my girlfriend and I have been trying to make the most of it and have been cooking outside. Unfortunately we don't have a garden, or even any grass, so we've been in our car park with our little barbecue on the floor, with sun lounger, moon chair, battery powered cd player, jug of cocktail and the sun to keep us company. It's been lovely!

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Each time we cooked enough for a couple of meals and made the leftovers into dinner the next day. The first one was vaguely Mediterranean:

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French bread, pesto-ed tofu, tomatoes, courgette, aubergine, mushrooms and plenty of onion.

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Everything was sliced, so we could stick it into sandwiches easily.

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And it made beautiful beautiful sandwiches! They make me hungry just looking at them! It also made a great cous cous salad the next day, with all the veg chopped up (we ate all the tofu!) and some aduki beans stirred in too. Yum.

Barbecued pineapple
Sitting next to a barbecue as it cools down makes me go 'what can we put on now?!' so barbecued pineapple was the perfect way to round off the meal! (I'm so lame, I have one of these, it means preparing pineapple takes about thirty seconds and you get left with a cool shell for cocktails! But it does means that I can nip inside and bring out spur of the moment pineapple before the barbecue cools, hee!)


The next barbecue was vaguely Chinese in flavour:

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Tofu and baby sweetcorn with a satay sauce, pak choi, asparagus and some rice balls.

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The rice balls were amazing! It was sticky rice and some spring onions, formed into balls and then very lightly oiled on the outside. They were so flippin' good dipped into leftover satay sauce.

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It was all gorgeous, I think this was my favourite barbecue. The asparagus were also great barbecued, even sweeter than normal. We ate all the tofu and rice balls on the day but we made the leftover veg into a rice noodle salad the next day, with some edamame beans.

Mango cake with lime icing
For dessert we had a mango that we had planned to barbecue but we realised earlier in the day that it was a bit too ripe to perhaps hold together. So, working on the fact that banana makes a great egg replacer we whipped up a quick mango sponge cake, put some lime butter icing in the middle and a lime drizzle icing on the top and had that sitting by the barbecue. And it meant we had cake in the house for the next few days too, woohoo!

Mango cake recipe:

The flesh of a ripe mango (minus stone and skin) weighed
The same weight in margarine
The same weight in sugar
The same weight in self raising flour (plain flour with raising agent)

Cream the margarine and sugar.
Puree the mango flesh and stir it in.
Mix in the flour (and raising agent if using plain flour).
Put into two cake tins and bake for about 35 minutes, 180c, gas mark 4.

To be honest this would work better as cupcakes rather than one big cake, as it's quite dense for a big cake and didn't keep particularly well. It was still really tasty but as cupcakes I think it would be even better, it was the first time I've tried it so it needs it's kinks working out.

Lime icing:

For the middle, mix margarine, sugar and lime juice to a squidgy consistency, I'm sorry I don't know quantities, I did it by eye!

For the top, mix icing sugar and lime juice to make it quite thin and pour over the top.


After that came a vaguely Mexican meal:

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Sweetcorn, whole peppers, tomato, onion, mushroom and an experimental bean burger glop. Oh I make it sound so appealing. And tequila. Got to have tequila, because everybody knows that fire + alcohol = fun!

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The whole peppers were blackened on the grill, so we could peel and slice them afterwards. The bean burger goo was done in a rush, the rough recipe is as follows:

240g (one can) of cooked red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
240g (one can) of cooked black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
Half a red onion
2 tbsp (or to taste) fajita seasoning/mexican flavouring (a packet would be fine, we make our own but if you want the recipe for that then just say)
6 tbsp flour
(We put the ends of some chopped up mushrooms in too as they were going to waste otherwise but they didn't really add anything to the flavour or texture)

Puree the red kidney beans and mix in the finely chopped red onion.
Add the whole black eyed beans and seasoning.
Stir in the flour until it reaches a thick consistency.
Spoon onto grill sheet and flatten slightly.

Again, this was a first attempt, it was just roughly bashed together from what we had and we have a barbecue sheet to cook them on, so didn't need to worry about them needing to be shaped into patties or to hold together before they were cooked. If you do it's probably worth adding more flour, gram flour would be really nice, or even some rice or breadcrumbs. They were really tasty but the recipe definitely needs some refining!

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The sweetcorn was so delicious, I think barbecued has to be my favourite way to eat it.

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We stuck it all into some wraps with guacamole (oh how I love thee), salsa and soy yoghurt. The next day we made the leftover veg into a stew (essentially just stuck it all in a saucepan and heated it!) and had it with the bean burgers and some rice.

Dampers and jam
For dessert we made dampers (flour and water kneaded into a dough) and jam. Jam that was made from the blackberries that grew in this very same car park last year :D. (And yes, they were well washed before being made into jam, no exhaust in it, I promise!)

Dampers and jam
I couldn't resist making my half of the dough into pretty shapes!


This one seems traditionally British Bank Holiday to me, which is when we had it despite the rain! Once I managed to fight the wind to get it alight it was great, the drizzle stopped and we had an hour or so of sunshine. Then it started properly raining, so we threw everything back through our open window (ground floor living makes taking barbecue stuff outside easier), put out the barbecue and abandoned ship!

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We did manage to cook everything outside though, we had more onions, tomatoes and mushrooms (big flat ones this time to go inside burger buns), soy burgers, bean burgers, sausages, potato wedges and sweet potato wedges, in sesame seeded buns and french bread.

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Ha ha, who would know this was vegan?

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The potato wedges turned out amazingly. They were a bit of an experiment, they were parboiled on the hob, then coated in a mixture of seasonings and egg replacer to bind and give them a spicy coating. They were brilliant!

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As were big fat burgers that you need to squish to get in your mouth! We ate the burgers that day, but saved some sausages, onions, tomatoes, potatoes and mushroom to fry up in a hash for lunch the next day.

Barbecued bananas
Bananas, shove some chocolate in and barbecue. The classic!

Seeing as hopefully there will be more sunshine to come I was wondering if anyone had other good ideas for barbecued meals? Ideally they'd be something we can utilise leftovers from for the next day, as my girlfriend and I have this crappy illness that makes us exhausted, so the barbecuing is our way of being outside without having to use much more energy than normal. And we get to cook exciting stuff sitting down, yay!

The next plan we have is for barbecued falafel, with some baba ganoush and... probably onion, mushroom and tomato (could you tell from the photos that we like these?!). Does anyone have any other ideas or suggestions for us? Happy barbecuing everyone!
Tags: -pictures of food, barbecue grill foods
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