Growing up, summers for me were associated with families altogether in the backyard on a balmy evening with my brother and I playing on the swings.
Mum would be tossing a salad while Dad stood at the barbecue with a cold beer in one hand and a pair of tongs in the other. The smell of the onions sizzling away next to the sausages was mouth-watering as my stomach would grumble after a long hot day.
This barbecue smell is THE smell of summer and I am yet to meet a fellow Aussie who does not share this association. Walking down the street in the suburbs of Melbourne on a hot summer’s evening will have your nose sniffing out BBQ smell – who wants to cook and eat inside?
But seeing as a typical barbecue meal in Australia mostly consist of cheap pork based sausages, steaks, chicken wings, prawns, potato salads and coleslaws laden with mayonnaise it is hardly vegan friendly. Luckily, however, it is very easy to veganise the Aussie Staple Summer Meal into a Vegan Family BBQ!
Assembling the vegan family BBQ
The essence of a good vegan barbecue is a good vegan sausage sizzling next to onions (I highly recommend Fry’s Vegetarian Traditional Sausages). A good veggie burger patty is great too whether you go for fake meat or not. We also like to make veggie skewers with zucchini, mushrooms, onion and capsicum – you can add tofu or tempeh if you like. Corn on the cob and portabella mushrooms barbecue well and are always a part of my family barbecue dinners (corn is my daughter Leilani’s favourite food).
For the sides, I like to make boiled potatoes dressed in olive oil, sea salt and herbs, a garden salad with mixed leaves, avocado chunks, cherry tomatoes, grated carrot and a mixed bean salad. Coleslaw can easily be made vegan simply by using vegan Mayonnaise instead of the egg one.
Then all you need is some good bread, some ketchup and some cold drinks and a tub of vegan ice cream in the freezer for dessert and there you have a typical Aussie BBQ vegan style! Not difficult, yet so delicious, and completely cruelty free!
So next time it is a hot night and it is just too hot to cook inside, create some fun memories and take the family into the yard and cook them up a vegan barbecue storm while the kids work up an appetite running around!