V for Life

Ditch the meat for a summer BBQ

Posted by Justina on 21/07/23 in Recipes

Get ready for grilling this sunny summer. Aren’t we lucky to have such lovely weather at the moment? Just perfect to light the grill and start cooking! 

Fill the neighbourhood air with the smoky smell of fire and enjoy the sun with freshly grilled veggie goodies. Perhaps it’s your first BBQ of the year and you are lacking creativity, or you have had so many barbecues you are running out of ideas? Not to worry; we are here to share some lovely ideas to make your BBQ the best in the neighbourhood.

Be open minded

Not all barbecues are about sausages and burgers. There are many other dishes that can be prepared on the grill. For a change, you could make a paella or a risotto using your outdoor grill. Add red peppers, mushrooms or even vegan chorizo to spice things up. Some more ideas for your next BBQ:

  • Stuffed portobello mushrooms, which can be served as a burger or with polenta.
  • Marinated tempeh (fermented soy beans). Can be sliced thinly to resemble crispy bacon for a burger topping.
  • Marinated veg and tofu skewers.
  • Veggie kebabs. Can be made at home and placed on wooden or metal kebab sticks. Serve them with houmous and grilled toasted pittas.
  • Char-grill veggies: corn on the cob, portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, asparagus, courgette, aubergine or even red onion.

Chef tip: if you are using wooden skewers soak them in water overnight, to avoid them setting on fire as soon as you place them on the grill.

Let’s-grill-everything salad

Using the above suggested vegetables for grilling, pick your favourite to throw into a salad. For extra grilled flavour, you could even grill your romaine lettuce rubbed with some oil on a high heat. Mix your grilled vegetables of choice with baby mixed leaves, lettuce or even giant couscous if you’re not a fan of salad leaves. Add a dash of olive oil, pinch of salt and some pomegranate if you like some extra crunch. Grill half a lemon for some caramelised flavours and squeeze into your salad. Tear up some fresh herbs such as basil, chives, parsley or mint. Toss... and voila! A perfect side for a sunny day, suitable for any barbecue dishes. No one would say no to this colourful dish.

Feeling creative?

If you want to be extra creative you can even make a grilled dessert. Grilled pineapple makes a tasty treat, topped with ice cream or yoghurt. It is even possible to make a fruit crumble on the barbecue, too. Stew your chosen fruit in an ovenproof dish, or even wrapped in foil on the grill. Make the crumble topping beforehand and sprinkle on the fruit before serving.

Keep it traditional

If you prefer your BBQ more traditional with burgers and sausages, I suggest buying burgers without breadcrumbs, because they tend to burn on the barbecue. It is best to defrost frozen food overnight so it is easier to cook on the grill or follow instruction on the box.

My favourite BBQ-ready products:


  • Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Chorizo and Red Pepper Sausages
  • Linda McCartney’s Vegetarian Lincolnshire Sausages
  • Morrisons V Taste Sweet Potato and Edamame Burgers
  • Frys Meat Free Original Hot Dogs
  • Plant Pioneers No Beef Burgers


  • The Beyond Sausages and The Beyond Burgers
  • Vivera Plant Burgers
  • Plant Pioneers Cumberland Shroomdogs
  • La Vie Plant Based Streaky Bacon Smoked
  • Shicken Tikka Kebabs

If you are not a fan of meat replacements, don’t worry. Many veggie sausages and burgers made from vegetables are not suitable for grilling, because of the outer layer. Why not try to make something like this yourself?

We have included our bean burger recipe if you would like to make something at home. It is very simple and tasty!

Black bean burger


  • 150g/scant 5½oz cooked brown rice
  • 200g/7oz tinned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 70g/scant 2½oz walnuts, cut into small pieces
  • ½ brown onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 8 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp BBQ sauce
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp chilli, cumin, smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp salt and pepper
  • ½ tbsp flax meal
  • 1½ tbsp warm water


  • Prepare the flax egg by combining flax meal with warm water and leaving to thicken.
  • Chop the onion finely and fry it in 1 tbsp of olive oil until brown. Then add the garlic and sauté.
  • Place the beans in a bowl and mash 90% of them, leaving some beans whole.
  • Place all the other ingredients in a bowl and mix until the burger mix is sticking together well.
  • Form and press 3 even burger patties and leave them to rest on parchment paper in the fridge for at least 15 mins.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the barbecue grill.
  • Brush each burger patty with some oil. Grill the burgers on a medium heat until cooked all the way through and browned. Take care when flipping.
  • Serve in a burger bun with BBQ sauce and your favourite toppings.


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