Gluten Free / Musings & Contemplations / Side Dishes / Vegan

Simple Vegan BBQ Sides and a Beautiful Garden!

Along with probably 90% of the British population we had a BBQ this weekend! We travelled up to visit Scotts parents on Friday night and really just completely chilled out! We’ve been so busy recently and it’s been ages since I have had the time to just stop and appreciate spending time with people and relaxing.

I even busted the bikini out and managed to get a few hours sunbathing in!! Their garden is so relaxing, there is a large pond full of beautiful koi carp (some of which were born in the pond and are now the size of my arm! ok not quite that big…but still!) and pots/ baskets full of all different colourful flowers and herbs.

I never worry about what I am going to eat when staying with Scotts parents, lucky for me his mum lets me loose in the kitchen and is happy for me to spend some time preparing things I want…obviously I make enough for everyone to share! This time there were only a few of us gathered so I didn’t feel the need to go crazy with the cooking. It was also too hot to spend too long worrying about it so I decided to keep it really simple.

corn (2)

Coconut, Chilli and Lime Corn on the Cobb

The best way to keep a BBQ stress free is to keep everything very simple, enhance the natural flavours with a few key additions! As with most meals in summer there is really no need to go over board, the sunshine means we only want light, fresh foods and its a perfect season to just let the ingredients shine!

I decided to spruce up a regular attendee at our BBQs, the corn on the cobb! Scott’s mum wraps them in foil first which makes it very easy to add flavour whilst they are cooking! Instead of adding butter afterwards why not try this:

“Spruced up Corn on the Cobb”

Serves 6

6 Corn on the Cobb – husks removed
1-2 tablespoon Coconut Oil
1 Red Chilli – finely chopped
1 Lime, Zest and Juice
1 Small Bunch Coriander

Mix the coconut oil, chilli, lime and coriander together in a bowl and then one at a time cover the corn in the coconut mix and wrap in foil. When ready to cook place the corns on the bbq and leave to cook for 15-20 mins. These are so juicy, flavoursome and full of goodness! No butter needed here!

avocado (2)

Grilled Avocado with Balsamic Reduction

I had two plates of food over the afternoon! Firstly I had the plate pictured above with Salad, Sweet Corn, Hummous, Pickled Onions and a BBQ Portobello mushroom. Then I had some grilled quorn sausages and a griddled avocado.

The grilled avocado is really very very easy to make, its best done on a BBQ that has an actual grill rather than a flat plate so you get the nice charred lines on it. Slice the avocado in half, carefully take the stone out then place the avocado cut side down onto the BBQ for 5 minutes maximum! Then drizzle with balsamic glaze and scatter torn basil over. So perfect!

I had to wait for my veggie sausages because I was a bit unorganised and instead of cooking them before all the meat got piled on I decided to wait untill all the meat was finished then I put my sausages on to a tray which I then placed on the BBQ grill. I actually don’t think I needed them but it was nice to have one smothered with onions, ketchup and mustard!! It did make it feel like a proper summer BBQ 🙂

Apologies for the photos of the food taken on my phone! I was very much off duty when the food came out 😉 I did get my nice camera out again in the afternoon though to practise taking some photos of the garden. Here are some of my favourite garden features!

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Purple flowers which were meant to be blue! These are dotted around the garden everywhere!

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My Favourite garden statue!! Its soo cute 🙂

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Some pretty red flowers!

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Our niece and nephews admiring the fish!

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Stunning hanging baskets!

I got loads of gardening advice from Scotts dad, his garden and fish are his pride and joy! He waters the plants twice a day in this heat and feeds them twice a week too! No wonder my poor garden pot plants have suffered with my once a day watering and no food ever! Sorry mum (she planted them for us and will be wanting an update on them now!)

I plan to do some more summer friendly cooking this week and I’m really excited to be hosting a Spanish themed dinner party for my dads 50th on Saturday which I’ve been busy planning! I will definitely be posting some of my recipes for this next week 🙂

I hope everyone is enjoying the sunshine (even if it is a bit TOO HOT!) and making the most of being able to enjoy simple salads and fresh fruit 🙂

Check out my past BBQs here:

BBQ Number One: Root Veg Tortilla and BBQ Stuffed Peppers

BBQ Number Two: Giant Cous Cous Salad, Sundried Tomato Hummous and Beetroot Burgers

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9 thoughts on “Simple Vegan BBQ Sides and a Beautiful Garden!

  1. I don’t like to draw too much attention to myself at bbq’s as I spend more time justifying why I am vegan to the meat eaters, than I do enjoying myself so I take a bit of alfoil, form a small container out of it (or get a foil container, works just as well but less environmentally aware 😉 ) and put whatever I am bbqing into it at the same time as everyone else is cooking. If questioned, I just say “I don’t like mine black and greasy”. It would appear that fussy people are tolerated a lot better than vegan’s at a bbq! 😉

    • Ah yes the classic tin foil boat 🙂 I do this when I’m cooking things in the oven too and I need to separate my food off from Scotts! 🙂

      I know what you mean about not drawing attention to yourself, when with family I don’t mind being a bit fussy but I think in a group of friends etc I would just quietly eat around what I can!

      • Same here :). The worst bit is when you all go out to an expensive restaurant and the only available things are “salad” and some ubiquitous potato dish that you get charged an exorbitant price for that you could cook better at home. “Up your game restaurants!” sigh

  2. I do early morning and late evening watering. As does my neighbour (this is in Spain).

    I love cooked avocado. You don’t find it out much, but when I have had it, it’s been wonderful, so creamy and delicious.

    if you want any tips for your Spanish theme, do ask. I’ve got a Spanish recipe page (of course!) but I haven’t got round to posting up everything.

    UK summer is perfect for veg paella, patatas brava/alioli, whatever ensalada you choose, gazpacho, albondigas, fritters (if you can find that elusive seitan), tortilla – the list is endless.

  3. That garden looks amazing! What a wonderful job his father has done tending to it. It’s sad to admit that my own garden could use quite a bit of weeding, but like you in the UK, it has been extremely hot and humid in the states. Your meal also looks tasty! Sometimes simple flavors are the way to go – they please the palate just as much. Never tried grilled avocado – but it looks delish!

  4. It’s hot here in Chicago as well, along with high humidity. I’ve been watering our garden only once — in the late afternoon, early evening — so that the plants don’t broil. I wonder what time Scott’s father is watering twice and what the advantages are?

    He must be doing something right because the garden looks lush and beautiful. Thanks for sharing this with us!

    • He’s an early riser so I imagine it’s first thing in the morning 🙂 not sure though, I will pick his brains about his gardening next time I see him!

      I saw the photos of your garden, it looks gorgeous and lovely with all the vegetables growing 🙂

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