Summer loving had me a blast. Summer loving happened so fast. Who doesn’t love the summer (and Grease for that matter)? The sun is shining, the skies are blue, and everyone is soaking up some vitamin D with a cold beverage outside. What’s not to love?
My particular favorite in summer, is a Sunday afternoon barbecue with good friends, cold drinks and, of course, some delicious food cooked up outside on the grill.
When I said “grill” you instantly thought of burgers, hot dogs and steaks didn’t you?
It’s okay, most people do, but I’m here to tell you there are actually tons of mouth-watering veggie dishes to cook up on your grill too. You might even have a couple of veggies growing in your garden or even an indoor herb garden that can be put to use for these dishes. Nothing makes a dish pop like fresh, home-grown ingredients! Whether you are using your favorite gas grill, a modern electric grill, a good ol’ fashioned charcoal grill, or even a smoker grill, grilling adds a whole new level of flavor to veggies, allowing them to caramelize wonderfully. Even the “anti-veggie” people in world might grow a new affection for them.
Now onto some delicious ideas for veggie dishes that can be used as sides or just as easily as the main event! These are so good, they can be used for meatless meals or as wonderful side dishes for those die-hard meat lovers (by the way, steak lovers might want to check out our post on how to cook the perfect steak).
Rainbow Vegetable Skewers
You cannot go wrong with skewers and vegetable skewers are just as tasty, if not more, than your regular chicken or meat ones. The trick is to choose vegetables that are in season so you get the freshest, tastiest skewers possible. I recommend tomatoes, zucchini, red and yellow pepper, onion and then to give the skewers a bit more substance, a chunk or slice of of halloumi (a cheese that’s great for the grill) is a great addition. Just prep the veg in advance; you can drizzle them in olive oil and a couple of choice spices and leave to marinate for a couple hours beforehand which’ll give them a real kick.
The Classic Veggie Falafel Burger
Of course, you and your guests will want something more substantial than vegetable skewers and a well-made veggie burger can hit just the spot. They’re a lot simpler to make than you may think. Get out your trusty food processor and throw in some washed and dried chickpeas. You want to blitz these until they have a coarse crumb texture. Then all you need to do is add garlic, onion, coriander, cumin, parsley and a couple tablespoons of flour. You can also add some turmeric which has added anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits. Blitz again until combined and then form your patties and throw them on the grill. It’s as easy as that!
You might even want to throw on a nice sized portablello mushroom to add to the burger. Or you could skip the Falafel and make it just a grilled mushroom burger, but don’t forget the grilled onions to go with it!
Ultimate Potato Parcels
A barbecue is never complete without a potato dish and I think this one takes the cake. Okay, so you’ll want to cut up some potatoes and onions. Add to a bowl with whichever herbs and spices you fancy, along with your favorite oil (great olive oil is highly recommended) then give them a mix around. Next step is to nuke them in the microwave for 5 minutes. Now the potatoes have softened (which helps them cook all the way through without burning), you can make tightly sealed foil parcels with the potato mix; opt for individual parcels or larger sharing parcels depending on your guests! Whack them on the grill for a few minutes and Bob’s your uncle! As long as you ensure that the packets are tightly sealed, you can flip them over halfway through the cooking time.
Here’s a tip related to the packet size if you are cooking these along with other foods and meats. For longer cooking meats, either make larger packets, or wait until near the end of the cooking time. Also, the time it takes for the potatoes to cook will depend upon how you cut them. Want them to cook quickly, use slices, which take about 10 to 15 minutes – and you can even layer them nicely within the foil packet. Want a more rustic look, with a longer cooking time, cut them in to chunks. You can also move the packets to the upper level of your gas grill to keep them warm once they are cooked.
Well, there you have it; 3 awesome veggie dishes that are super-simple and super-tasty!
With the grilling sorted, all you need to do is re-stock the cooler with cold-ones and you’ve got yourself a beautiful summer barbeque. Just make sure no-one brings out the karaoke machine once the cooler’s depleted. Or on second hand, go for it and have a real blast!
There are so many products that can make or break your summer lovin’. If you’re unsure where to start, check out reviews for all sorts of outdoor products at TopProducts.com and you’ll be well on your way to a glorious, fun-filled summer.
Daisy Hubbuck, TopProducts Staff Writer