Monday, 18 June, 2018
The days are getting longer and warmer, our supermarket shelves are brimming with disposable BBQs and children are counting down the days until they escape from school for a blissful six weeks. All signs point to one conclusion – it looks like summer is finally here.
If this is your first summer as a vegan, you might be faced with a sense of dread when you consider navigating the inevitable invites to meat and dairy filled BBQs. However, there is a simple solution: host your own delicious vegan-friendly BBQ and set the standard for how vegans should be catered for. Not only will you avoid a solitary vegan option of limp-looking salad, you will also get the chance to woo all of your non-vegan friends and squeeze some subtle activism into the mix too!
We’ve created a round-up of our favourite Vegan Society Vegan Trademark registered products that will take your vegan BBQ to the next level. All the products featured have been tried and tested byteam.
Get the staples right
What’s a BBQ without good old-fashioned burgers and hot dogs? When it comes to the main event we recommend choosing from the Fry’s range, which features just about any BBQ staple you could need. Fry’s are really leading the way when it comes to plant-based BBQs and has even published their very own BVQ cookbook, crammed full of tempting BBQ recipes.
We kept it simple at our own BBQ, with Fry’s traditional burgers and original hot dogs. Both products can hold their own on the BBQ, staying juicy and tender without sticking to the grill. Spruce them up with tempting toppings like caramelized onions or creamy avocados. Even the non-vegans will be going back for seconds!
The rise of the roll
The bread to sandwich your burger can often be unfairly overlooked as an afterthought rather than the focal point, but if you want a truly special spread, be sure to give the buns the attention they deserve – a bread roll can make or break a burger!
We recommend trying rolls from Just: Gluten Free Bakery. The white rolls and seeded rolls are fluffy and wholesome, almost like they could have been lovingly baked by your gran. But the real star of the show for us was the brioche rolls! We brushed ours with a little olive oil and then toasted them for a few minutes on the grill. The end result was a mouthwatering glazed bun that with a subtle sweetness that perfectly complimented the rest of the burger. You would have no idea that these rolls are gluten-free, so you can serve just one type of bread while keeping your menu inclusive.
Get your guests tastebuds dancing with some truly irresistible savoury snacks. If you’re looking for more interesting flavours and ingredients than your standard ready salted crisps, then look no further than the Eat Real range.
Choose from an abundance of flavours in the shape of veggie straws, puffs or lentil, hummus and quinoa chips. Our personal favourite was the jalapeno & cheddar quinoa and kale puffs. Be careful though – one handful is never enough! Be sure you’re stocked up with plenty of bags as your guests will likely be nibbling throughout the night.
Give your bangers a boost
Sausages can be great as a versatile addition to your perfect vegan BBQ. We went for the Tofurky range which comes in a range of enticing styles to suit a variety of dishes and occasions. They are made from a combination of seitan and tofu which makes them meaty and substantial, so despite definitely wanting to, you will probably struggle to eat more than one!
The beer brats were served up as toppings-laden hot dogs, while the Italian sausage and kielbasa work brilliantly when chopped up and served over a salad. They would also be fantastic served in a cold pasta salad, but we had just about enough carbs for that day!
Ketchup and mustard are often viewed at the go-to vegan-friendly condiments to add a bit of zing to burgers and hot dogs. But if you truly want to dazzle your guests, blow their minds with deliciously creamy condiments that they will struggle to believe are vegan. Follow Your Heart are the stand-out leaders in this department.
Follow Your Heart’s vegenaise has gained almost cult status within the vegan community. The tagline on the jar claims that it tastes even better than the non-vegan equivalent and we would have to agree with this bold claim. It is thick, creamy and has just the right amount of tang with no strange aftertaste.
Their bleu cheese salad dressing is as equally divine, you will probably want to drown your leaves in this rich and sharp dressing, but it’s so flavoursome that you’ll find a little really does go a long way.
Down the hatch
For us, the ultimate BBQ has to feature something fruity and bubbly to wash down all that scrumptious food. Nothing quite fits the bill like Crooked alcoholic sodas.
It’s hard to pin down where Crooked drinks sit; they are light and refreshing with sharp fruity flavours and low sugar. The packaging gives off a strong funky craft beer vibe, so having these proudly on display will draw everyone in. The raspberry and lime flavour worked particularly well for cutting through the cacophony of flavours on our food-laden plates (we had to try a bit of everything after all!). These sodas are light and easy to drink so you can sip on Crooked sodas as long, lazy summer afternoons drift in to warm evening parties.
Which products make up your ultimate vegan BBQ? Let us know in the comments below.