Tuesday 18 August 2015

Meat-Free Barbecue with Quorn

Did you know that only 25 percent of the people who buy Quorn are vegetarians? The rest, like me, buy it for health and diet-related reasons. Quorn is low in fat and calories and is a very healthy source of protein.

I often have Quorn sausages in a sausage sandwich while my boyfriend has the full-fat kind, but when it comes to barbecues, I never go meat free. Quorn just isn't a patch on a juicy burger - or so I thought until the brand invited me to an event at the London Barbecue School.

First a few words about the London Barbecue School. I was amazed I'd never heard of it before but then owner/head chef Alastair said it had only been going for a couple of months. They have an outdoor space in a courtyard just across the road from Peckham Rye train station (easily reachable from London Bridge in less than ten minutes), round the corner from the Rooftop Cinema I've heard so much about.

The London Barbecue School uses a ceramic barbecue called a Kamado Joe – I’d never heard of these before. They have interchangeable cooking surfaces which let you create different heat zones; you cook with the lid closed and control the oxygen going to the fire using a vent at the top and the bottom.
We divided ourselves into four small groups and each had a cooking station with the barbecue, a selection of ingredients and a recipe. My group used the Quorn breaded chicken burgers to make wraps – chop some courgette, peppers and red onion and grill it, then spread a tortilla wrap with Greek yogurt mixed with lemon zest. Add some rocket, slice up the chicken burger and add to the wrap, roll up and enjoy. You can find the recipe on the Quorn website here.
It was very easy to make and assemble. We mixed lemon zest into Greek yogurt and spread that on a tortilla, and added the barbecued vegetables, and the chicken burger which we sliced up. It was delicious and something a bit different!
Another group was cooking Quorn’s meat-free Swedish style meatballs, in a sauce made of red pesto, tomato puree and garlic. These were threaded onto a skewer along with some courgette, red onion and cherry tomatoes, and barbecued. The recipe is here.
There were other kebabs on offer: when I’ve cooked Quorn sausages before it hasn’t occurred to me to do anything to them, but I will from now on! Another group was slicing the sausages into chunks, coating them in a mixture of mango chutney and mustard, and threading these onto skewers – they were delicious!
Finally you can’t have a barbecue without a burger; the last group was grilling Quorn’s meat free burgers and serving them in ciabattas, which they also lightly grilled, with sliced red chilli and pea shoots.
It was a very enjoyable evening and great to meet a few other bloggers who I follow like Becca from Amuse Your Bouche and Becky Thorn, author of one of the books I have at home, the No Waste Meal Planner. It was interesting hearing some things I didn’t know about Quorn, such as that they are launching a vegan range earlier this year, and that the brands is celebrating its 30th anniversary, and is present in so many countries around the world. It was great fun learning some new ideas for things I can do with Quorn so I will be trying some of these out at home!
Thanks to Quorn for inviting me to the event.

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