Summer is the time when many people can’t wait to get outdoors and have a barbecue. The prospect of enjoying some al fresco eating on a warm, light summer evening while socialising with friends or family can be one of the highlights of the season.
At the same time, it might not seem to be either the greenest or most vegan-friendly event, with smoke and burning charcoal, not to mention the fact that the primary ingredients going on the grill are made of meat.
However, that may not be the whole picture. Whether you are having a gathering for like-minded vegetarian friends or just ensuring the barbecue offers some meat-free options, there are some great alternatives that mean one does not have to be a carnivore to enjoy the event.
Before you even get to cooking, vegan soy candles can make their own contribution. Not only are they created without animal products; they can also provide some lovely illumination as twilight sets in, without anyone needing to turn on the mains electricity to light up the scene.
Add to that the tree that is planted for every purchase and you can make the barbecue even greener.
After that, you can focus on the food. The Vegan Society has some great ideas of what to cook. For instance, it recommends BBQ ribs made from seitan, a form of gluten, which look like the real/meat thing.
Others include grilling delicious vegetable options, like tofu, aubergines, cauliflower steak, baked pineapple and a staple of many a barbecue in any instance, a potato salad.
Similarly, the BBC Good Food Guide has suggested various starters and dips you could include, like beetroot burgers, stuffed peppers and the ultimate alternative to pulled pork - pulled jackfruit.
Not only will these tasty options provide some great plant-based choices at a barbecue; you might even find some of the omnivores present give them a try and are surprised by how much they like them.