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12 food inspirations for a vegan-friendly barbecue

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The season of barbecues and garden parties has come upon us with its burgers, hot dogs, skewers and all in all very meaty-inspired menus.

Being a vegan in barbecue season could seem like an impossible challenge - whether you are a sworn meat-lover or just new to the vegan lifestyle. But worry not! We are here to crash the myths and make sure your next garden party is vegan friendly and full of versatile flavours.

1. The base starter

These few sides would be welcome to any barbecue, vegan or not. Grilled courgettes, sweet potatoes, ginger-maple-tamari tofu, fries, lentils with avocado, coriander and roasted carrots and a rocket salad. This is already a full-sized meal by itself.

2. The essential vegan burger 

   Vegans shouldn't be excluded from the joy of a simple burger, especially in BBQ season -   and now they don't need to be. It's all thanks to our mates at Co-op Food, who have   whipped up this delightful antipasti burger. It's absolutely bangin'. Get the recipe here. 

3. The vegan Buddha bowl salad

A post shared by Vegan Bowls  (@veganbowls) on

Buddha bowls have been all the rage around Instagram lately. The colourful combination of healthy ingredients will cover all your vitamin and photography needs. Quinoa, kale, lettuce, sweet potato, tofu. Mix it together and add some salt and lemon juice  for an instant salad.

4. Cauliflower wings

You’ll see them available in restaurants more and more. Covered in spring onion, bbq (vegan, of course) or soy sauce and maybe some fiery chillies. This boiled cauliflower is taking your starter game to the next level.

5. Falafales

A post shared by Christina (@by__christina) on

You can make your own or buy some from your local Co-op. Put them on top of a salad bowl or arrange a hummus and pitta board. Who knows? The choice is all yours!

 6. The brightest slaw you'll see this spring 

If calling something "festive" in May is wrong, we don't want to be right. This vibrant slaw is sure to glam up any BBQ, and it'll definitely make a light side next to the burger/hot dog/skewer selection that's taking up the rest of your plate. Get the recipe here. 

7. Sizzling tofu skewers

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Just the sound of these three words together makes me excited. Soy sauce or honey and mustard glaze. Or anything else that comes to mind. Grilled tofu will change your world.

8. Vegan hot dogs

Vegan hot dog sausages are now widely available, so it shouldn’t be a problem to find some. Cook them according to instructions as they normally take a lot less time to cook than their meat counterparts. The rest, as they say, is history. Sauerkraut or caramelized onions, we just can’t decide.

9. Vegan paella

This meal can easily be your main barbecue sensation. Make a giant pot of it, so you can share it with your guests and neighbours. The ingredients? Mushrooms, broccoli, green and yellow onions, orange and yellow peppers, courgette, fresh tomatoes. And of course, rice and spice!

10. Grilled pineapple

Whoever has once tried this simple and delicious dessert will definitely have it again. Marinate your pineapple wheels in maple syrup, lime and cinnamon. Throw them on the grill and just wait and see.

11. Nicecream

A post shared by eva ✻ vegan (@fitomatoes) on

The vegan substitute for ice cream is made with bananas and any plant-based milk. There are plenty of recipes online to choose from and adjust to taste. This particular one is made with normal banana nicecream, sesame flour, blue spirulina and butterfly pea powder to colour. We chose this picture as it looks absolutely magical, but why not try and create an art-cream yourself!

 12. Italian veggie meatballs 

Meatballs on a BBQ - who says that can't be a thing? Not us. We believe in you. Get the recipe here. 

Students get 10% off with an NUS extra card. Find more vegan recipes from Co-op here (sadly, we can't guarantee they'll all work on a BBQ.) 

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