Tag Archives: what to bring to a BBQ

Guest Blogger: Vegan Kitchen – Chickpea & Quinoa Salad

20 Nov

When I received an email from Mark, father of Louise, owner/blogger of Vegan Kitchen I was touched. How amazing that a 20 year old university student has such a great business and at such a young age.

Here’s some info in their own words, “The Vegan Kitchen is family run business located near Newcastle upon Tyne England, all our products are freshly homemade. We offer all of the best quality vegan foods that you will find anywhere, all our foods are lovingly prepared with 100% organic ingredients that has been freshly picked just for you. None of our foods have nasty chemicals, colorants or additives only mother natures finest.

We believe there is not enough vegan or vegetarians foods out there in the market, this is something we hope to change by offering our products to everyone. You do not have to be vegan or vegetarian to try these, in fact over 40% of our customer are nether vegan or vegetarian.

Although the number of vegan and vegetarian options available in supermarkets, restaurants and pubs have increased, it is still fairly difficult to find quality foods that that are non-meat based, in fact like most people with plant based diets I feel a little suspicious when purchasing these foods.

These foods can be bought for your lunch time or to eat immediately, we also offer catering services for occasions and events.”

Follow Louise and Mark’s journey on Vegan Kitchen’s blog, Facebook and Twitter. Welcome Vegan Kitchen!

Another one of my all time favorite dishes is the Vegan Kitchens version of this classic dish, the Chickpea & Quinoa Salad combines texture and taste like no other salad, its a must have meal or side dish.

A very easy quick dish to prepare, I hope you enjoy as much as I do..




50g of red Quinoa
1 Red Chili (finely chopped)
8 Spring Onions (chopped)
3 tbsp Mint (finely chopped)
2 tbsp Olive Oil
2 tsbp Lemon Juice
30g of Chickpeas Flour
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Paprika
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
150g Canned Chickpeas (drained)



  1. Place Quinoa in medium saucepan and then cover with boling water. PLcae over low heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until cooked. Drain and refresh with cold water, drain again. Transfer to a large bowl and toss together with red Chili, spring onion and mint to mix thoroughly.
  2. Combine the olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl using a fork.
  3. Sift the chickpea flour, cumin and paprika together into a wide, deep bowl. Plce the vegetable oil in a medium frying pan over a medium heat. Roll the chickpeas in the spiced flour then fry gently in the pan, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes, allowing the chickpeas to brown in patches.
  4. Stir the warm chickpeas into the Quinoa mixture and quickly stir the lemon-oil dressing.
  5. As always enjoy….:)

Guest Blogger: Poppy’s Patisserie – Moroccan Harissa and Sesame Quinoa Balls on Griddled Asparagus Salad with a Creamy Harissa Dressing

27 May

Please welcome back Poppy, the lovely University student studying Animal Management based in Kent, UK. Read about Poppy’s first VBU! contribution – Smoked Tofu Carbonara Pasta. Follow Poppy on Twitter – welcome back Poppy!



The first time I ate quinoa was one of the greatest ingredient discoveries of my life. It’s been said that the most delicious foods are often the worst for us or at least to be eaten in moderation. In many cases I have to agree, wouldn’t it be great if eating chocolate all day, peanut butter and jam sandwiches and freely adding vegan butter to mashed potatoes was good for us?

It’s not always the case though of course, I happen to love my vegetables, not just because they’re so good for me but because they are flavourful, colourful, versatile things that always cheer a plate of food up. Can you imagine a plate of plain white rice with no flash of green or orange? Food would be dull and lifeless without vegetables. Some vegetables are even on par on the excitement scale with treats like chocolate – offer me a bowl of nutmeg wilted spinach and golden mushrooms in one hand and a bar of chocolate in the other – it’ll take some deciding.


Quinoa, for me, is also one of those foods. A superfood and delightful to eat. I love how the miniature pearly beads soak up so much flavour and add a wonderful texture to any meal, plus the ultimate quality of versatility. This amazing seed can be cooked like a grain, made into croquettes and crispy baked balls, made into a breakfast or dessert porridge, added cooked or raw to baking recipes and even ground into a flour. What’s more is its incredible nutrient rich composition offering a source of complete protein, omega-3, calcium and antioxidants (to name a few).


To celebrate this fabulous food, here’s a recipe to mark the International Year of Quinoa IYQ – 2013.

Ingredients: Serves 2

For the Quinoa Balls:

  • 40g raw quinoa (please make sure your quinoa is from an ethical source)
  • 200ml low sodium vegetable stock (made up according to package instructions)
  • 1 dry egg replacer (e.g Ener-G or Orgran or other cornstarch without the added water)
  • 1/2 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 small leek, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 30g fresh coriander
  • 20g sesame seeds

For the Dressing:

  • 10g vegan mayonnaise (you could use soya yoghurt or ‘sour cream’)
  • 1/2 tsp harissa
  • 1tsp soy sauce

For the Salad:

  • 90g salad leaves
  • 200g asparagus
  • 100g cherry tomatoes



  • For the quinoa balls, saute the leek and carrot in a little of the stock or cooking spray over a low-medium heat for about 5 minutes then add the quinoa and the remaining stock. Add the chopped coriander stalks.
  • Cook for about 20 minutes, adding a touch more water if it simmers dry, until the quinoa is soft and all the water is absorbed.
  • Leave to cool slightly and preheat the oven to 200’C/400’F. Stir in the harissa, egg replacer and chopped coriander leaves.
  • Shape a heaped tablespoon of the mixture into balls and coat in the sesame seeds, place on the lined tray and bake for 20 minutes until lightly golden.


