Healthy Summer Kebabs – a meat free BBQ recipe

Duane and Paul
Last modified on 04/07/2018

By Duane Mellor and Paul McCardle.

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Based on our demonstration from BBC Good Food Show Live in the Summer Kitchen, this blog looks at a quick and easy way of making kebabs which can be as easily cooked on a barbeque or in the oven.

The approach of these recipes is that many things can be swapped and switched. If you do not want to make the pitta wraps from scratch, its fine to swap in pitta breads or wraps or even if you want to chose a low carbohydrate option - a large iceburg lettuce leaf can be used for the wrap! Equally, there are three flavour options, as this is about how with the same ingredients and a few tweaks you can make something taste very different, a great way to enjoy tasty healthy food and also cut down on food waste.

So, what’s the deal about meat reduction. Well, it is certainly a growing trend with ‘Meat Free Monday’ and some cities like Ghent in Belgium going meat-free in the public sector every Thursday.

Reasons for this interest could be from wanting to reduce environmental impact of our diets, with plant-based diets requiring less water and producing less greenhouse gases than diets including large amounts of meat and other animal products. For other people it could be a way to try and eat a little more healthily, including adding more vegetables to their diet.

As with any change in your diet, it needs to be done with a bit of thought. It is perfectly possibly to be healthy on a meat-free diet. But, if this is something you are thinking about, seek reliable information from organisations like the British Dietetic Association, as removing animal products from the diet can reduce intakes of key nutrients like iron, vitamin B12 and iodine. However, this can be managed by carefully planning what you eat. Equally cutting out all meat and animal foods isn’t essential if you want to eat more healthily, perhaps eating a little less meat with more vegetables, lentils, beans and nuts could help add variety to what you eat.

So, how can you make tasty and healthy meat-free kebabs?

These are a variation of a Greek-style Souvlaki with three flavour options a tasty BBQ marinade, middle eastern spices or Mediterranean herbs. There are also two options for dips that can be used to serve the kebabs along with the salad of your choice.


Meat free BBQ recipe and ingredients 

Pitta Wrap dough

For 6-8 

  • 2-3 tablespoons of Greek style yoghurt
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (can be virgin)
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 350g of strong white bread flour
  • 150ml approx. of water
  • 1 sachet of instant yeast

Add the salt to a bowl, add the flour and then the yeast, mix before adding the yoghurt and oil and mix again. Add the water to form a dough. Knead for 5 minutes until smooth.

Put in a bowl and cover for 30 minutes to rest and rise.

Split into 6-8 balls of dough, and on a floured surface roll out into circles about 2-3mm thick

Heat up a frying pan, when hot add the flat bread and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side.

The dressings

Tzatziki

  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1/3 cucumber thinly sliced and then chopped into 5mm wide battons
  • 2 tablespoons of Greek style yoghurt
  • A handful of fresh mint leaves finely chopped

Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and put ready to serve

Corriander and chilli sauce

  • Handful of fresh coriander leaves finely chopped
  • 1-2 green chillis finely chopped
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon of Greek style yoghurt

Mix the ingredients together

Flavour options

Marinade

There are many ways to make a marinade, here is a simple one

  • 4 tablespoons of tomato ketchup (can be reduced salt and sugar)
  • 2 tablespoons of wine vinegar or balsamic
  • 4 cloves of garlic crushed and finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (can be virgin)
  • Tabasco or similar to taste

Mix together and place in a large bowl to coat the vegetables and halloumi/ vegetarian meatballs

Spices

  1. Harissa spice mix and zaatar mix – Middle Eastern style flavour
  2. Fresh thyme, rosemary, dried oregano and mixed herbs – Mediterranean style flavour

Sprinkled on the kebab ingredients with olive oil and mixed to coat all the kebab ingredients.

The ‘kebabs’

  • Vegetarian meatballs e.g. Sainsbury’s or Asda own brand (need to be thawed ideally part cooked so can be skewered)
  • Halloumi cut into slices about 10mm thick so can be put on skewers
  • Button mushrooms
  • Peppers (red and orange) cut into 25 x 25 mm squares
  • Cherry tomatoes
  • Courgette – cut into 10 mm slices
  • Large Aubergine – cut into 10mm slices and each slice cut in half
  • Small red onions cut into 8

Mix with the marinade or herb/ spice mix of your choice, perhaps if you are entertaining you could do two or even all three of them! If you are cooking in the oven simply place in an roasting tray and cook at 200oc (180oC fan oven) for 20-30 minutes until the vegetables are well roasted (you may wish to add the halloumi after the first 10 minutes if you don’t like it too crisp). Turn the vegetables/ halloumi/ vegetarian meatballs once or twice during the cooking.

If barbequing or cooking in a griddle pan, make up the skewers using either metal skewers or wooden skewers that have been soaked in water first for at least 30 minutes. Cook for 10-15 minutes until well cooked, turning regularly.

Serve on the pitta bread (or other wrap) with the dressing and salad and enjoy!

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