What do you give your non-meat eating friends when you invite them to a barbecue? Before, I would assume they are doomed to sides, unable to fully enjoy the experience. Now I know better, of course, and am having a good time eating and running experiments this barbecue season.
The first thing I tried are simple vegetable skewers. Thinly-sliced vegetables in a lemony marinade with some spices. I loved how the sides catch and get really crispy! The final version of this included halloumi. I even made a few of them and sent it with Markus when he went on a camping weekend with the boys earlier this month.
Next is a tofu version of the Middle Eastern shish taouk. I really love its charred, chunky, proper barbecue look. I have not been to the Middle East actually, but I am very interested in their food. All the spices seem fascinating! I suppose Turkey is the most manageable destination, not too far from Germany, but we’ll see how that goes.
The third meal in the gallery is a pulled jackfruit barbecue. It is so tasty, honestly. I remembered enjoying pulled pork in another life but have always found it too heavy. This jackfruit version has all the flavor but none of the drag. Also featured in the photo is chana masaala. Both are in lunch boxes that we ended up eating at home.
We enjoy eating these barbecue-themed meals with homemade naan with lots of garlic swimming in butter.
You may notice that all our barbecues are all made from whole food, too. It is a conscious choice. While plant-based meat alternatives are accessible and convenient, they are not appealing to me since I try to make an effort to limit processed food. Fortunately, there is nothing that can’t be asked of vegetables, tofu, mushrooms, and spices!
Apart from barbecue, we have been eating lighter meals in general because of the heat. We reach 38° C on some days! I hope it is a little bit better where you are.
Here, I have simple pasta with wild mushrooms (the first Pfifferlinge of the season!), Asian-inspired lemon tofu, and my version of the German classic Jaeger Schnitzel but with lovely oyster mushrooms.
I get my mushrooms from this one specialized stall at the Farmer’s Market and they have all sorts of cool things that they grow themselves. I have so many questions to ask but my rickety German is unable to do so. Schade.
Speaking of the market, I am crushing really hard on flat peaches. They are so sweet and odd-looking. Also, we do not have them in The Ph. The closest I can think of is mabolo but it is totally different.
Markus has been getting me into cherries, too. Back home, the only cherries I know are the shockingly-red preserved kind in this hideous syrup. I am glad to know that the fresh ones are a real treat! We buy them from this other specialized stall in the market, the cherries grown from a place out of town that is well-known for it. There is always a queue!
Finally, I have this cake screaming summer made with lemons, blueberries, yogurt, and mint. The original recipe used thyme but I suppose it is open to interpretation. I have made it three times in the last three weeks. It is just that good!
And can we really talk about summer without having tomatoes? Plump, red orbs that smell of everything nice in the world. Last month, Markus’ parents treated us to a trip to Bamberg where we had ravioli at a nice rose garden. It was so fresh and light and lovely and I thought I could give it a try.
I was intimidated like hell though – no equipment and everything from scratch. Fortunately, I found this recipe and used its techniques as an inspiration for my version. I am proud to say I finally managed to make ravioli from scratch, after thinking about it for forever!
The first is the ravioli from the restaurant and the second is my home version. It is stuffed with ricotta, Alpen cheese, and mozzarella. I did not have parmesan this time but it still turned out so tasty with a quick and chunky fresh tomato sauce.
In future versions, I am really interested in trying a mushroom and squash filling because I remember enjoying that many years ago at a historic hotel in The Ph on a quick holiday with one of my best friends. Perhaps a project for the Fall.
Seasonal eating is so much fun! Also, it can be cheaper – not always, but I feel like we are getting so much value out of the food we buy. So what have you been eating this summer?