  • Meanwhile mix together the dressing ingredients, taste and adjust to your liking.
  • Heat a griddle pan over a high heat and add the asparagus, cook, turning regularly until tender and charred in places.
  • Add the tomatoes to the griddle pan for a few minutes to blister the skin and warm them through.
  • Divide the salad leaves, tomatoes and asparagus onto serving plates then top with the quinoa balls and drizzle with the dressing.

Calorie Count :: New Recipe

Nutritional Analysis

Low in saturated fat
Very low in cholesterol
High in dietary fiber
High in iron
High in manganese
High in magnesium
High in phosphorus
Very high in vitamin A
Very high in vitamin B6
Very high in vitamin C


BBQ Marinated Tempeh with Crunch

29 Jun

Once in a while, when I have a spot to fill I will use an Air Eater post. After all, I am a vegan blogger too and it’s funny how some readers on VBU! are not aware. It makes me feel like I have some kind of split personality in a way haha. Air Eater by day and VBU! by night! Muuuahahhaha! I digress. Here’s a post I wrote when I figured out how to use tempeh and make it gluten free AND satisfying. Please enjoy!

Seeing as my last attempt at tempeh was a disaster, this time I decided to do something fool proof, marinate it and coat it with something crispy for that awesome crunch.

I had the BBQ sauce left over from my Jackfruit “Pulled pork” recipe and marinated the tempeh over night in the sauce. I broke the square into four pieces. The next day around lunch time,  I took a plate flipped it at the 15 minute mark.

Here’s the before the oven shot:

Needless to say, I really enjoyed this and would totally make this again, plus I would suggest bringing this to a party or making it for guests. Really was satisfying and filling.

I went a little photo crazy here, but I really like the texture in the tempeh crust.

Continue reading

Guest Blogger: V is for Vegetables – Zucchini Boats

8 Jun

As we all know, V is for Vegetables, that is also the title of Vanessa’s blog. Here she is in her own words, “My name is Vanessa and I have lived in Indiana my entire life. However, I have certainly spent plenty of time seeing the world. My journey to veganism actually began in the UK. I was there when Mad Cow Disease was at its worst and I haven’t had a hamburger since. Then slowly other animal products disappeared from my life and now plants are all I have left. But that’s definitely not a bad thing. I’ve grown from being a picky eater who can’t cook to a vegan food blogger. It’s been a fun ride so far and I can’t wait to see what else comes my way.” Please follow Vanessa on Twitter and of course check out her site! Please welcome Vanessa!


I love using food to display food. Therefore, I love zucchini boats. No need to get dishes out. Once these cool off, you can shovel them right in. Exactly my kind of food. You could really fill these “boats” with anything but I used a tomato and couscous mixture. The addition of a grain in the filling helps add nutritional variety so that I’m not simply scarfing down vegetables. Yes, it’s possible to scarf down vegetables. If you spend enough time around vegans and vegetarians you will witness the ability to devour broccoli like it’s a chocolate raspberry cupcake covered with brownie bits and drizzled with caramel. Yes, broccoli. It’s what’s for dinner and dessert.


  • 2 medium-sized zucchini
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/3 cup whole wheat couscous (prepared according to package)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise and trim off the stem.

3. Scrape out the insides of the zucchini using a melon baller or a teaspoon. Set the insides aside. On the opposite side of the zucchini half, slice a little skin off lengthwise so that your boat is less likely to tip over. We don’t want any passengers couscous to end up in the Atlantic pan filled with water.

4. Heat the oil over medium high heat and add the garlic and onion. Saute for 5 minutes.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, carrots and zucchini insides and cook another 5 minutes.

6. Add the prepared couscous to the sauteed mixture and season with salt and pepper.

7. Allow the mixture to cool for 5-10 minutes.

8. Fill each hollowed out zucchini half with 1/4 of the sauteed mixture.

9. Place the zucchini halves in a shallow pan filled with 1/4 inch water.

10. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.

Yields 4 servings


Adapted from: Annies-Eats

Guest Blogger: Vegan Meal Adventures – BBQ Mango Burgers

4 May

Always exciting when new bloggers are kind enough to be a guest on VBU. Please welcome Milo, he has been vegan for over five years and started Vegan Meal Adventures to track his attempt to stay away from processed foods. Two years later he now makes the majority of his meals and has a much greater knowledge of how to cook food that actually tastes good. Visit Milo on FB and Twitter. Please welcome Milo!

