The vegan guide to Kiwi barbecues
OPINION: There might only be a few weeks left of these warm days and longer evenings left but the one thing that’s consistent year round in Aotearoa a good ol’ barbie.
They’re staple for meat eaters, so it can be a bit daunting to turn up to one when you prefer eating plants. So, what do you do if your mates are roasting up? I’ve got you – here’s a vegan’s guide to Kiwi barbecues.
New Zealand, according to Google Trends data, ranks fifth in the world for vegan eating.
And you’ll be able to see that translated in the shop aisles.
If you’re craving traditional barbecue staples, just head to the plant-based section of your supermarket – you’ll find sausages, burger patties, vegan bacon. Cheaper options include marinated tofu and tempeh, which pack a ton of flavour and nutrients.
MUSHROOMS AND AVOCADO, ALL DAY EVERY DAY
Who needs a pattie when you can
Neighbourly is a 100 per cent Kiwi-owned community platform that helps the neighbourhoods of Aotearoa thrive. By exchanging helpful information, goods and services in a safe and trusted way, it's never been easier to feel part of the neighbourhood. Join today at neighbourly.co.nz
grill a mushroom? There’s nothing like a marinated slab of portobello covered in plant-based cheese, tomato sauce and stuffed into a bun. Go millennial and add half an avocado grilled on the barbecue (you might not be able to buy a house, but damn, you’ll have the best meal).
Here’s my barbecue hack, and it’s a secret I am happy to share: barbecue your fruits. Grilled pineapple, mango, nectarine. You’re welcome. The grilling releases juices and flavours, as well as adding a smokiness that’s irresistible. If you’re feeling fancy, make some fruit skewers – you can create a marinade for the fruit out of honey and spices, if you’re partial to sweet/salty combos.
Eating more plants doesn’t mean you have to be religious about it. For all my flexitarians and vegetarians out there, how about some halloumi skewers as an alternative? We all know how irresistible the chewy cheese is – it will easily compensate for the animal meat you’re used to. Otherwise, I always recommend vegetarian mozzarella burger patties or jalapeno poppers, if you want to add a cheesy dimension to your dinner.
The grilled items may be the staples of the barbecue, but its sides are just as important. I’m sure you can remember going to a barbie where your sausage was sitting dry in its bun, with no flavours to accompany it. Well, I like to bring a little bit of southern US to the table by making sure everyone can spice up their plate with some sides: vegan mac’n’cheese, mexican beans, coleslaw . . . Make the grill into a feast. The best recipes are the ones from friends. Do you have any awesome plant-based barbecue hacks? If so, post a photo of them on Neighbourly to share them with your community.