I’ve been really busy over the last few days and haven’t blogged much even though I’ve had loads of ideas for recipes to make. My sister was visiting from London and staying at my parents’ house around the corner so I was walking over there every day with the kids and spending time with my family, going to the playground and chasing the kids around all day. So after that I think we were all exhausted! The kids had so much fun though. They love their auntie.
We’ve also been busy making the garden nice for summer so have tidied it up, cut the grass, bought a new playhouse for the kids, a new picnic table, some bird feeders and lots of herbs to plant. Of course the kids had to help me clean, so Oran was carrying around a sweeping brush “sweeping” and Rian was digging in a pot with a trowel and throwing earth everywhere. So it took a while but it’s finally looking nice and we can have barbecues now using our tiny green barbecue!
In Ireland we count summer as starting on the 1st of May and I like that since I love summer so much, and can’t wait for it to start! My favourite thing is being able to spend time outdoors without being too cold or wet and getting to eat outside. And of course I love that the kids get to run around outdoors and enjoy themselves.
I like to make barbecued food quite simply, with lots of fresh veg and healthy vegan burgers and sausages. Not your typical barbecue but full of delicious flavours. We had homemade falafel burgers, marinated mushrooms, corn on the cob, asparagus and Dee’s vegan sausages.
It was my first time cooking Dee’s sausages on a barbecue and they worked really well. I brushed the grill with a little olive oil, and they cooked perfectly. They tasted extra good barbecued!
For the mushrooms I simply drizzled them with some extra virgin olive oil, sprinkled on some finely chopped garlic, paprika, sea salt and black pepper and rubbed the mixture in to them, a while before cooking them on the barbecue. They had such a great flavour. They’d be extra good with smoked paprika. You can also eat them in a burger bun as a simple alternative to a veggie burger.
For the falafel burgers, I simply put two drained tins of chickpeas, 2 peeled cloves of garlic, a handful of fresh coriander, a handful of fresh parsley, a few fresh mint leaves, 1 heaped tsp. ground cumin, 1 heaped tsp. ground coriander, 1 flat tsp. paprika, a pinch of chilli flakes, 1/4 cup of plain flour, and some salt and pepper in a food processor and blended it all up. I then shaped them into patties, and they were ready to cook. They also could be fried or baked in the oven. They’re nutritious and filling and great in a burger bun or wrap with some houmous or tahini, salad leaves, tomatoes, and whatever else you like.
Oran really, really loved the corn on the cob. He finished one and shouted at me for another one, which he also finished! They are a really handy food for baby led weaning, easy for baby to pick up and gnaw on.
The asparagus was also really nice. It’s so nice to just put some fresh veggies straight onto a barbecue without doing anything to them. Fresh, simple flavours are my favourite, especially in summer. And you can see I painted my table blue. It’s a bit bright but really brightens up the garden! I love it.
I’m so glad that it’s summer now and we can spend time outdoors. There’s meant to be a mini heat wave this weekend so we’ll definitely be dining alfresco a lot. And trying some different food ideas on the barbecue!