No meat, will barbecue plus other thoughts on seasonal eating

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 38Β° 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?

23 thoughts on “No meat, will barbecue plus other thoughts on seasonal eating

    1. Thank you. It is fun to cook and try out new ways of eating things. There is so much versatility in mushrooms, tofu, and vegetables that makes cooking exciting for me.

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      1. I always do a lot of salads in the summer when it’s hot. This week I made a pasta salad. A couple weeks ago I made a salad with cucumber, tomato, basil, and peaches (weird combo, but it was so so good!)

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    1. Thank you, Anne. I try to take the photo fast so the food does not get cold. Do you take photos of your food in restaurants? I feel so proud of myself for finally making ravioli. I have always wanted to but have been so intimidated. I guess it is okay to make it from scratch if I am just making four plates of ravioli but it is another story if it is for six people.

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      1. I admire you for making ravioli from scratch. Most impressive!
        Sometimes I take photos of food in restaurants. I’m more likely to take shots of the people I’m with.

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  1. Hi Micah, unfortunately we’re not ones for BBQ’s! In the distant past every time we got the BBQ out the weather always turned and we’d be running for cover! Picnics we always enjoy, though, but that is a different scenario! I don’t think we’d last very long in your temperatures, or those in the south of England where we used to live. Here we had 2 very HOT days recently but generally it’s been cooler with the usual wind and rain off the Atlantic!
    YOUR cooking and BBQs sound and look delicious. I’m impressed by your homemade naan and your ricotta! Love Italian food! Oh, must stop thinking about food; I’m trying to lose a bit of weight. Actually, I’ll stop there as it’s now my time for Qi Gong. πŸ™ Great to know that you’re settling down in Germany! Lovely to read this post. Say Hi to Marcus! πŸŒΉπŸ™‹β€β™‚οΈ

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    1. Actually, I make these in the oven – so much easier and less smoke. I guess the weather is problematic everywhere. Sigh. Someone solve this climate crisis please. What is fresh in your market atm? He says hi back and hoping thr Qi Gong was super!

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    1. Hi Alison, thank you. Cooking is therapeutic for me, also gets my brain going. I forgot where I heard this, but someone said it is easy to make meat taste good but you have to be thoughtful and creative to make nice plant-based meals. For me, I like recreating meals I enjoyed either from the past with meat or something recent from a restaurant. What are some of your favorite ingredients or meals?

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      1. I think that’s true Micah with meat unless you are making a casserole with different bases. We eat a lot of fish and sometimes I coat it in breadcrumbs and fry or baked in the oven with tomatoes and onions. My husband loves stir fried veg so we have that three or four times a week. He loves tofu so will have to go back and look at your recipe πŸ™‚

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        1. Sounds delicious! We are big on eggs and stir-fries, too. I can recommend fitgreenmind on Instagram and YouTube for tofu recipes. They are easy to follow and also tasty. I got the shish taouk from her.

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