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Barbecue Vegetarian Barbecue

Tasty Vegetarian barbecues

Many meat eaters assume that the whole point of a good old barbie is meat, meat and more meat! They think (quite wrongly) that they would be boring or tasteless were there no meat included. Things couldn’t be further from the truth and there are many amazing vegetarian barbecue recipes which could send the most committed carnivores running to the other side of the garden to join the vegetarian feast!

Vegetarian barbecues

Vegetarian barbecues

The main attraction of barbecued food is that distinctive charcoal flavour as well as the pleasure of cooking outdoors. Vegetables take very well to being roasted and grilled, the trick is to use your imagination and some interesting sauce. Keep an open mind and your veggie dishes will be a success! For those looking for fresh ideas for vegetarian barbecues here are some tasty ideas which will appeal to all concerned.

Carrot Hotdogs with Relish

This vegetarian take on the old meat-eaters favourite “sausages in a bun” are super easy to make as well as perfect finger food for informal gatherings.

Vegetarian barbecues

Vegetarian barbecues

Ingredients (serves 8):

  • 8 medium carrots
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 or 3 large tomatoes finely chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic
  • Olive oil
  • Mixed herbs
  • Knob of butter
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh hotdog buns

Par boil the carrots having first removed the stalk, then place the carrots in an old cake tin and dab butter all over them. Add a twist or two of salt and pepper and cover with foil. Place on a very hot grill for around 15 minutes. Whilst they are cooking, fry the onion and the garlic in a drop of olive oil until they are just transparent. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and 2 tablespoons of olive oil, season well and reduce until the relish is thick enough to drop rather than run off a spoon. If your sauce is too dry, simply add a little tomato puree.

Vegetarian barbecues

Vegetarian barbecues

Serve the carrots in the buns with a dollop of the onion relish on top. The sweetness of the carrots is complimented by the savoury relish perfectly!

Some More Simple Ideas

Everyone loves kebabs and it’s a great idea to make up fruit and vegetable kebabs which can be cooked over the heat of a bbq in minutes. You can liven up the kebabs up by using a variety of tasty sauces such as cheese sauce, tomato relish and just plain old butter and salt. For fruit kebabs, serve with cool fresh whipping cream on the side.

Vegetarian barbecues

Vegetarian barbecues

Roasted potatoes are delicious, and wrapping a number of them in foil for roasting in the charcoal embers is a great idea. Provide a variety of vegetarian fillings such as vegetarian chilli, 3 bean salads, cheese and hummus.

Vegetarian barbecues

Vegetarian barbecues

Vegetarian barbecues are often more exciting than meaty ones – simply because there is more care taken with side dishes and more ingenuity is needed to create interesting dishes. It just proves that you don’t need burgers, steak and sausages to make it all go with a swing! If you need to cater for meat eaters as well as vegetarians then it’s vital to provide two cooking areas; as awkward as this may seem to you. It’s very important to allow the vegetarians a meat-free cooking surface because some don’t like to eat food which has been cooked next to or even on the same grill as meat. It is also a good way of keeping the flow of food up for some time so that everyone can chow down with no awkward pauses in between courses!

Barbecue Barbecue Smoke Charcoal Barbecue

China Barbecue Ban: Is Charcoal Barbecue Smoke Really That Harmful?

Today we put out a press release commenting on a story about China considering a measure to ban barbecues across China’s largest cities, including the capital Beijing, in an effort to curb the dangerous levels of smog that have been plaguing heavily populated and industrialised areas in China in recent times. It’s a move that has been heavily criticised by the Chinese people, and surprisingly the state run media too, as they’ve become great lovers of barbecued food. The Chinese government does agree that there is too much pollution, with the cabinet approving an energy consumption “control target” for energy use by 2015.

China Barbecue Ban

China Barbecue Ban

This announcement is also strange given the amount of pollution that’s pumped out by the myriad of factories across the speedy developing nation of China and the millions of vehicles that take to the roads each and every day. Of course, we’ve been here before in the UK during our countries development during the Industrial Age. In fact, my grandma once told me that they had a big problem with smog even when she was young as our home town used to be home to quite a lot of mills with large chimneys that would pump smoke out constantly. As a result we can’t really see how China banning barbecues will have much effect on cutting pollution, and even when the idea was suggested here in the UK a Councillor in Islington said it was “the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard”.

China Barbecue Ban

China Barbecue Ban

Is smoke from barbecues even a massive environmental and health problem?

Well, when you’re pumping any smoke into the air there is obviously going to be some downsides, but the minimal amount produced by your single barbecue once or twice a year is going to cause much damage when compared to the daily fumes put out by vehicles and factories. We don’t exactly have the constant good barbecue weather here in the UK, so curbing people’s use on the few opportunities that British people get to use a barbecue isn’t going to go down well. There are a few problems that are important to point out though, although as with anything moderation is key when eating barbecued food; especially on a charcoal barbecue.

China Barbecue Ban

China Barbecue Ban

Smoke from charcoal barbecues can aggravate lung problems and heart ailments, but as with any smoke you shouldn’t be near it if you have such a condition. We’re not saying you can’t enjoy a barbecue because of lung problems, but it’s best to take precautions and let someone else do the cooking. There is some evidence to show that fat that drips down on to charcoal can rise with the smoke and end up sticking to your food, forming PAHs and HCAs the longer you cook the meat. High intakes of such food can increase the risk of certain cancers, although it’s extremely important to note that small amounts a couple of times a year aren’t going to do any lasting damage.

China Barbecue Ban

China Barbecue Ban

Artificial charcoal can also contain potentially harmful additives, so if you want to use a charcoal barbecue stick to natural charcoal brands; which usually contain no coal, oil, limestone, starch, sawdust or petroleum. Also, lump charcoal is made from charred wood, and since it has to come from forests this can contribute towards deforestation (although many companies make an effort to make sure it comes from sustainable forests).

China Barbecue Ban

China Barbecue Ban

If in doubt use a gas grill, as these are far less polluting and unlikely to harm your health in any way. At the end of the day charcoal barbecues can still be enjoyed from time to time, it’s just a far better option to opt for natural charcoal brands when you’re using them, try not to stay in the smoke for too long and don’t overcook the meat.