Vegetarian Barbecue Fun with Tesco #FlameAcademy

The British barbecue has come into its own this century, with the merest hint of sunshine from Easter to October sending many of us into a BBQ frenzy.  On any vaguely warm weekend, the supermarket shelves are devoid of rolls, the scent of lighter fluid fills the suburban air, and you can barely get round Tesco's for the queues of slightly supermarket-inept middle-aged men attempting to manoeuvre trolleys full of beer through the checkouts, and fumbling with their wives' Clubcards.  But inadequate barbecuing need be no more; Tesco's new Flame Academy has come to the rescue!

Whether you are a complete novice or a flaming expert, the Tesco Flame Academy is the hub for a wide variety of fab recipes, expert tips, and great advice.  I love how the recipes are divided into easy, intermediate and advanced, meaning you can pick something for your skill level as well as tastes and preferences.  There are so many great recipes too!  We have been trying some of their recipes this last week, and have had a brilliant time.  Not to mention found some delicious food that we are all eager to cook again.  I must admit, in the past the barbecue has been a hit and miss (largely miss) affair for me as a vegetarian.

Think you have it tough as a meat eater with charred sausages, second-rate 'baps', and potential food poisoning from a piece of under-cooked chicken?  Ha!  Try the lot of the average vegetarian or vegan at a BBQ.  There's the occasional veggie burger lobbed on as an afterthought, a half-hearted attempt to create something on a skewer involving undercooked vegetables and burnt halloumi, and several quips about how 'you can always eat the salad anyway'.  That's if anyone has even considered the idea that there might be a non-meat eater in attendance, we're only 12% of the UK population now after all!

Speaking of statistics, Flame Academy research has found that a fifth of us don’t feel confident behind the barbecue, whilst a quarter of us burn sausages on the grill!  Luckily Tesco and BBQ Master and executive chef of The Salt Yard Group, Ben Tish, have some great tips that are sure to help:

• It’s important to know when the BBQ is ready to cook on. The flames should have subsided and the coals turned and even, ashen grey.

• Use hard stalks such as thyme, rosemary and oregano to throw onto the BBQ coals and smoke whatever your cooking. Great for a quick smoke hit!

• Use the coals as another cooking medium. Wrap vegetables in foil and nestle them between and under the ashen coals to slowly cook and flavor. Great for potatoes, aubergines, beets and carrots.  See this great sweet potato recipe from Crumbs Food:

The Tesco Flame Academy and their experts have come up with some fabulous recipes to please us non-meat eaters, lots of burgers yes, but also some delicious vegetable dishes, exciting skewer options, and lots more.  You can even barbecue pizzas for goodness' sake, just check out this recipe for BBQ Pizzas with Mushroom and Red Onion!  And of course, there are lots of fantastic recipes for meat and fish eaters too.

Here at Attachment Towers, we decided to have a go at a small selection of the veggie recipes, but have added lots more to our Pinterest boards for future reference!  The ones we've tried so far are the Grilled Halloumi and Sweet Pepper Kebabs (perfect kept warm under the hob) and the Mushroom Burgers with Asian-style Slaw, both were A-MAZING!!!  We have made 'mushroom burgers' on the griddle before, but the barbecue coals added a delicious extra level of flavour.  Next on our hit list are some of the other burgers, and I am rather tempted by the Green Sangria...

Hope it's barbecue weather this weekend!!

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