Entertaining |  Six top tips for creating a vegan and gluten-free barbecue


Six top tips for creating a vegan and gluten-free barbecue

Just because you're gluten or dairy-intolerant doesn't mean you have to miss out on the barbecue fun as food writer Monica Shaw demonstrates.

"Barbecues are often considered the domain of meat lovers, perched around the bbq over a slab of spare ribs or a stack of beefy burgers. But there’s no reason that cooking with fire need be restricted to meat.

Plant-based food is equally viable BBQ fare, and is indeed often best when prepared over the coals. There’s no need to be mystified when it comes to vegan / gluten free grilling. Here’s a few options to get you started.

  • Veggie burgers are ubiquitous but the kind you buy in packages are often disappointing. Try making your own, for example, The Really Hungry Burger from Anna Jones works great on the grill
  • Grilled vegetables are always an option and can be amped up with spice rubs and marinades. My favourite BBQ veg include: courgettes, onions, aubergine, mushrooms, sweetcorn, peppers, and tomatoes. Just coat with oil, and season with salt, pepper, and (optionally) a tasty spice blend such as jerk spices or ras el hanout. For a killer kebab, try the Tofu Kebabs with Muhamarra from 101 Cookbooks.
  • Tempeh is my all time favourite “meaty” option for the BBQ. Try the Maple, Lime and Chipotle Tempeh Tacos from Demuths Cookery School, which are gluten-free, too, when served with corn tortillas.
  • Gluten Free BBQ options are easier than you might think. Corn tortillas are just one idea, or try farinata / socca (made with chickpea flour) as an alternative to flatbread. And don’t forget carb-happy BBQ side dishes. Favourites include Heston Blumenthal’s Crushed Jersey Royals and Riverford’s Griddled Leeks with Wild Rice and Quinoa.
  • Don’t forget dips. All manners of BBQ things are better when paired with a tasty dip or savoury drizzle. My favourites are baba ganoush and salsa macha, but even straight up tahini or olive oil will do. And they all go well with both meaty dishes and vegan dishes, so everyone can enjoy a grand bbq together, whatever your dietary preferences!
  • In terms of drinks the only drink that can potentially cause problems for the gluten-intolerant according to Coeliac UK is beer though there are now quite a few gluten free brews. Cider is a delicious gluten-free alternative for a barbecue. Wine is not a problem from the point of view of gluten but some products used in fining such as casein (milk protein) and egg white make them off-limits for vegans. Most supermarket own label wines indicate their suitability for vegans on the back label as do wines sold by organic specialists such as Vintage Roots.

Images taken at Demuths, Bath ©Rob Wicks of Eat Pictures

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