“Barbequed” veggies

Torontonians have lucked out in a major way this week — the first few days of April have been unseasonably warm, sunny and simply gorgeous! With temperatures in the 20 degrees + range, it’s been hard to sequester myself indoors to study for exams (the only downside of spring). Thoughts inevitably turn to strolling in the sunshine, drinks on patios and picnics in the park.

Speaking of eating outdoors, the summer-like weather also reminds me of barbequeing. I enjoy grilled veggies and potatoes on occasion, but this week I tried a raw recipe from Sarma Melngailis’ Living Raw Food. (Yes, I know I talk about her books a lot. I love them!) The recipe was for skewered veggies, dowsed in raw barbeque sauce and dehydrated for a few hours to impart a cooked-like texture and flavour. I chose to use different veggies than the ones called for in the recipe, and I didn’t make the coleslaw side part of the dish, but it was delicious nonetheless.

The barbeque sauce itself was incredible. You know the indispensable smoky flavour created by barbecuing food? The sauce recreated this element by using an amazing ingredient – lapsang souchong tea, which is essentially smoky-tasting black tea. I had been keeping my eyes open for lapsang souchong for awhile, and finally found some at one of my favourite health food stores. Blended up with sundried tomatoes, olive oil, and a little touch of sweetness and sour, the barbeque sauce came out eerily like the real thing.

I scored some baby pattypan squash at Whole Foods (aren’t they adorable?), and chopped them up with some zucchini, carrot, red pepper, and asparagus. Mix in some sauce, dehydrate for a few hours, and voila! My new favourite way to eat veggies, and a delicious raw take on a summertime classic.  If you can’t find lapsang souchong tea, a few drops of liquid smoke would also do the trick.

In other news, I welcomed some new plants into my home this week: a pink orchid, pink and yellow begonia, and a tiny mint plant! The flowers are pretty, but I’m really excited about the mint. Mint grows like crazy, and as soon as I know it will stay warm enough outside, it’s going on my rooftop patio to get big and help feed my After Eight smoothie addiction for the summer. I’m really excited about gardening this summer. I have a community garden plot, and I’m going to grow as many kinds of vegetables as I can on my patio. Any suggestions for patio-friendly plants? Does anyone else garden, and what do you grow?

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9 Comments to ““Barbequed” veggies”

  1. These look yummy! 🙂 Thanks for the idea!

  2. i LOVE leafing thru living raw food as well. if only i had a vitamix, dehydrator, and ice cream maker!

    • I was totally in the same position at one point! It took me awhile to accumulate all the equipment that makes raw food even more fun. But it was a good investment – I use my Vita-Mix at least twice a day!

  3. I’ve never heard of liquid smoke, but I’ll have to look into it. Looks like a great raw meal to bring to a summer BBQ.

  4. Ooh, the BBQ veggies look wonderful – perfect for summer… looove orchids, purple ones are always my fave.

    Cant wait to see your latest creation! 😉

  5. I want to grow a garden so badly!! I told my parents I’d work on their backyard first, I need landscaping ideas first of all but also I want them to have a vegetable patch..maybe a little pond..

    Probably landscaping blogs have good tips, if I find any I’ll let you know! Also, how are you keeping up with exams? Yesterday I didn’t eat for 5 hours before my exam, and I WAS SO ALERT! I just kept drinking lemon water, and I had a small green apple 2 hours before, and it was the first time I didn’t have the urge to nap on my exam! You should try it 🙂
    Have a great weekend!

    • My first exam is tomorrow — EEK!! I’m not looking forward to the next two weeks. Glad to hear your diet has been helping you stay alert during this stressful period. I’m prone to procrastinating by making dessert-like foods (like I’ve done for the past 4 days, sigh) so today I’m vowing to stick with the green smoothies and get to the gym more. Hope you’re rocking the studying!

  6. I love orchids, they’re so exotic and gorgeous.

    Mm..bbq veggies, raw style! Love it! Sarma rocks with her recipes so I’ll have to check this out. Those baby pattypans are so cute!!

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