The UK Summer has arrived in all its glory, and with it comes BBQ season! Social events such as BBQ’s are bit of a nutritional minefield of burgers, hot dogs, ice cream and a few too many ice-cold beers. Although the thought of giving up that extra bread roll is daunting, here are plenty of positive choices you can make, so you needn’t miss out on any of the fun.
From the outset, when you are deciding what to add to your plate remember to think lean protein e.g. grilled chicken or fish and fresh salads or vegetables.
This week’s recipe has been created to inspire you to mix things up this summer. Try smoky, sticky prawn skewers which take seconds to cook with a cool, creamy dip. Side that with satisfying sweet potato wedges and a delicious charred vegetable salad. The prawns can be swapped for firm tofu if you have any vegetarian guests, or chicken breasts if you’re not keen on seafood.
This colourful feast is incredibly simple to prepare, looks fantastic and is sure to impress your family or guests. Top it all off with some refreshing homemade ice lollies for dessert, made from fresh fruit juices or pureed fruit.
For those that don’t have a BBQ, use a hot griddle pan to replicate the charring that brings out the wonderful flavour of the food.
Harissa Prawn Skewers with Creamy Avocado Dip and a Charred Pepper & Almond Salad
300g raw peeled king prawns
2tsp harissa paste
200g tender-stem broccoli
300g baby sweet peppers
40g flaked almonds
1 tsp maple syrup or honey
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 large ripe avocado
Juice of ½ a lemon
2 tbsp water
Small bunch each of dill and coriander (¼ pack)
Pinch of salt
4 large sweet potatoes
8 skewers – if you’re using wooden ones, pre-soak these in water for 1 hour to stop them burning.
- Mix the prawns with the harissa and leave to marinate for at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 180° Slice sweet potatoes into wedges and spread out on a baking tray, bake for 30-40 minutes until golden and tender.
- Toss the flaked almonds with smoked paprika and maple syrup or honey to coat. Spread out on another baking tray and bake for 2-3 minutes until golden. Set aside to cool.
- Place the avocado, lemon juice, 2 tbsp water, dill, coriander and a pinch of salt into a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Chill until needed.
- Slice the baby peppers in half and remove any seeds.
- Place the peppers and broccoli onto the hot BBQ for 1-2 minutes to char then turn and repeat on the other side. Transfer to a large piece of tin foil with a splash of water and wrap into a parcel. Place back on the BBQ at the side for 5-10 minutes to allow the veg to soften (heat varies so leave for longer if needed).
- Meanwhile, thread the prawns onto skewers, inserting the skewer through both ends of each prawn to secure, and place onto the middle of the BBQ. Cook for 1-2 minutes on each side, or until they have turned from translucent grey to opaque pink all over. Remove them as soon as they are cooked so they don’t become chewy.
- To serve, arrange the peppers and broccoli on a serving platter and sprinkle with the paprika almonds. Scatter the sweet potato wedges with chilli flakes and extra coriander leaves. Place the prawns and dip on a separate board and let everyone help themselves.
NB: If you’re using a griddle pan instead of a BBQ, grill the peppers and broccoli separately in batches. Add a splash of water every minute or so to help them cook through with steam. Finally, griddle the skewers for 1-2 minutes on each side or until cooked through.