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ArticleFood & Drink

Slap another… lentil on the barbie!

With a little creativity and some clever menu planning, it's possible to enjoy all the delights of BBQ season without compromising on taste or fun.

Feb 17, 2023

Words: Mettle & Grace

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Let’s be real. Given the pandemic, inflation and rising living costs, it’s looking like an expensive, but much needed, BBQ season ahead.

Given how much we’ve coped with over the past three years – we need this. We deserve a glorious summer of tasty food shared with our family and friends. Our very souls need this!

But, some compromises may need to be made.

We’re not compromising on the LOLs with friends or the time spent outdoors. The Christmas before the pandemic started, we had an epic BBQ in a friend's backyard. Each of us had a different section of the menu delegated to us. One friend was in charge of the charcuterie board: an epic array of cheeses, meats, homemade dips, crackers, vegetables and fruits. Another friend was the leading salad creator, then another on desserts, and someone (responsible) for drinks. My partner and I were in charge of the BBQ; sticky barbecue chicken wings, burgers, pork kebabs and gourmet sausages were all eagerly devoured.

This year, to save on expenses, but not sparing anything on deliciousness, we’re mixing it up.

There are a lot of great vegetarian sausages and burger patties in the supermarket these days. However, nothing beats making them yourself – much more nutritiousl and delicious!

The easiest vegetarian burger to make is simply grilling a hearty portobello mushroom. They have a fantastic meatiness to them. I like to ‘elevate’ the portobello mushroom by marinating it for a couple of hours.

A slightly more involved vegetarian burger is our lentil and spinach patty recipe provided below. It requires a variety of ingredients to bulk it out, however, it is very simple to cook – you only need a food processor. Grill ‘em up, slam ‘em between a fluffy bun with some mayo, pickles, cheese, tomato and cos lettuce and enjoy.

We hope you have a blast on your summer BBQ adventures too!

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The Easy Vego Burger

2 tbsp Olive oil

2 tbsp Soy sauce

1 tbsp Red wine vinegar

1 tbsp Tomato powder

2 tsp Brown sugar

1 tsp Smoked paprika

1 tsp Sweet paprika

¼ tsp Garlic powder

¼ tsp Onion powder

⅛ tsp Chipotle powder


2 x Portobello mushroom caps

(*optional – add a sprinkle of Smoked El Dorado Mesquite Salt from Spice Oddity)

Combine the marinade ingredients in a bowl by whisking them together.

Add the portobello mushrooms to the marinade and set aside for two to four hours.

Heat up the BBQ and grill the mushrooms until slightly charred, but still tender.

A More Complex Vego Option

100g Pumpkin seeds

50g Walnuts

½ cup Rice bran

1 tbsp fresh Chives

1 tbsp fresh Oregano

1 tbsp fresh Parsley

1 cup loosely packed Spinach

400g Lentils

2 tbsp Tomato paste

½ tsp Paprika

3 tbsp Capers

Add the pumpkin seeds to your food processor and blend until they form a breadcrumb texture. Add the remaining patty ingredients to the food processor. Pulse until combined but still coarse.

Transfer one third of the mixture to a large mixing bowl.

Blend the remaining patty mixture until smooth.

Combine the patty mixture together.

Use your hands to roll patties to your desired size.

Heat oil in a frying pan on medium-high heat.

Fry the patties in batches until the base is golden and then carefully flip each patty over to cook until golden on both sides.

I am incredibly appreciative of our Mettle + Grace gluten-free club who have been testing my recipes in preparation for our new eCookbook that will be released soon. Until then, enjoy an abundance of scones and many cups of tea.

Gippslandia - Issue No. 25

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