BBQ Madness: Veggie Style

Have you heard the news about vegetable and fruit consumption in Australia?

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare recently released a report disclosing just how poorly we’re doing at getting our 5-and-2 a day. The data gathered shows that men, women, and children across nearly all age groups are not getting enough plants—including legumes and beans—on their plates.

Why does this matter?

Healthy and Versatile 

Many people want to eat healthier and have more energy—and having a diet full of veggies can set you well on your way to those goals.

Over and over again, fruits and vegetables are shown to be protective against certain diseases, especially in the cases of high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, and stroke.

 Veggies improve our wellbeing in areas ranging from cholesterol and blood sugars, to emotions and daily functioning—and many things in between. They are packed with healthy fibre, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.

But they aren’t just healthy.

They taste great in many ways—even on the barbeque! And with BBQ season coming into swing it’s a good time to start grilling them up.

The Hidden Veg (serves 5, Grillable Veggie Burger from Minimalist Baker)

If you’re short on time, don’t worry. You can still sneak some extra veggies in at your next BBQ with store-bought veggie burgers!

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup cooked brown rice

  • 1 cup raw walnuts (or bread crumbs)

  • ½ tbsp oil

  • ½ medium white/brown onion

  • 1 tbsp each: chili powder, cumin, and smoke paprika

  • ½ tsp each: salt and pepper

  • 1 tbsp coconut sugar (or alternative)

  • 1 ½ cups cooked black beans

  • 1/3 cup panko bread crumbs (or gluten free alternative)

  • 3-4 tbsp BBQ sauce

Method:

  1. Toast the walnuts on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Set aside.

  2. Cook the oil, onion, salt and pepper in a pan on medium heat for 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

  3. Add the walnuts to a food processor with your spices, salt, pepper, and sugar. Blend until a fine meal. Set aside.

  4. Pour the cooked black beans in a bowl and mesh well with a fork. Leave a few whole beans for texture.

  5. Add the cooked rice, walnut/spices, cooked onion, bread crumbs, and sauce to the bowl. Mix well to combine.

  6. Divide mix into 5 large patties or 10 smaller ones.

  7. Cook for 3-4 minutes on each side on the BBQ.

Balsamic Glazed Veggie Skewers (from The Kitchn)

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar

  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/8 tsp salt, and pepper

  • A variety of your favourite veggies cut into bite-sized chunks—e.g. eggplant, capsicum, zucchini, red onion, tomatoes.

Method:

  1. On medium heat, simmer the vinegar, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper while stirring. Do this until it is thickened and reduced slightly, about 5 minutes.

  2. Thread your veggies on the skewers, cook over a grill for a few minutes before beginning to brush them with the glaze. Cook for two minutes on each side and keep glazing while you turn them.

 Grilled Herbed Sweet Potatoes (serves 3-4)

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes, skin on, cut into circles 2cm thick

  • 2 tbsp oil of choice

  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced

  • 2 tsp dried, or fresh thyme

  • 1 tsp tamari

  • ¼ tsp maple syrup

Method:

  1. Place the oil, garlic, herbs, tamari, and maple syrup into a bowl and whisk to combine well.

  2. Steam or boil the sweet potatoes until just tender—you don’t want them to fall apart.

  3. Brush them with the marinade on both sides and place on the grill. Cook on each side for 3 minutes, or until easily cut with a fork.

 Let’s reverse the latest statistics by adding these great summer dishes to our grilling repertoire!