Plant Based BBQ
Here in Vancouver, we’re having a heatwave. Like, an actual, OMG we might die heatwave. Temps have been in the high 30’s, and that’s very, very rare for us here.
This week is also July 1, Canada Day, and July 4 in the US. The heat, combined with the holidays will no doubt equal lots and lots of barbecues. In my case, those will be plant based BBQ.
BBQ is the way to go in a heat wave; you cook outside and the heat stays outside, and not in your kitchen. The last thing you want to do in the middle of a heat wave is to turn on the oven.
Also, you’d probably be surprised what you can cook on your BBQ. Many things you probably did not think you could… like pizza? BBQing pizza is easy and makes it delicious.
Meanwhile, a bunch of companies have been busy launching new meatless products for the summer that will be perfect for the BBQ. I love having so many options!
Gusta Hot Dogs: a Canadian business operating out of Montreal, Gusta has been in the vegan meats and cheeses game since 2014. The hot dogs are a new product for this summer. They’re made of seitan, which gives them a real solid, dense texture, which is great for a plant based BBQ. Just be sure to remove the plastic wrap before cooking. My only beef (har-har) with these is that they seem small to me. Compared to a normal hot dog, they’re not as big, but the flavour is pretty good.
I did mine Bahn Mi style with quick-pickled daikon, radishes, carrots, cucumbers, and then topped with siracha aioli and cilantro.
Gardein Ultimate Plant-Based Burger: Gardein’s meatless products have long been a part of my diet as a vegetarian. They were one of the first into the marketplace, and because you can buy them frozen, the convenience factor is high. They’ve always had a veggie burger, but the new Ultimate Plant-Based Burger is their answer to the Beyond/Impossible, appealing to the market that still eats meat, but maybe wants to eat it less.
My number one critic of these kinds of products is my son. I don’t even like the texture of meat any more after not eating it for so long, so I rely on his honesty. He liked the burger and said it tasted and felt a lot like meat. I like the smoky flavour in the burger and also the heftier portion size. We’ll get these again.
TMRW Sausage: one of my local faves, TMRW, has just released a line of sausages in time for Plant Based BBQ season. There are four flavours: Bratwurst, Hickory Maple, Spicy Sicilian, and Roasted Herb and Garlic. What I love about this brand (0ther than the fact it’s vegan and Vancouver-based) is the texture of the sausage. It’s the most authentic of any I’ve had.
I used mine on a pizza/flatbread I made on the BBQ. Here’s how to do a Plant Based BBQ Pizza:
- Buy or make your own pizza dough using your favourite recipe. Take a portion of it (I used 1/4 of a 2-pizza portion of dough) and roll it out into a rectangle. Place your dough on a pizza peel or a parchment-lined cutting board.
- Prep your toppings. Here, I did slowly caramelized, thinly-sliced onions and fennel. I also sliced the sausage into rounds and fried them as well.
- Heat your BBQ as high as it will go. Ideally, you want it to be somewhere between 400 and 500 degrees.
- Brush the top side of your pizza dough with olive oil, then flip it, oil-side down, onto the grill. Close the lid and grill for 1-3 minutes. Open the lid and use tongs to lift it up and check the underside. Pull it off the grill and put it back on your cutting board. Brush the uncooked side with oil, then flip so the cooked side is up.
- Top with your toppings. Place back on the grill for 1-3 minutes, until the bottom side is done. Slide off onto your cutting board. I garnished mine with Blue Heron Corvus, a drizzle of balsamic reduction, and fennel fronds.