BBQ Mango Seitan BurgersI don’t think I can fully explain how awesome these are so you’re just going
to have to trust me and make some! The BBQ Mango Burgers stemmed from
a recipe my dad sent me. I had picked up a sweet potato and parsnip to
mash up for a side but thought it might be fun to make them into fries
instead and they ended up being the perfect side topped with the extra
mango BBQ sauce. Using the mango was a lot of fun, I had never bought
a fresh mango before and they have some pretty intense pits!

I highly recommend you try both. The only thing I would do differently
is put in a little less cider vinegar because the sauce was a little
tangy for my taste. Also, let the broth cool and add the broth to your
seitan mix slowly because you may not need all of it.

That’s it, enjoy!

Making the Burgers:

Broth –

6+ Cups of Water
1/2 Cup of soy sauce or Amino Bragg
1/2 onion coarsely chopped
4 cloves of garlic
4 slices of fresh ginger
1 Tablespoon of veggie bouillon
salt to taste
*Throw it all in a large pot (you’ll need the room) and bring to a simmer.

Burgers –

1 Cup of vital wheat gluten
2-3 Tablespoon of Tapioca flour (helps firm up seitan)
1 teaspoon of sage
1 teaspoon of thyme
1/2 teaspoon of garlic and onion powder
3/4 Cup +/- of broth (let it cool first!)
*Mix up all dry ingredients in medium sized boil then add in 2/3 cup
of broth and more as needed. After wet and dry combined, knead 6-8
times into a ball. It will be squishy! Divide the ball into 4 parts
and form into patties. Keep in mind they will expand and the more
compact they are the better they cook so don’t stretch the patties too
thin. Place patties carefully into simmering broth. DO NOT LET BROTH
COME TO A BOIL! It will ruin your seitan and cause it to not firm up.
Let simmer for one to one and a half hours or until firm. Let cool and

BBQ Mango Sauce –

3/4 Cup of Ketchup
1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
3-4 Tablespoons of molasses (I LOVE molasses)
1/4 Cup of cider vinegar
2 cloves of garlic
2 teaspoons of liquid Hickory smoke (try Wholefoods)
2 teaspoons of mustard
4 3 inch slices of fresh mango
*Throw it all in a blender or food processor until the garlic and
mango are completely blended in.

Sweet Potato & Parsnip Fries

1 medium sweet potato peeled and cut into 3 inch x 1/2 inch fries
1 large parsnip peeled and cut into 3 inch x 1/2 inch fries
3 Tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
*Preheat oven to 400 degrees and place fries on large cookie sheet.
Sprinkle salt and pepper to amount desired and drizzle olive oil over
the fries. Use your hands (or a spoon) to evenly coat and disperse
fries on baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake for another
15 minutes and your done! Just keep it in the fridge until your
burgers and fries are ready.

Guest Blogger: An Unrefined Vegan – Tofu Salad Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper Salad

11 Apr

Please welcome back Annie, author of An Unrefined Vegan, with her recipe for Tofu Salad Sandwiches with Roasted Red Pepper Salad. You know summer is around the corner when recipes like this. Connect with Annie on Twitter here. Please enjoy Annie’s wonderful post!

Tofu Salad SangiesSomewhere and at some time I vowed never to include a tofu salad recipe on my blog. I lied. Actually, it’s more accurate to say that at the time that I said that, I couldn’t foresee wanting to include a tofu salad recipe. Tofu salad. Blah. After all, one of my favorite all-time sandwiches was egg salad. Specifically my mom’s egg salad which had the exact right ration of creaminess to tanginess (and, incidentally, we were a Hellman’s household as opposed to a Miracle Whip household). How could I expect to replicate that with tofu? But, times have changed. After conquering scrambled tofu, it seemed right to explore tofu salad. Mom’s recipe was the inspiration.

Tofu Salad Sandwiches
Serves 4

Tofu Salad IngredientsTofu Salad:
14 oz. package firm or extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
1/2 cup Vegenaise
1/4 tsp. dried dill
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
2 tbsp. red onion, chopped
1 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
2 stalks celery, chopped
1/4 cup green olives, chopped
2 tbsp. pepperoncini, chopped
pinch turmeric
pinch garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste

4 Whole Wheat Pita Breads
lettuce, tomato, sprouts, avocado…the works

Slice the tofu block in half. For one half cut into 1/4″ slices lengthwise, then into 1/4″ pieces width-wise – so you have small cubes. Put the cubes in a large mixing bowl. Now, crumble the other half of the tofu block into the bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and stir gently to combine.

When ready to serve, slice the pitas in half and lay in with the tofu salad and toppings. Serve alongside a big scoop of Roasted Bell Pepper & Olive Salad.

Roasted Bell Pepper & Olive Salad
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 cup vegetable broth
1-2 tbsp. Bragg Liquid Aminos
ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
1-2 tbsp. parsley, chopped
salt and black pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 425F. In a medium-sized baking dish, combine the vegetable broth, pepper and Liquid Aminos. Add the bell peppers, onion and garlic and stir. Bake in the oven, stirring frequently, until peppers and onions are tender. Add more vegetable broth and Liquid Aminos as needed – you want this to be a little bit juicy.

Remove pan from the oven and stir in the olives and parsley. I like to serve this at room temperature.

Bell Pepper & Olive Salad