With social gatherings safer outside, the barbecue will be the focal point of get-togethers this summer. Culinary queen AJ Sharp has been exploring some char-grilled alternatives…

Sometimes we Brits are a little scared to experiment when it comes to barbecue food and should perhaps adopt the Aussie approach of chucking a few new things on to see what works. Given postings to Bondi Beach and the opportunity to gorge on glorious, freshly-caught seafood are few and far between, here are a few other options to elevate your grill game.

Tempeh your tastebuds

This firm but nutty protein is made with whole soya beans. The beauty of tempeh is that it can be quickly marinaded and takes on flavour very well. Authentic producer Tempeh Meades suggests steaming it first, then marinading in a sauce of your choice before cooking on the barbecue for a tasty, low cholesterol, high protein alternative to a traditional beefburger. Available to order online at tempehmeades.com and delivered to your door.

Skinny snags

If the sausage is a compulsory component of your feast, then why not choose a healthier option like those offered by Powters Skinny Pig? These gluten-free sausages are made using British pork, are low in fat and only 97 calories per sausage. Available at Tesco, Morrisons, Waitrose and Ocado and priced £3.25 for a pack of six.

Relish alternatives

If you love a sweet rich barbecue sauce but want to cut back on sugar, Real Good Smoked Barbecue Sauce contains 65 per cent less sugar and salt than the usual suspects and is also allergen-free, plant-based and vegan. £3 for a 500g bottle from Ocado and Wholefoods Market.

Barbecued veggies

Try adding whole mushrooms, sliced courgette and halved peppers to your barbecue, then stack them up and enjoy with a dollop of hummus or sauce in a bun.

You can follow AJ @ajsharpflavourfanatic on Instagram

Chargrilled piccolo bruschetta

This easy recipe from British Piccolos serves six and is perfect for showcasing the sweet and juicy tomatoes of summer.


200g Piccolo cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
6 slices sourdough bread, halved
2 ripe avocados, peeled, pitted and mashed
olive oil, for drizzling
a small finely chopped red onion
juice of 1 small lemon


  • Drizzle the sourdough with olive oil, then barbecue your bread until browned;
  • Spread with the avocado and top with chopped Piccolo cherry tomatoes and red onion;
  • Season and sprinkle with lemon juice and olive oil;
  • Try using hummus or cream cheese instead of avocado for a tasty change.

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