I wrote about a couple of vegetarian BBQ sauce recipes before but I figure that the concept of the vegan BBQ is worth exploring some more.
The whole concept of the BBQ comes from the word “barabicu” given to us from Taino people of the Caribbean or the Timucua of Florida. Essentialy, the barabicu or BBQ is about cooking an animal or the flesh of an animal over an open fire of some sort.
This is not very vegan in either ideal or food for consumption. So why do I start out like this?
Because a vegan BBQ is a difficult concept to adopt fully. And the reason why is that as we most know or grew up knowing, BBQs are for the burning and cooking of slaughtered animal parts. Now, I’m not trying to get you all up in arms about a BBQ, but knowing where the BBQ comes from we can try and accommodate the vegan diet if we are invited to a friend’s traditional BBQ or we choose to have our own vegan barbecue at home.
In a nutshell, what I’m getting at, is that the vegan braai (I’m originally from South Africa and that’s what we call a barbie) is most successfully achieved with these of vegan meats.
So let’s take a look at some of the vegan food items that I have successfully used on braais and BBQs.
We’ll start with vegan meats. These are the best to use for BBQs and they’ll help you to fit in if that is important. There are tons of vegan meat analogues available now like veggie burgers, veggie hot dogs, veggie chicken breasts, veggie rib bits and veggie sausages too.
However, there is a key to a successful vegan BBQ, don’t overcook the vegan meats! Seriously, this happens all the time.
So let your cook know how best to cook them. Cooks are well meaning, but if the guy or gal is cooking burgers and steaks over the BBQ they know they have to cook them reasonably well in order to avoid food poisoning. We don’t have this problem as our vegan meats can be eaten raw without concern for health or safety.
As such, what you are really trying to do is just heat them up thoroughly and give them a bit of browning on the outside. So let the BBQ chef know that. These vegan meat products are already “cooked” and just need to be heated up. They’ll take way less time than the animal flesh he’s offering to false gods.
Skewers can also be made to grill over the vegan BBQ and they can include just marinated vegetables like hunks of onion, baby corn, peppers and mushrooms or they can also include meat analogues like Gardein BBQ skewers.
And lastly, you can also BBQ baked potatoes and corn on the cob for a very tasty treat as well. Easting vegan BBQ is not a hardship and if you have a storied history in your family of braais and BBQs you can still enjoy them. Plus the vegan BBQ side of things will be healthier for you. Meat that get’s roasted and barbecued has high levels of carcinogenic heterocyclic amines that are quite harmful to your health. This is not the case with vegan meats.
One thing I do appreciate when I join others at a social event that includes BBQ is when the BBQ chef leaves a small room for all the vegetable and vegan meats to be cooked on.
If not, I always politely ask if the grill could be brushed clean with a BBQ brush before I have my vegan meats BBQ’d on it. Most folks are happy to oblige and I don’t consider it a big deal to ask for that small mercy.